MINDHUNTER: Anna Torv interview
With Netflix in the mind of serial killers
If you’re looking for a new show to watch next weekend, on October 13 Netflix released Mindhunter. Adapted from the book Mindhunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by Mark Olshaker and John E Douglas, the series takes us back in time to 1977, but the real travel we are going to start is the one in the mind of serial killers. We are at the beginning of the FBI unit’s dedication to profiling “serial killers”, when the need to comprehend what motivates men to do such terrible acts was slowly taking shape. Without justifying it or diminishing it’s meaning.
Do you remember The Silence of the Lambs? Clarice and Hannibal Lecter? That connection that can occur between a cold-blooded killer and the agent questioning him? In Mindhunter you can find that, the thin line between fear and curiosity, licit and illicit, morally right and immoral. You would be won over by intense and cerebral dialogues and the 1970s atmosphere (accurately recreated through locations, vintage cars and wardrobes). And then there’s the relation between Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) so different from one another, to become the perfect partners. Forget the classic crime shows, full of action and gore, and get ready to give in to introspection. It's a travel through words that takes you into the folds of their brains (of both sides): yes, because by analyzing the evil we will end up questioning the good too. Add to the mix the fact that David Fincher (director of Fight Club, The Social Network and many others great movies, as well as the mind behind Netflix’s House of Cards) is one of the executive producers and you have all the elements to be drawn to this show.
In this predominantly male environment, the criminal profiler (as this role was referred to in those years) Wendy Carr, an incredibly strong woman, is ready to bring into line whoever tries to challenge her authority. Dr. Carr is played by Anna Torv, and we interviewed her for you:
What was your first reaction when you got the script?
I read the book first, and I really liked it. After they reached out to me I was very curious to find out how they adapted the story into a serialized series. I was impressed and fascinated by the transposition process, the storytelling was smart and fluid.
Do you think Mindhunter is a show for binge-watching or is better to savour it slowly?
I can tell you that I was astonished at how many people had already marathoned the season during the first weekend after the launch, there was so much social media activity. I love savouring a show with the right pace, with no hurry, but I can understand someone who wants to know the full story and ends up devouring episodes in no time.
Let’s talk about your character Wendy, based on Ann Wolbert Burgess, a trailblazer in the study of trauma and abuse on victims, who helped the FBI to profile figures like Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy. Did you ever meet her?
Sadly no, even though the Wendy character is inspired by rather than based on Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess. Like the serial killers you see in the show that are inspired by real events but aren't an exact transposition. I know Dr. Burgess story, and what she did at that time is incredible.
What's the main difference between you and Wendy, which side of her personality did you find more difficult to play?
She is so strong and determined, and that is essential in order to emerge in a male dominated environment. In a particular line, and agent forgot to address her properly (as Dr. Carr) and she interrupts and corrects him. I envy her strength and moral integrity.
Can you tell us something about season two?
I'd really like to but, alas, I don't know anything yet.
(English translation by Elimoncia)