You don’t see many collection constructed round a poisonous romantic relationship that begins throughout freshman 12 months of faculty — after which goes off the rails.

And that’s a part of what drew Meaghan Oppenheimer to “Tell Me Lies,” her new 10-episode Hulu collection starring Grace Van Patten and Jackson White that premiered Sept. 7.

“I feel there a few issues we haven’t seen a lot on TV. This is considerably grounded in a school relationship expertise nevertheless it’s additionally what an actual emotionally and mentally abusive poisonous relationship appears to be like like,” mentioned Oppenheimer who, as author/govt producer/ showrunner tailored Carola Lovering’s 2018 novel of the identical title. (Emma Roberts can be an govt producer).

“We went into this figuring out it was going to be a really polarizing story,” she mentioned. “It’s undoubtedly not an aspirational love story and we’re not attempting to glamorize this form of relationship.

“We’re simply attempting to indicate it as authentically as potential.”

The relationship in query revolves round Lucy Albright (Van Patten) and Stephen DeMarco (White), who meet-cute on Lucy’s first day at school. (Exteriors had been filmed at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.) Lucy is newly single — having damaged it off along with her highschool boyfriend — and is settling in along with her roommate Macy and her new across-the-hall buddies, Pippa (Sonia Mena) and Bree (Catherine Missal). Lucy is a bit aloof and has a rocky relationship along with her mom; Stephen says he’s “polarizing” and is clearly interested in Lucy — however nonetheless intermittently concerned along with his ex, Diana (Alicia Crowder), and coping with his personal points at house.

Grace Van Patten and Jackson White as Lucy and Stephen. They're at a frat party and their faces are very close. They look serious, and Lucy is holding a red plastic cup.
Grace Van Patten and Jackson White as Lucy and Stephen.

“The collection takes place in flashbacks and we see Lucy as an grownup who has form of ‘gotten clear’ from the addictive relationship and is now about to see her ex for the primary time in years,” Oppenheimer mentioned. “We flash again and see her as a really naive however secretly troubled 18-year-old and Stephen is the primary individual, in her thoughts, who sees her and doesn’t choose her … however because the collection continues you begin to marvel if he’s good or unhealthy.

“I don’t suppose we’ve seen this loads, particularly with this age group,” she mentioned. “Usually if it’s an abusive relationship it’s very clearly bodily abuse or he finally ends up being a assassin … however not these tiny little issues we do to one another. When I learn the e book I used to be very caught off-guard by the visceral response I had. I completely had a relationship that trigger me to undermine each little bit of my very own happiness and self-respect at instances.

“I feel that, if we’re sincere, lots of people have been there. The pursuit of love can typically be superb — however can deliver out some actually painful, determined, unhappy habits.”

Oppenheimer mentioned that Van Patten, 25, was forged first. “I feel it’s Lucy’s story when it comes all the way down to it,” she mentioned. “We solely learn six women and everybody was an completed actor, however Grace was simply Lucy. She goes to some fairly dark locations and does some unlikable issues over the course of the collection — so we would have liked an actress that, it doesn’t matter what, you continue to wish to watch her and be along with her even in case you don’t like what she’s doing.

“Grace is so likable and genuine and she or he’s simply cool. Lucy is a personality the place loads is assumed and never mentioned — all the things is in her eyes.”

Grace Van Patten as an older Lucy, who's been out of college about four years. She's wearing a summer dress at a party and is looking off-camera.
Grace Van Patten as Lucy, who’s older when “Tell Me Lies” opens its first episode.
Jackson White as Stephen. He's looking at Lucy (off-camera) in the restaurant. He has a beard and is wearing a dark sweater.
Jackson White as Stephen, who sweeps Lucy off her toes however is hiding many dark secrets and techniques.

Oppenheimer mentioned White, 26, was one of many final actors forged within the collection.

“He was truly the primary self-tape I noticed and I knew I wished him to be Stephen instantly,” she mentioned. His [audition] was completely weird and so bizarre; he broke all the principles. He was enjoying music and dancing and I used to be like, ‘This man actually has the boldness to play Stephen.’ I imply this in probably the most complimentary method … Jackson is a really odd performer. I don’t all the time know what he’s doing however he’s received probably the most charming method about him — and I can’t cease watching him.”

And, she mentioned, she hopes that “Tell Me Lies” can have the luxurious of a second season.

“This will not be the completion of their story, in any respect,” she mentioned. “It’s actually a coming-of-age story about this group of buddies creating who they’re; if you go to school it’s a primary try at enjoying grownup and getting to begin over. No one is aware of you from highschool and you may be whoever you wish to be. There’s a whole lot of freedom in that, and a whole lot of untruth.

“I do really feel that it’s a fairly relatable story,” she mentioned. “Everyone remembers that first relationship that kicked their ass.”

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