‘Love & Death’ Stars Explain Why The Candy Montgomery Axe Murder Saga Is Still So Compelling After 40 Years

All’s fair in “Love & Death”? That’s still up for debate.

Elizabeth Olsen stars in the new HBO Max limited series as Candy Montgomery, the real-life Texas homemaker and mother who was acquitted of murdering her lover’s wife with an axe in 1980. Jesse Plemons and Lily Rabe round out the love triangle as Allan and Betty Gore, the husband with whom Candy has an affair and the new mother of two who loses her life after discovering the tryst.

Access Hollywood spoke with the acclaimed actors in Los Angeles this week and the trio explained why Candy’s story and its outcome remain so fascinating after all these years.

“It’s a very bizarre story,” Jesse said, adding, “It’s hard to believe it even happened.”

The actor went on to note that despite Candy having ultimately committed the gruesome act, the events that led to such a shocking tragedy aren’t so clear.

“It’s hard to outright say one person was the cause for this. There’s not a clear antagonist [or] villain,” he said, sharing that the complex characters were just one facet of the story that drew him to be part of the project.

For Elizabeth’s part, she explained approaching Candy’s simmering inner turmoil and how she believes it could explode in such a horrific way.

“It was really about the time and the place,” the Marvel star told Access, explaining that Candy’s progressive thinking and desire for more out of life may have conflicted with her small-town community that strived to protect its long-standing traditions.

“I think she’s someone who cares a lot about what people think about her and how tightly do you hold on to that?” she continued. “How tightly do you grip it until something snaps? And so that kind of energized me into trying to make sense of certain questionable decisions that are made along the way.”

“Love & Death” premieres its first three episodes Thursday, April 27 on Max, with each new episode dropping weekly.

— Erin Biglow

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