Nick Antosca (‘A Friend of the Family’ showrunner): A story ‘too disturbing, too uncomfortable, too hard to comprehend’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“This is too disturbing, too uncomfortable, too hard to comprehend” admits creator and showrunner Nick Antosca, on his initial hesitation about adapting limited series “A Friend of the Family” for television. For our recent webchat he adds, “I was incredibly fascinated by the story, so I read more about it. I read the book,” he says, “and when I started to hear it in their voice a little bit more and experience the slow burn of the story, because it took place over six years … I started to experience it more the way that they experienced it. I realized it was a story about how people didn’t see something and because of that, there was a psychological and compelling story that hadn’t really been told.” We talked with Antosca as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2022/2023 awards contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

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In the Peacock original true crime series “A Friend of the Family,” Emmy nominee Jake Lacy (“The White Lotus) plays Robert “B” Berchtold, a close friend and neighbor of the Broberg family. In 1974, he kidnaps their daughter at age 12, and shockingly manipulates his way back into their good graces and kidnaps her again at age 14. The stranger-than-fiction story co-stars Oscar winner Anna Paquin (“The Piano”) as Mary Ann Broberg and Emmy nominees Mckenna Grace (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Colin Hanks (“Fargo”) respectively play her daughter Jan Broberg and husband Bob Broberg as a family with strong Christian values that prove to be all too forgiving and naive when B not only kidnaps the teenager, but seduces each of the couple on separate occasions.

The series’ strong ensemble is led by a mesmerizing Lacy, who plays this wolf in sheep’s clothing to great effect, a man whose charm hides an insidious and manipulative evil below the surface. “I knew he was a terrific actor, I’d followed his career for a while. I thought coming into it that he’s known as the nice guy and there’s articles about the nice guys that Jake Lacy has played,” Antosca explains about casting Lacy as the nefarious B. “He kind of turned that on its head a little bit in ‘The White Lotus’ and then really turned it on its head here. I never doubted that he could do it. Just from the first couple days I was like, ‘oh my God, he’s, he’s terrifying!'”

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