Viewers who tune in to Thursday’s episode of “Candy,” starring Jessica Biel, might recognize a familiar face: Biel’s husband Justin Timberlake.
The musician and actor plays a deputy who investigates the murder that the show is centered around.
Biel, executive co-producer on the project, says Timberlake first contacted his production partner, Michelle Purple, asking him to get involved.
“In a way, they had this whole plan. At first I didn’t even know. And then I thought he was joking. And then she said, ‘No, really, I want to do this.’ And then we moved on to the races. She was trying on a wig, it was so much fun and it was a nice surprise.
Biel admits she was initially concerned that their dynamic would “translate into work”, but that quickly faded.
“I actually felt total peace when he was around. For example, I knew she would keep that kind of safe space for me to work the way I needed and be non-judgmental, open and free. And he gave me the freedom to improvise, which he’s so good at and I’m less comfortable with. “
In “Candy,” Biel plays Candy Montgomery, an extroverted young wife and mother who goes to church in Texas, who voraciously reads romance. She seems to have it all, but she is bored, so she begins an affair with a man from her hometown (played by Pablo Schreiber) and ends up killing her wife, Betty, with an ax. Montgomery pleaded not guilty to the crime and a jury of her sided with her, some of her even saying she never liked Betty.
The story is based on an actual case from 1980 and is interesting for Hollywood right now. Elizabeth Olsen recently wrapped shooting her limited edition version called “Love and Death”, in which she plays Candy.
Melanie Lynskey, who plays Betty, hopes the story leads to compassion for the victim and that people will see how the trial was a popularity contest.
“As someone who has had a hard time adjusting to much of my life since I was a little girl, I really, really responded to that and how deeply unfair it was,” she said.
Timberlake isn’t the only surprise casting on the show: Lynskey’s husband Jason Ritter plays Timberlake’s partner. A memorable moment is when the two recreate the crime as part of their investigation.
Biel credits “Candy” co-creator and showrunner Robin Veith “with the idea of also having Jason and having these two accomplices in the crime. He tickled us, “Biel said.
Biel wears a wig with short curly brown hair in the series that has attracted a lot of attention. She jokes that it’s a similar hairstyle to her husband of hers in the late 90’s with his boy band NSYNC.
“She definitely had that hairstyle,” Biel said. I always ask him, “Please grow those beautiful curls. I love that curly hair. I know. It’s so weird. We were laughing about it.”
AP writer Mike Cidoni Lennox in Los Angeles contributed to this report.