Julianne Nicholson, who plays Lori on Mare of Easttown, has said she was “sort of relieved” when she read the script for the series finale – as she had worried her character would be revealed as the culprit.
The HBO crime drama stars Kate Winslet as small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan, who is investigating the local murder of teenage mother Erin McMenamin.
***Spoilers follow! You have been warned!***
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Nicholson explained that, before taking the role, she was sent the scripts for the first six episodes, and only later received the script for Monday nights’s climactic finale.
“When I was reading it I was like, oh no is Lori going to be the killer?,” said Nicholson. “I had already agreed to do it at that time and I was like, I don't want to kill a teenage girl! I was sort of relieved when it was my son.”
The final episode of the whodunnit series, which aired in the UK on Monday (31 May), contained a number of twists. Lori’s husband John Ross (Joe Tippett) is revealed to be the father of Erin McMenamin’s child DJ, and he confesses to murdering her.
However, in the final act it emerges that both Lori and John were covering for the real killer, their young son Ryan (Cameron Mann).
Nicholson also weighed in on the question of whether Lori was right to conceal the truth from Mare, saying she “would have done the same thing”.
“Also because it's John's fault and he'll take the blame,” she elaborated, arguing that her husband should take ultimate responsibility for the crime.
“I mean, you don't want to pick apart my answer... it's not foolproof, this plan. But it all happened because of John, and he's happy to take the rap for it. It was an accident on Ryan's behalf. It should have never happened.”
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Nicholson continued: “But if John's willing to serve the punishment, then I would be fine with that. Let the kid live his life not in jail. Going to visit him in that place was awful. When she asked him, ‘Are you making any new friends?’ It's just like such a terrible thing to imagine.”
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