Dirty John, is a new Bravo series based on the real lives of a designer and a doctor/grifter that was initially covered by the Los Angeles Times and then turned into a popular podcast. The much-anticipated series stars American Horror Story‘s Connie Britton and Eric Bana.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Britton and Bana got together at the Vulture Festival to share their individual insights on the Bravo series, which they agree is a cautionary tale.
Britton says her team told her that the network wanted her to play the lead role of Debra, and so she listened to the podcast of the same name and was immediately hooked. She said that no arm twisting was necessary.
“I didn’t have to be convinced at all, because I was really pulled in by the story. And I was intrigued it had already been pulled into the zeitgeist. I just jumped right in.”
But Britton wanted to dive in deeper and met with the real Debra several times to learn more from a personal point of view.
“[It was fascinating] to see how they remembered things differently. It was really helpful and great.”
Eric Bana, on the other hand, saw a benefit in not meeting John, because he explains it gave him the freedom to develop his own “Dirty John” in his head.
“It gave me freedom. Sometimes you feel the urge or you want to get in contact [with the real person]. Sometimes it can be very freeing not taking that path. For me, it wouldn’t have been practical anyway. I took the attitude that I was going to find John myself. I was more interested in his behavior than him.”
Both Connie Britton and Eric Bana are serving as executive producers on the project, which gives both more creative control than usual. Bana said that learning that Britton wanted that much involvement is one of the things which convinced him to sign on.
“It’s a really nice feeling when, as two actors investing in a project where you’re basically going to be the face of it, that you’re involved at the level. It gave me a lot of security. It was nice to have a seat at the table, so if Connie and I had issues [with anything we had to do], we could present them together. But we’re all a team.”
Britton says that in talking to Debra, she understands the responsibility in telling the story of a real person.
“She hopes her story will maybe be a cautionary tale for other women.”