Lucy Hale discusses role in ‘Ragdoll’ and what sets this crime series apart

Lucy Hale plays DC Lake Edmunds in ‘Ragdoll.’
Luke Varley/AMC

Crime-lovers, thrill-seekers and fans of ‘Killing Eve’ have met their match in terms of entertainment with AMC+’s latest series ‘Ragdoll.’ Based on the novel by Daniel Cole, the story hits the ground running right in its opening scenes, and then takes audiences on an whirlwind ride to try and unmask a killer who gruesomely murdered multiple people to create a Ragdoll of clues. What makes the adventure in this crime series standout however, is not the gore or the horror of the crime, but the characters that take you along with them to find out the truth.

Starring Lucy Hale as DC Lake Edmunds, Thalissa Teixeira as DI Emily Baxter and Henry Lloyd-Hughes as DS Nathan Rose, ‘Ragdoll’ puts audiences’ right into a style of filming and story that smartly crafts the layers of a crime while also showcasing human sides to some unbelievable moments. Made from the producer’s of the wildly popular series ‘Killing Eve,’ it should come as no surprise that the new series stands out in the crime genre, but what is surprising are the many twists and turns that kick off almost immediately.

Lucy Hale sat down to discuss more about what went into filming ‘Ragdoll’ and what drew her into playing her character.

Lucy Hale as DC Lake Edmunds in ‘Ragdoll.’Luke Varley/Sid Gentle/BBC/AMC

What was your initial interest with wanting to take on this role?

I think I naturally gravitate shows like this and stories like this. Along with many, many other people, I’m very invested in the psychology behind why people hurt people or why people do bad things or what makes people become monsters? I’ve always been really curious about that. But, what I thought made ‘Ragdoll’ different from other shows in that genre was the writing. It’s very specific.

I was obviously a fan of ‘Killing Eve,’ and I thought what they did so well with ‘Killing Eve’ and what they did so well with ‘Ragdoll’ is that you have these characters doing really bad things but they’re written in a very human way. Then, you have the whole whodunnit element with who’s behind all this? I think that tonally, you’ve got this very gruesome case, but the characters cope with that through humor. That was really interesting to me that humor was their coping mechanism through life—to get through situations like this, it’s almost making light of it.

So those were some of the elements that drew me to it. Then I [also] loved Edmunds and I loved her place in the story and what she stands for. She’s kind of the compass for doing the right thing for most of the show and she just really wants to prove that she’s supposed to be there. She probably talks a little too much at times about things that she probably shouldn’t speak about, but she makes a lot of good points as well.

That’s interesting that you brought up ‘Killing Eve.’ While watching I could definitely see that the stylings were similar.

That’s good—they definitely are very different shows, but I think we wanted to capture that element and the way it’s shot is very stylistic. I think that’s also what ‘Killing Eve’ does—there’s very graphic moments and incredible music, and there is also the nice balance of the horror and gore mixed in with the dark humor. Hopefully that makes ‘Ragdoll’ a little different than other shows of that genre.

Pictured are Henry Lloyd-Hughes as DS Nathan Rose, Thalissa Teixeira as DI Emily Baxter and Lucy Hale as DC Lake Edmunds.Luke Varley/AMC

You mentioned Edmonds’ place in the story. How would you describe your character’s relationship with her coworkers?

There is the whole, she’s an American dropped into the UK—there are cultural differences with Edmonds as opposed to other characters. But I think just in general, Edmunds leads with her heart and leads with her feelings and emotions. That’s sometimes a good thing and sometimes probably not a good thing, especially in the line of work she’s chosen.

Where we pick up with Baxter and Rose and the other detectives, they definitely have a way they work and it works for them and that’s how it’s always been and how it always will be. But with Edmunds, she walks in saying why does it have to be this way? Let’s talk about these things, let’s talk about our mental health, let’s talk about the foundational lies of the police force… So, she’s kind of saying what everyone is probably thinking, but would never say out loud. That’s what I think is so interesting about Edmunds is that, in order to see change you have to do things differently.

She sort of is that Gen Z mind where they do accept what is but they also have to accept their part in it. That generation really does talk about everything, nothing is off limits, which I think is great. Baxter and Rose definitely have a history together and Edmunds is determined to prove her place in the world but also with [them.] She really wants to impress them. What ultimately does get through to them is that she’s brilliant and she really knows her stuff. She works really hard and you get to see that throughout the season and you realize towards the end that like Edmunds isn’t what she seems. She’s gone through stuff too and she has stuff that she’s running away from and trauma that has led her to this point in her life. She definitely has a layered arc, which was fun to play.

What about getting to work with everyone off camera? What was the vibe like on the set of a show surrounding a hunt for a killer?

Believe it or not, we had such a blast filming this show. Most of my scenes were with Thalissa and Henry, but, with my character she’s new there anyway—so we didn’t have to do a lot of the groundwork because she’s supposed to feel like the new kid on the block. I get to use that to my advantage. Don’t get me wrong, there were some moments that were so intense and heavy and crazy. But for the most part we had so much fun because it is this heightened reality and world that we’re never, knock on wood, going to experience any of this in real life. I know I’m never going to see a Ragdoll in real life, so, it was fun and it was a blast.

I love these kind of shows. I love the morbid. I love the gruesome, so I settled in nicely to that kind of world. Thalissa and Henry are incredible actors obviously, but also equally as good people and they knew I was homesick when we were in London filming, so they took me under their wing and just made me feel really safe and comfortable being so far from home. I have so much respect for them and everyone involved in the show because it was a hard one to film just with all the elements involved.

Lucy Hale plays DC Lake Edmunds and Thalissa Teixeira plays DI Emily Baxter in ‘Ragdoll.’Luke Varley/AMC

What would you tell people to expect for the case itself in ‘Ragdoll’?

Like a lot of these shows, there are those cliffhangers that leave you desperate for answers. I think what Freddy, the creator/writer/producer, did so well is that you don’t know. The second you think you know who it is, he throws a curveball and you are kind of lost again. It was one of those shows where I needed a flow chart of all the clues and hints to sort of know what was going on. But I love that Edmunds is sort of the audience’s point of view for things. She kind of gives the audience an inside look of oh, maybe you guys should start looking over here at this person because they’re doing something kind of shady. The killer is always one step ahead of the detectives and I think that is a really fun element and I think the ending is pretty satisfying.

‘Ragdoll’ premieres on AMC+ Nov. 11 with new episodes every Thursday.