Paramount+ - all six episodes available from Thurs 21 Jul
Deadly intent? Hollywood star Renée Zellweger talks murder...
Taking an oddly comedic approach to a real-life murder story, Renée Zellweger executive produces and stars as Pam Hupp, supposed best friend of cancer-stricken Betsy Faria (Katy Mixon), who was found murdered at her home in Troy, Missouri, on 27 December 2011.
Betsy’s husband, Russ (Glenn Fleshler), arrived home from a friend’s house that evening and found her on the floor with stab wounds and a kitchen knife in her neck. Police felt his 911 call was ‘OTT’ and were convinced he’d killed his wife. He was convicted, but later exonerated in a high-profile case that would ultimately lead to criminal charges against Hupp.
‘There’s simply nothing that isn’t fascinating about this case. It’s just a series of escalating absurdities,’ says Renée, who wears a padded body suit and facial prosthetics to play Hupp.
‘Prosecuting Attorney Leah Askey [Judy Greer], who ran the case against Russ, had been newly elected to a high-profile position and there was a lot of pressure on her, as a woman in a male-dominated field. She was doing her best to try to deliver a result.
‘I was trying to understand the motivations behind the decisions that were made.
‘This case does speak a lot about confirmation bias and how we can all perceive what’s in front of us differently, either because we are looking through the prism of our own experiences, or because we want what we see to tell one particular side of the story, in order to substantiate a conclusion,’ says Renée.
‘It made me think about what my mom talked about with me – the invisibility of middle-aged and older women in the US, and how, in this particular case, it may have worked to someone’s advantage.’