Lynskey says her husband Jason Ritter was a “wreck” while watching the scene.
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Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey) meets her horrific fate in the finale of Candy, Hulu's true-crime miniseries centered on axe murderer Candy Montgomery's (Jessica Biel) gruesome killing that rocked the suburb of Wylie, Texas, in June 1980 — on Friday the 13th.

Creators Robin Veith and Nick Antosca's dramatization includes Gore's murder, which takes place in her home's utility room. The scene begins with Gore shoving Montgomery backwards into the room after Montgomery apologizes for having an affair with Gore's husband, Allan. When Gore reaches for an axe, the two engage in a deadly struggle.

Montgomery emerges alive — after striking Gore 41 times with the weapon. Lynskey tells EW that her husband Jason Ritter was a "wreck" while watching the scene. (Alongside Biel's husband Justin Timberlake, Ritter appears in the final episodes as a cop who investigates Gore's death.)  "He was so upset watching it," she says. 

Candy
Melanie Lynskey in 'Candy'
| Credit: Tina Rowden/Hulu

There was much discussion about whether to dramatize the intense murder scene at all, but, Lynskey says, "I don't know if you want to shy away from the brutality of it and how absolutely awful it was and the intensity with which it must have happened." Biel, who also executive produces the series, notes that the scene helps present layers to the big courtroom scene, where Montgomery is ultimately acquitted.

"We wanted to do this sort of surreal experience in the courtroom, where Betty's involved and Candy's talking to the viewers, like the audience now, asking them to be the jury," she tells EW. "Everything that we did, it was taken from the court documents. So we were really trying to be very true to her real story... We've been building up to this horrific experience for so many episodes at this point, and it is really startling and shocking when you see what she did and how terribly brutalized Betty's body was."

Biel continues, "And I think it makes it even more insane when you've seen it to then see her getting off from it. It just doesn't equal up." Lynskey adds, "I was watching it and I just was like, 'Oh my God, it's so much.' And I wanted to look away at a certain point. It's really unnerving [but] I mean, it's what happened." Of course, a real axe was not used during the scene, but one was brought to set so Biel and Lynskey could gauge its sheer weight.

Candy
Jessica Biel in 'Candy'
| Credit: Tina Rowden/Hulu

"It had this protective leather cover," Biel says. "No one was being unsafe. Before we would roll, I would pick it up, put it down. Melanie would pick it up. We'd just pick it up a couple times [and] remember the weight… It was so hard bringing tension to your body to make the slow move of this axe thing. I think I was more sore struggling against the lightness of the axe than I was doing anything else." Lynskey agrees: "It was hard to remember how heavy it was."

Biel says shooting the scene with Lynskey — "literally the nicest, kindest human ever on the planet" — proved a bit stressful. "We're doing our thing and then cut [and I'd ask] 'Are you okay? Are you okay?'" Biel explains. "We're both going back and forth, [asking] 'Are you hurt? You're fine, right? I didn't get you, right? Did I step on your foot? I'm so sorry if I stepped on your foot.' And then we'd do a good sequence, and it would be like, 'High five!' So we were high fiving and… just dancing together, really." 

Lynskey says to Biel, "I stepped on your foot, and I did so many things, and you didn't even feel it because of the adrenaline, I think." Biel responds, "I definitely didn't feel it. I'm sure I stepped all over your feet too and probably kneed you in the legs and in the back and everywhere. We really didn't feel it. But nobody got injured, so it was a huge success."

All five episodes of Candy are now streaming on Hulu.

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