After starring in FX’s Under the Banner of HeavenDaisy Edgar-Jones knows the kind of story she hopes to always tell in her future projects.
In FX’s seven-episode limited series, which ends June 2, Edgar-Jones takes on the role of Brenda Wright, who is married to Allen Lafferty, a member of a respected Mormon family from Utah, and brothers. theirs carry over to the Next Day. Holy Orthodoxy. Based on the 2003 true-life crime novel by Jon Krakauer, the series follows the events leading up to the murder of Brenda and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica.
The film tells the true story through the eyes of Detective Jeb Pyre (played by Andrew Garfield), a devout Mormon whose faith is tested as he investigates brutal murders seemingly linked to the origins of the LDS religion and the violent consequences of indomitable beliefs.
The film also stars Sam Worthington, Denise Gough, Wyatt Russell, Billy Howle, Gil Birmingham, Rory Culkin, Adelaide Clemens, Seth Numrich, Chloe Pirrie and Sandra Seacat.
Edgar-Jones narrated The Hollywood Reporter she sees taking on the role of Brenda Wright as “an opportunity” to “celebrate her life and give her a say.” Edgar-Jones said that the series should not only serve as “a cautionary tale about fundamentalism” but also show the importance of women on screen supporting each other.
“Instead of tearing each other apart or punching each other, let’s really support and lift each other up,” says Edgar-Jones THR. “That kind of community, I think it’s a real kind of learning, and is what I now in my next projects want to look for to make sure that always tells.”
In a recent conversation with CHEAP, Edgar-Jones opened up about Brenda’s journey, how she’s wrapped up in tragedy at the series’ core, and more.
Talk to us about Brenda’s journey in Under the Banner of Heaven.
She meets Allen Lafferty [at university], and she begins a relationship with him and is introduced to all of the Lafferty brothers. As the show progresses, we see her observing them and their dynamics, and her relationship to faith is very different from theirs. I think she started to notice some things were wrong, and then she tried to help the women in the family regain their agency, and then the real story started from there.
Brenda seems to have a different relationship with each of Lafferty’s brothers. How prepared are you to work with each of them differently?
The relationships between them are all very well built on the site, so I have a real idea of how she interacts with them. As for Ron and Dan, she has a very different relationship. She’s pretty smitten with Ron at first, and Dan is pretty nervous, but in a pretty funny way at first, and then obviously with Allen. It’s been so much fun to be back in a big cast again, and that’s what I like best, it’s working in a big group and seeing how the other actors approach the scenes and get really ready. react to whatever they want. So it was really fun to be in those scenes. They are all excellent actors and just play with whatever they throw at me, if that makes any sense.
How did you get into the mindset of playing Brenda?
What really stood out for me was that she was incredibly witty and a very fun, happy person, but also incredibly sharp and edgy, and I think it’s playing with that kind of dynamic – that’s what that we usually do as women. the box that we were asked to fit in, to be able to live comfortably, while also being aware of the fact that you are doing it. Playing that part, for example, the scene with her and the college professor, she plays it in a very fun way, but she really lets him know that he doesn’t want to mess with her.
What was the most challenging part of playing Brenda?
We see her a lot through flashbacks. I often think that with true crime, murder victims only become that way and are defined by their deaths, and I really wanted this to be an opportunity to celebrate her life and let her have a say. But the shots were pretty small, so I made as much impact as I could with the materials and time I had. That’s what’s really important to me.
What did you do when you thought the series was based on a horrible, true story?
I think there will be moments on set where you realize these are real events happening and I think it’s important to make sure to do as much research as you can. It’s really helpful to have Jon Krakauer’s book, a fascinating book to read and cover, and that’s really informative about a lot of things, not just this particular case, but just religion and faith, community type in general too – certain aspects of a particular section of a community, I wouldn’t say that in general.
What did you learn from playing Brenda that you will be involved in future projects?
I learned how important it is and how little women on screen help other women. Instead of canceling each other out or punctuating each other, really supporting and bringing each other up, and that kind of community, I think it’s a real kind of learning and something that I’m now on on my next projects. His will want to find a way to make sure that always tells.
Did you speak to any of the Brenda family members prior to filming?
Right before we started, I called Sharon, her sister, because I just wanted to check in and introduce myself because I was aware that this must be a very difficult thing to reminisce and experience. I just wanted to introduce myself because I can’t imagine what it would be like to have someone play your little sister considering what happened to her.
What would you say is the result of the series?
It’s certainly a cautionary tale for fundamentalism in general and in the same way, when times are tough, vulnerable people are vulnerable to it. So I think that’s definitely something, and personally, I hope people dismiss Brenda as a kind, empathetic person, that’s what I’ve learned, personally, That’s what I hope people get when they watch it.
What is it like to have such a loyal fan base on social media?
It so cute. I’m terrible at social media, so I didn’t even know it was a thing. That was my day. I hope to see the coming years as an agent of learning, I want to take risks on projects and I want to learn from that, and so it’s great to have people who care. focus on that journey. Hopefully they will forgive some of the mistakes I’ll make along the way.
The edited interview is long and clear.
Under the Banner of Heaven available to stream on Hulu.
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