Robert “B”. Berchtold was a difficult figure for Jake Lacy. Considering how a real predator manipulated the Broberg family to seduce, s*xually abuse and kidnap actor Jan Broberg as a child between 1972 and 1976, this may not seem surprising.

The actor said Newsweek what it was like to put on a p*dophile mask in the true crime drama of Pavia Family’s friend. Speaking of Zoom, Lacy spoke of how he always wanted to leave the character behind when the cameras cut off, because “it wasn’t where you wanted to live in real life.”

There were a few moments where he felt “uncomfortable” playing Berchtold, but one in particular was remembered by the actor.

Jake Lacy as Robert ‘B.’ Berchtold in “A Friend of the Family”. The actor spoke to Newsweek about playing the real predator who targeted Jan Broberg between 1972 and 1976 and nurtured, manipulated and kidnapped her as a child.
Paw / Fernando Decillis

Jake Lacy at a point where he was “really uncomfortable” playing Robert Berchtold

In real life, Berchtold turned out to be the perfect friend of the family of Mary Ann and Bob Broberg (played by Anna Paquin and Colin Hanks) in order to track down Jan (Mckenna Grace), going so far as to establish a s*xual relationship with both of Jan’s parents.

Lacy explained that in order to play Berchtold, he had to understand the way a real man thinks and how he will be “being the good guy” as a way to serve his own interests. But that mask came off every time Berchtold came close to achieving his goal, according to Lacy.

“He’s kind of a cut in his own life, like,” Okay, this moment is over, I can go back to the shark that I am and not pretend to be that pathetic neighbor, “Lacy said.

On set, Lacy tried to “succumb to the same fantasy or story that Berchtold tells himself,” saying that the perpetrator saw himself as “Steve McQueen, this is Danny Ocean who is making the robbery.”

“It was what it should be for Berchtold, fun and satisfying, and a dangerous, s*xy whim because that’s reality to him,” Lacy explained. “And then you see that this cut against the influence it has on this family and this juxtaposition creates tension against each other. That being said, it was easy to leave the day behind because it was creatively satisfying. “

Lacy’s associates Paquin and Hanks were good role models for him when it comes to getting rid of Berchtold’s character after a day of shooting, as they were able to do the same to their roles as Jan Broberg’s parents.

“They made it up organically: turn it off, leave it on, then go to work and get my hair and makeup, wardrobe and then turn the lights back on and go get it, then turn them off again,” he said.

“I play a guy who thinks he’s Steve McQueen there for the six months we shoot this, living in some imaginary alternate reality” our daughter has been kidnapped by a s*xual predator, we don’t know where she is. ” This is not a place where you want to live, of course in real life, but also pretend. It’s not nice. “

While the subject of the show was dark, it was not on set that Lacy felt the importance of playing a person like Berchtold the most – it was much later.

“I really saw the first episode at the first screening,” Lacy said. “I didn’t see anything connected. It was the most inconvenient thing in the whole process as my character doesn’t feel guilty or ashamed for what he is doing. filming it, so there is a certain ease in it, ”he added.

“But then seeing it, being at the show, and realizing that Jan is there and Mary Ann and the family are sitting with you, and in this narrative way they see his influence on our show as well as in watching them … it was probably the first time, when I thought, “Oh, I’m part of this thing that’s really inconvenient” in a great way, in a necessary way.

“But in many ways, filming it was easier than watching it.”

About Jan Broberg’s “Beautiful” cameo in the final

Jan Broberg in the Friend of the Family
Jan Broberg plays a child psychologist in the “Friend of the Family” finale, who dramatizes the experiences she went through at the hands of Robert Berchtold. Lacy told Newsweek how she found it “beautiful” that Broberg could appear on the show.
Peacock

In the finale, which aired on Peacock on November 10, the real character was played by Jan Broberg, the therapist of her screen counterpart.

Although Lacy did not share the scene with Broberg in the finale, he felt it was a “brilliant and amazing” idea to include her in the story of her own story.

“I didn’t know John would be in it, and I saw her that day, and she said” today “and I thought” what for? ” [and she said] “I play a child psychologist,” Lacy said.

“I have so much love for her and for Nick [Antosca, the showrunner] and all that cast and crew. It really shows their shared nature and honesty, and her talent and grace to step into it and say, “I want to play this role.”

“I think she has had years of therapy, work and healing that led to it. It’s not that production was a healing moment. But the surrealism of her sitting opposite 15-year-old Jan Broberg and talking to her about how he does it – aside from Hollywood and TV – a really beautiful, crazy thing.

“She’s wonderful about it. You don’t say “oh that’s the person they brought,” you say, “oh, this person is really good. Oh, is that Jan Broberg? Oh my God!” It’s so cool. I was delighted. “

Family’s friend sees Lacy end his time as Berchtold with an infested character desperately trying to contact Jan, who refuses to answer his calls. In fact, Berchtold was still trying to contact her and when she and her mother released their book Stolen Innocence: The Story of Jan Broberg, she had to get a restraining order against him.

It was right for Lacy to end the drama this way, because “it’s the story of John and the story of the Brobergs,” so it made the most sense.

“I absolutely think it’s the ending, right on the timeline at this point – the narrative is crucial because it’s at home, the family is back together. It’s so hard to end a story that is technically a “real crime”. it’s not full of despair and sadness, most likely d*ath, Lacy thought.

Jake Lacy
Jake Lacy attends the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s “Friend of the Family” show at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Robin Williams Center on November 10, 2022 in New York. Lacy spoke to Newsweek and expressed her gratitude for Jan Broberg’s presence on the program.
Theo Wargo / Getty Images

“Completing the program with the potential for healing and hope, family and community in an organic way is [crucial]. I have no part in this, but my hat is completely returned to Nick, the writers and Lauren [Wolkstein] who directed the episode and Jan. For them, organically sticking to this landing is so important.

In the finale, a video of Jan in her court case against Berchtold was shown, in which she told her torturer that he should admit his offenses and serve time for it, and explained that Berchtold continued to use others after Broberg.

“This footage of Jan confronting Berchtold in court is so powerful,” said Lacy. “After watching these nine episodes where the actors try to show what it was like and then show how strong, brave, articulate and grounded Jan is in the face of his predator as an adult, she just accomplishes more than she can ever do. I hope you play as actors, you know?

“IN [finale]Berchtold is said to have hunted girls and families for decades. They don’t end it with the words “and then drifted off into the shadows.” In the narrative we show that there is an essence [it]for their family it retreats into the darkness but is still there at night.

“And the reality is, a woman in a psychiatric ward [Berchtold was in]they have been in a relationship for years and throughout that time he has abused her daughter from 12 to 17 years old, along with unknown numbers of other young girls.

“So I think both in that [footage] in the end, and this [information] it also speaks of John’s intention to say that it continues, not that “oh my story, my abuse at his hands is over here and therefore all is well.”

Lacy continued:[Jan and Mary Ann Broberg] they were writing books, taking him to court, going on book trips, talking to groups, breaking the silence, not just backing off and saying, “Here we’ll deal with our pain and let’s hope nothing happens. They want to be offensive and say “it’s a predator.” That guy over there.

“I think her intention, on the whole, is to say” the silence is what allows it to last. ” It’s easy to call someone who is a stranger in the dark, it’s extremely hard to have these conversations when it’s your swim coach, your neighbor, your uncle, your grandfather, your scoutmaster, your parishioner at the church you go to, whatever it is. .

“The silence is what allows these people to continue to prey on their children, whether it’s 1976 or 2022.”

Family’s friend he’s on Peacock now.

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