Credit: Jason Hill
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Anna Torv delves into serial killer psychology on ‘Mindhunter’
Anna Torv talks about her role in “Mindhunter” with Cameron Williams in the October 23rd issue of The Monthly.
The notion of a serial killer doesn’t exist yet in the new Netflix series Mindhunter. The idea is floated for the first time when an FBI agent (Jonathan Groff) proposes that there may be “sequence killers”.
Set in America in the late 1970s, Mindhunter tells the true story of an understaffed FBI behavioral science unit (Groff, Holt McCallany and Anna Torv) that interviews serial killers and applies the knowledge to help solve ongoing cases. The series is executive produced by filmmaker David Fincher (who directs four episodes) and is adapted from the book Mind Hunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by Mark Olshaker and John E Douglas.
This was a time when the FBI struggled to comprehend what motivated men such as David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) and Charles Manson. There was resistance to the idea of empathising with killers, and agents spent more time on the gun range than studying psychology. An FBI chief tells the team, “It’s not our job to commiserate with these people. It is our job to electrocute them.”
Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en, Panic Room and Gone Girl) is back in the same territory he explored with Zodiac, but this time the ’70s presents a crossroads. The aftershocks from the Kennedy assassinations and Watergate are still being felt. J Edgar Hoover, who built the FBI from scratch according to his strict vision, is recently deceased. And for Mindhunter’s investigators, men with no motive are a terrifying prospect. The bureau must adapt or be outsmarted by evil. There’s a chilling realisation that these killers aren’t the savages they anticipated; they are intelligent, articulate and manipulative. While the bureau stalls, people are dying and the wits of local police officers are being eroded by the horrors they witness.
Enter Wendy Carr, a psychologist loosely based on Dr Ann Wolbert Burgess, a trailblazer in the study of trauma and abuse on victims and perpetrators of crime. Played by Australian actress Anna Torv, she is one of few female characters in a male-dominated show, and her point of view is vital to the series, especially when most of the violence is against women. Think Clarice Starling entering an elevator full of her male peers in Silence of the Lambs.
When I spoke with Torv on the phone from Los Angeles, she was upbeat about her role as one of the small number of female characters with a pulse. “We’re in the late 1970s in the FBI and things are a little different but Wendy goes into a room and she doesn’t care – and I went with that,” Torv says. “You go in and fight your cause, not in an aggressive way but you fight for it.”
A SAG-AFTRA nominations screening of Mindhunter was held at ArcLight Cinema Hollywood on October 23rd, 2017. Anna Torv, Jonathan Groff, and Holt McCallany spoke with Deadline Senior Editor Dominic Patten in a Q+A panel after the screening. Click HERE to view more photos from this event in our galleries.
‘Mindhunter’ Cast on the FBI’s Obsession, Getting Personal, and the Moments That Most Got Under Their Skin
Anna Torv and her co-stars talk Mindhunter in a new Variety Magazine article.
“Wendy’s got a very specific function, and it was nice to be able to pop out of that for a little while and see the person in there,” Torv says of her character, who was inspired by Dr. Ann Burgess, a forensic nurse and crime victim expert.
Even without seeing the crimes, there is a lot about “Mindhunter” that stayed with the cast long after they stopped shooting. “Those Kemper scenes were just so bloody brilliant,” says Torv. “I’ve never seen anything like that on television.”
You can read the full article HERE
Chilling hunt all in the mind
Anna Torv talks Mindhunter and working with David Fincher in the October 10th issue of The West Australian!
Australian actress Anna Torv was so thrilled to be considered for a part in the series that she began to immerse herself in Douglas’ world even before her audition.
“I’d actually read the book before I went into the audition,” the 38-year-old Melbourne native recalls by phone from Los Angeles. “Then when I got the part I really got into it, I think there was a week where I really dug deep … then I just went, you know what, I just don’t want to read about this stuff anymore, so I took a step back.”
Torv portrays psychologist and university professor Wendy, a character loosely based on psychiatric nurse Dr Anne Wolbert Burgess who is seldom mentioned in Douglas’ book.
“My research and reading wasn’t so much character based, I looked at a lot of academic literature of what psychopathy is, how it presents. I think I kind of just took that term kind of like how Wendy does, like is there a way we can identify this, is there a way we can prevent this and help them get out of these situations …is it nature or nurture, all that kind of stuff,” Torv explains.
“(During filming) I had to go back and look at my notes too because we’re in 1979 and you forget how huge the leaps have been since then.”
On working with award-winning director/executive producer Fincher (Gone Girl, House of Cards) on Mindhunter, which also counts Charlize Theron among the executive producing team, Torv says it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“He’s fantastic as a director, I found him incredibly generous and also assured, which is a great thing when you’… taking direction,” she says.
“He is a perfectionist, you can see that in his work. You look at a frame and its always just so perfectly beautiful. Like it’s marred, but on purpose, he just sees everything and then doesn’t stop.”
You can read the full article in our galleries HERE
Credit: The West Australian
Mindhunter Production Notes
Netflix has released new Mindhunter production notes featuring comments from Anna Torv.
Ford and Tench have sometimes contradictory views and the audience’s empathy will switch between them, says Groff: “They’ll think ‘I understand where Holden is coming from’ in this moment. Tench is more world-weary, but there are moments when his perspective is more relatable. Then you have Anna Torv’s character, who’s an incredibly intelligent psychologist. You understand her perspective.”
Torv is best known to television audiences playing an FBI agent herself, in the paranormal investigation series Fringe. But here the Australian has a more academic interest. “She’s fascinated with what they’ve come up with,” says Torv, of her character, Dr. Wendy Carr, a professor of behavioral psychology intrigued by the possibilities of this improvised study of psychopaths. “Because she thinks it can help not only people in law enforcement, but it’s her area of interest as well. There really isn’t a way to find people like this, let alone sit down and interview them. So she’s incredibly excited.”
[Tobias] Lindholm shot episodes five and six, staying in Pittsburgh for three months. He worked closely with all three main characters, and of Anna Torv said, “I was lucky enough to work a great deal with Anna, since her character really steps into and tries to make her way in this masculine world in these episodes.”
You can read the full article in our galleries HERE
Credit: The Fincher Analyst
Anna Torv Attends “Lucky” Premiere
Celebrating #HarryDeanStanton at the #LuckyFilm Premiere! 🐢🌵 #AnnaTorv pic.twitter.com/mNAtCRwTyC
— LuckyFilm2017 (@LuckyFilm2017) September 27, 2017
Netflix has released new Mindhunter artwork featuring Anna Torv, Jonathan Groff, and Holt McCallany!
In Conversation w/ Anna Torv
Anna Torv pictured with the wonderful @jennycooneycarrillo who moderated our exclusive industry event earlier this month. Thanks so much for a great night! You too can get involved in awesome nights like these by becoming a member of AiF today! Just hit the link in our bio 👆& what better way to meet other #industry folk and #creatives living and working in LA #australia #hollywood #australiansinfilm #annatorv #industrynight #dreambig