“A Friend of the Family” is no light lift. In fact, even someone dealing with 14 hours a day of ADR had to go out for a walk between edits. The story behind the Peacock series is a true one: Bob “B” Berchtold was a family man who kidnapped Jan Broberg when she was 12 and again when she was 14 and sexually assaulted her multiple times. He also had sexual encounters with her parents.
His crimes were overlooked because of the times and also because he was a trusted man in the community – and the Broberg family trusted him.
Many actors would avoid tackling such a daunting task as playing Berchtold. Instead, Jake covered Lacey’s head, especially after learning that the real Jan Broberg was a producer on the show and that no sexual assault would be shown. In order to get into the disturbing headspace of a lovable man with a very dark side, Lassie imagined him as something entirely different.
I have replaced these kidnappings or the sexual motives behind the kidnappings with robbery. He thinks it’s Danny Ocean pulling this caper off. In society at large, he presents himself as Steve McQueen. Lacey says he wants to be the dangerous, cool, edgy guy in this LDS community in Pocatello, Idaho. “I channeled a lot of that ego and got charisma, and took on charm and spunk.”
For Lacey, the “unknown” part of the story is that Berchtold “thinks he’s in love with January.”
I read “Lolita”. The little girl’s nickname is Dolly, which I think lifted him straight up, obviously. This book begins with a basic sense of teenage lovemaking or that first sexual interaction mixed with the thought that the only way to get that feeling back is with someone of that age — though You’re now in your 30s,” she continues. “He’s also trying to convince this person that he’s in love with him, which you can do at any age with anyone at any age. So, it was like substituting the fact that I’m talking to a kid with the idea, I’m talking to someone my age who cares about him and who isn’t interested in me.” He’s a prisoner, too.”
For Broberg, who was happy to tell her story through creator Nick Antosca’s eyes to help others who’ve gone through abuse, it was important for Berchtold to play someone who was “lovable, likable, charismatic, kind, and service-oriented” — all that Lacey is.
“You have to believe he’s a good dad, otherwise you won’t get caught up in it. That’s the story I want to make sure people hear because it’s someone they’re close to; it’s what they don’t see because they’re close to them. They actually love them. They trust them,” she says. “When I heard it was Jake Lacy, I should write him a letter and leave it in his dressing room before he comes over to say, ‘Do it, and know that you are a fully formed human being because if you don’t indulge your charisma and charm, you can’t really tell the story.'”
Broberg and Lacy were “nervous” to meet each other, for very different reasons. For her, it was because “I knew he was perfect,” she says, imagining coming face-to-face with the actor portraying her kidnapper.
“I was worried that having so much familiarity and connection with Jan on a personal level would somehow prevent me from having the kind of dehumanizing distance as Berchtold where he doesn’t see people as people,” Lacey recalls. “He doesn’t see this girl as a little girl. It’s a desire entity.”
After a pause, he revealed that “the opposite was proven to be true” after he met Roberg while filming the second episode. “That friendship helped settle the business more than it changed it because you see the person you’re doing the work for.”
Since he started acting 14 years ago, Lacy has mostly been portrayed as a nice guy. It wasn’t an intentional decision but as an actor, he was just happy to work. Then came “The White Lotus”, where he took on the role of Shane Patton, a rich man who has the right to get what he wants and not worry about the treatment of others.
“The real creative excitement is being the one to drive this story forward. That’s really fun,” Lacey says of the lead roles. “I’m thrilled I got the other experience, and now it’s cool to see the other gear he has to go to. But it’s less like, give me you bastards. I feel like I’ve already gotten really bad, so it’s just from here. I mean, am I going to run the mill.” Puppy? “
For Lacey, taking on a role is strictly about script.
“I always love stories where people with limited abilities or resources or whatever is going on in their heads and have to find a way out. Berchtold did it in the middle of the show. Shit goes off the rails for him, and he just starts going into the crazy town to get things back under control.” Lacey says. “That’s what makes the first ‘Die Hard’ movie so great. He’s not a superhero. He’s just a successful New York cop who happens to take on terrorists. That’s what makes the early ‘Bourne’ movies so amazing. He’s cool and has a real helplessness in having no idea. about where he is or where he’s supposed to be. You just see a guy who’s a little bit more of us, as viewers, striving for success. Those are the ones I respond to in any kind.”
So does that mean he’s not interested in playing a superhero?
“I think it’s really hard with those. I’m not saying, ‘Marvel, please don’t call,’” he says. “This is showbiz. Being publicly known and also having a successful career go hand in hand. I don’t really know any of these guys personally, but I don’t know anyone who has that level of public presence that’s like, “Yeah, having so many people knowing me everywhere I go makes me feel good.” It really solved a lot of my anxiety. That’s a real concern for me where I’m like, what’s the ceiling for my happiness and my success? “
While Lacey is now more known than ever after “The White Lotus,” he notes that he “don’t get bullied”—and he’s glad he did.
“It’s very different from pushing your kids in the park and people like that [sneaking a photo]. Or just things on the Internet, where you get messages and hate and things where you go, “Whoa, I don’t want to be a part of it,” Lacey says. “It stresses me out, how much it’s like, ‘I’m in the world and I’ve invited them to judge and yell at me. No, thanks!'”