The second season of the acclaimed USA anthology series "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick story" is back with stars Christian Slater and Amanda Peet starring in a new sordid tale of true love gone horribly wrong.
Season two features the story of Betty Broderick, who was convicted of the killing of her ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, and his second wife, Linda (Kolkena) Broderick in 1989. At a second trial on Dec. 11, 1991, Broderick was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and later sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison.
Series stars Slater and Peet spoke to NBC about why they signed on to bring Broderick's story to the small screen and why America's fascination with love stories gone wrong show no signs of ebbing.
Ok, so what attracted each of you to the project?
Slater: Amanda Peet!
Peet: He’s the sweetest. I’m swooning. I don’t get a lot of roles that are interesting at all so I was very excited when I read the script. I knew that Christian was already attached and was a huge fan of his, so it was really a no-brainer.
Slater: Alexandra Cunningham did write a script that was fantastic. These two people became such tabloid fodder that you could really lose the humanity of who they were. I think Alexandra was really interested in telling a story of two human beings... about a real relationship and seeing what it was like, where they came from, where they started, the familial influences that they both had to end up psychologically winding them up into the tragic ending that they both had.
Were either of you following the case at the time as it was happening?
Peet: I wasn’t. I was in New York at the time.
Slater: I wasn’t either. I didn’t know anything about it until I spoke to Alexandra that first time. We had lime an hour and a half meeting ..we did it over Face-time actually ..she filled me in and I was fascinated that she was interested in telling a fair and balanced story by making both of these characters two human beings you could actually identify with. You can be understanding of where Betty is coming from at certain times. And you can also be also understand where Dan may have been coming from at certain times. Dan also had the built in arrogance power hungry characteristics that I think fed a lot of the insanity that ended up ensuing .
Was it a difficult role for you Amanda, trying to find the humanity in a woman convicted of a double homicide?
Peet: I try to leave that up to Alexandra. I think that one of the important things for me to do my job is to kind of relinquish all judgement and as best I could not to think about it from an aerial view or from an ethical standpoint, but rather just really try to get into her shoes and understand her point of view. It was hard. It was hard for me to when she's abusive toward her children and just relentlessly rageful and abusive. It's hard for me as a mother to understand how you could let go of your empathy for your children
Why do you believe people continue to have such a voracious appetite for these love stories gone horribly wrong?
Slater: We’re all very similar. We love a train wreck. We’re all rubberneckers. It’s also reality. To a large degree, this isn’t that unusual of a story. I mean I think the ending is unusual, but I think there's so much that you can relate to that it strikes a very personal chord within each and every one of us.
"Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story" premiers June 2 on USA network.