Stirring the pot. Tell Me Lies explored some major toxic relationships, steamy sex scenes and shocking deaths — and the second season will keep throwing obstacles at the main characters.
The Hulu series, which is based on a novel by Carola Lovering, introduced a story about Lucy’s (Grace Van Patten) troubling connection with Stephen (Jackson White) during her freshman year of college. During an eight-year time period, the couple wreaked havoc in their own lives and created chaos for their friends as well.
Ahead of the show’s debut in September 2022, White opened up about bringing such an unlikable character to life.
“It’s always lined up for me so that the role comes at a perfect time for where I am in my life. And I was at a point where I was really fed up,” he shared with Esquire. “I didn’t really work for a while, and the pandemic happened. I stayed at home, feeling sorry for myself, and then I had a switch. I just got a different fire, a different motivation for it all. And it made me feel really free, like I could really just do what I want.”
The actor continued: “I wasn’t really afraid of how I looked in these auditions or how I was being perceived, and I think that perfectly lined up with this guy. Steven’s superpower became not caring what other people think, and that worked with this fed-up attitude I was having in my career.”
Meanwhile, Patten recalled how reading the book after she booked the show eased her into the drama.
“Those are the bones of Lucy and helped me so much get the full understanding of her. And then there were things that I really wanted that were important to me,” she explained to Deadline one month later. “In the book, I feel like she is a little bit more of a victim in this situation. And in the show, I think it absolutely takes two to tango and Lucy becomes just as manipulative and just as out of control as Stephen is and is just as in the wrong sometimes. And I think that’s really real to me. Sure, in the beginning he’s taking advantage of her, and she’s being whipped around, but she stoops to his level. He brings out the worst.”
According to showrunner Meaghan Oppenheimer, the plan for season 2 is to kick everything up a notch.
“I think there will be some revenge plots in Season 2,” the writer told TVLine in October 2022, referring to Lucy knowing Stephen’s secret about the car accident. “I don’t think that [Lucy] can tell people about [Stephen] being in the car because he made it so clear to her that if she were to tell that, she also have to admit all these other things, and I don’t think she’s at a place where she’s willing to risk that social annihilation and admit how badly she behaved, especially now that she’s seen that it wasn’t even worth it.”
Oppenheimer noted that the various romances will expand, adding, “I want to see a new love interest for Lucy: a new, complicated, messy thing to go alongside her never-ending thing with Stephen. Also, I hope to see a lot more of the ensemble characters.”
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