Eric Lange co-stars in the Netflix limited series “Unbelievable” as Detective Robert Parker, who investigates the rape of Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) and wrongly dismisses it as a false report. Considering this character, on top of the current national protests against police brutality, the actor realizes, “It’s a job I don’t want. I would never want to be in that position … but I feel like if that is your job, then it is your obligation to do everything you can to do it well … At the end of the day I think we have to hold law enforcement to a higher standard.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Lange above.
“Unbelievable” is based on the true story of an investigation into a serial sexual predator and one victim who was accused of lying when she reported her own assault. Lange wasn’t familiar with the case before this series came along, and “I was shocked that I hadn’t. It did feel like it was almost impossible that something like that could happen … There’s an inherent sort of ignorance there,” since there was literature available that could have informed the detective about how to approach a rape victim and investigation, but he didn’t even understand the mistakes he was making, so he “really screwed it up.”
Detective Parker is based on a real-life police sergeant who has since expressed remorse over his handling of the case. Indeed, Parker eventually realizes the magnitude of his mistake, and showing his regret was a meaningful part of telling this story. “In this era of police brutality and this magnifying glass that has been put on the police system, I have to admire when that humanity is able to come through,” says Lange. And it goes to show that you don’t have to be a monster to cause grave harm. Recognizing that in ourselves can help us know better and do better for the people who need it.
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