Love & Death, a highly anticipated release on HBO Max in 2023, is based on a true crime story of Candy Montgomery and the murder of Betty Gore. The series is being brought to life by writer David E. Kelley and director Lesli Linka Glatter, with Elizabeth Olsen playing the lead role. The miniseries is set in 1980 Wylie, Texas and draws inspiration from the 1984 book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs and a collection of Texas Monthly articles titled Love & Death in Silicon Prairie, Part I & II, by Jim Atkinson and John Bloom. Although the story has been previously portrayed in Hulu’s Candy, Love & Death has garnered significant attention due to its source material and the talent behind it. The series will premiere on April 27, 2023, with the first three episodes available right away, and the remaining episodes released weekly starting on May 25. Here is a detailed guide to the cast and characters ahead of the series debut.
Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery
Following her critically acclaimed performance in the Disney+ series WandaVision, where she reprised her MCU role as Wanda Maximoff, Elizabeth Olsen was announced as the lead in Love & Death. According to Kevin Beggs, the chairperson of Lionsgate Television Group, Olsen was the perfect choice for the role of Candy Montgomery, a 30-year-old Texas wife and mother who allegedly killed her friend Betty Gore with an axe. The series delves into the complex psychology of Candy, and Olsen’s Emmy-nominated acting abilities make her a perfect fit for the role. The series will also feature Jophielle Love portraying a younger version of Candy, likely in flashback scenes that explore her past and provide insight into her personality and psyche.
Jesse Plemons as Allan Gore
Jesse Plemons has been cast to play Allan Gore, Candy Montgomery’s lover and the husband of Betty Gore in Love & Death. Betty and Allan first met when she was a student and he was a teacher’s assistant at a Texas college. Their marriage began to fall apart after the birth of their second child, leading Allan to start an affair with Candy. She had explicitly asked him to do so during one of their weekly volleyball matches.
Plemons is well-known for his portrayal of Todd Alquist in the fifth season of Breaking Bad. He has also received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his roles in the FX anthology series Fargo (2015) and the Netflix anthology series Black Mirror (2017).
Lily Rabe as Betty Gore
Lily Rabe will portray the role of Betty Gore in Love & Death, a character who meets a gruesome end after being struck 41 times with an axe. Betty reportedly suffered from post-partum depression after giving birth to her first child with Allan, but it went untreated due to a lack of awareness about the condition in the 1970s. After the birth of their second child, Betty became increasingly withdrawn. According to the infamous story, Betty discovers Allan’s affair with Candy through love letters and their confrontation ends in her alleged murder. Rabe is well-known for her numerous roles in the FX anthology horror series American Horror Story and her performance as Portia in The Merchant of Venice on Broadway. She will soon make her directorial debut with Downtown Owl and star in the film alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Finn Wittrock.
In addition to the main cast, Love & Death will feature several recurring actors, including Olivia Grace Applegate (known for her role in Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always) as Carol Crowder, Fabiola Andújar as Mary Adams, Elizabeth Marvel (best known for her work in The District) as Jackie Ponder, Kira Pozehl (from American Crime) as Elaine Williams, and Ryan Murphy as Collins County Sheriff. Child actors Amelie Dallimore and Harper Heath will also have roles in the series, with Dallimore portraying Candy and Pat’s daughter Jenny Montgomery and Heath playing Betty and Allan’s daughter Alisa Gore.