Candy star Jessica Biel says husband Justin Timberlake's cameo was an 'accident'
It's a family affair in the final episodes of Candy, Hulu's true crime miniseries centered on ax murderer Candy Montgomery's (Jessica Biel) gruesome killing of her friend Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey).
Both Biel and Lynskey's husbands — Justin Timberlake and Jason Ritter, respectively — appear as police officers tasked with investigating Gore's violent death at the hands of Montgomery in creator Robin Veith and Nick Antosca's dramatization of the real-life murder, which rocked the suburban town of Wylie, Texas, in June 1980.
Timberlake portrays one of the former investigators, Steve Deffibaugh, while Ritter plays his partner in the case. Biel, who also executive produces the series, tells EW that her husband's cameo was very much "an accident."
"Justin was reading the scripts. We always share material and get notes from each other and stuff like that," Biel explains. "And he was reading it, and he asked about that particular character, Steve Deffibaugh, [and said] 'Who's playing this guy?' I said, 'Oh, I don't know. Probably like a local amazing actor from Atlanta.' 'We don't have any money left' was basically the conversation. And he said, 'I want to play this part.' And I said, 'Yeah. Okay.' He goes, 'No, no. I want to play this part.'"
Biel wasn't quite sure if Timberlake was serious, she says, but once he assured her he was, she got her producing partner, Michelle Purple, on the phone to inform her of the conversation. "And she goes, 'I know. He already called me about it,'" Biel says. "I'm like, 'Okay. Of course you guys are already talking before I even know anything.' So we threw the idea out to Robin, and she said the same thing, 'Are you serious?' Literally, they started talking and had a creative discussion about what that could mean. She was excited about the idea. Nick was excited about the idea."
According to Biel, Timberlake wasn't concerned about getting paid for the role. He did, however, have some prosthetic belly demands. "We told him, 'We can't pay you,' and he goes, 'I don't care about getting paid. I just want you to pay for my wig and I want my prosthetic belly,'" she says. "We were like, 'That we can do.'" Biel adds that her husband and Ritter developed a "bromance" while filming the series.
"Melanie and I laugh about this a lot," Biel says. "It's like dinnertime while we were shooting. You don't have a lot of time with your kids. You happen to be home, or it's a weekend, and Justin would be on his phone, and I'd be like, 'Excuse me, get off your phone.' And Melanie would be doing the same thing, like, 'Hello. Can you come join the family?' And both of them are like, 'Sorry, sorry, sorry! I'm texting Jason. I'm texting Justin. We're talking about characters.' They had this bromance."
The two had "long conversations" about the story, Lynskey tells EW. The Yellowjackets star reveals Ritter's cameo also happened by chance. "It was over Christmastime and we were all texting on a group text," Lynskey recalls. "I texted a picture of Jason with our daughter, and he had grown a mustache just out of pure boredom. Robin was like, 'Wait a minute. He looks very period appropriate.' He had to shave the mustache off in the end because they were like, not everyone could have mustaches, but Robin had a little flash of inspiration and said, 'Do you think Jason would play this other cop?'" Lynskey adds, "He loves working, and he was happy to be involved. And he loved Justin, so that really worked out."
While Lynskey didn't have screen time with Ritter or Timberlake given her character's gory fate, Biel squared off against the two during scenes where the detectives question Montgomery about Gore's death. There was "a lot of improv going on" in those scenes, Biel shares. "You see their chemistry. It's popping off the screen," Biel adds of Ritter and Timberlake. "They're both so funny and really genuinely good at their jobs. They just made it a lot of fun. There was a lot of improv going on, which gave me the freedom to improv." Biel adds of filming with her husband, "It was fun being an adversary with him. It was more fun than, I think, being a romantic lead, you know what I mean? It was more fun to be head to head. Kind of going at each other was great."
The finale of Candy premieres on Hulu May 13 (Friday the 13th).
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