How the Sacred Lies creator drew from her own cult experience for the Facebook series
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Facebook Watch is looking Grimm.
The platform’s original series Sacred Lies, based on Stephanie Oakes’ fairy tale-inspired YA novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, starts streaming next week. This Thursday, series creator Raelle Tucker and stars Elena Kampouris, Kevin Carroll, and Kiana Madeira stopped by the EW video studio at San Diego Comic-Con to tease the show’s debut.
The novel, which is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “The Handless Maiden,” follows a girl with no hands who escapes life in a cult and ends up in juvenile detention. “I was always looking for something to develop in the cult world, because I actually grew up in a cult for a few years when I was a kid,” Tucker tells EW’s Samantha Highfill in the video above, which streamed live on Facebook Watch Thursday afternoon. “If you’ve seen Wild Wild Country, that’s the cult that I grew up kind of a part of — and I say ‘cult’ loosely, because when you’re in a cult you never know you’re in a cult.”
Having such insight into that world, “this book intrigued me partly because that was part of the premise,” Tucker continues. But the other thing that the EP says “caught my heart” was the title character, Minnow Bly. “She’s this amazing survivor and badass, and in the young adult world and in that particular female audience, I’ve never seen a character like this, who’s this complicated.”
To cast the singular role, the creative team launched a months-long worldwide search, but it could only be Kampouris. “She embodied the character in a way that was both perfect and unexpected,” Tucker enthuses as the actress blushes beside her. “She had that character, that sort of sparkle and effortlessness about her.”
Watch the video above for more from Tucker and the cast (including tales of how Kampouris learned to drink water and use the bathroom with her hands bandaged up). Sacred Lies premieres on Facebook Watch on Friday, July 27.