Elizabeth Olsen will soon debut her most disturbing role yet. The actress will star in HBO’s upcoming Love and Death as Candy Montgomery, the Texas ‘80s housewife, who brutally murdered her friend and fellow churchgoer Betty Gore before picking up her children from Bible study and hosting Gore’s daughter for a sleepover. When the case went to trial, Montgomery was found not guilty, claiming self-defense.
It’s a tantalizing story that’s been the subject of much morbid interest for years (as stories of female killers tend to be…thinking of you, Snapped), including a Hulu limited series last year called Candy starring Jessica Biel. Now, Olsen will be the latest actress to portray Montgomery in all her repression and rage.
“We tried to understand the type of pressure and perfectionism that could lead her to [the killing],” Olsen told Vanity Fair. “Candy was always trying to create something more for herself.”
The trailer begins with Olsen’s voiceover, clueing into some psychological underpinnings of the character: “Something’s been bothering me a little,” she says with a Texas lilt as we see her, doe-eyed, doing laundry. “I have done all the things a wife is supposed to do: the house, the meals. Where is the payback?”
Of course, suburban repression is one thing, and murdering someone with an axe is quite another. Director Lesli Linka Glatter (of Mad Men and Now and Then fame) told Vanity Fair the series is more character-driven than true crime driven, and will peel back what led her to such a heinous act.
The trailer continues, as she asks Gore’s husband if he wants to have an affair, as calmly as if she was asking what day of the week it was. We only see hints of the deadly turn the affair takes, but Olsen quite literally has blood on her hands.
“I do think [Love & Death] is genuinely trying to tell a complicated event and allow there to be multiple truths,” Olsen said in the interview. “It’s about this idea of casting judgment and then thinking twice — and knowing that that there’s room for nuance in complicated moments.”
The miniseries, which includes seven episodes and was written by Big Little Lies’ David E. Kelley, also stars American Horror Story’s Lily Rabe as Betty and Jesse Plemons (a nearly unrecognizable Mr. Kirsten Dunst) as Betty’s husband Allan, with whom Montgomery has an affair.
Love & Death begins streaming on HBO on April 27. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer, below.