EXCLUSIVE | 'Into the Dark: Delivered' star Tina Majorino says playing a serial killer is 'the most fun' she's ever had
You may know her as Mac from 'Veronica Mars' but the Mothers' Day installment sees Majorino as a twisted psychopath preying on pregnant women for what she can't have: a child
Spoilers for 'Into the Dark: Delivered'
It's not every day you see a torturous psychopath targeting pregnant women. It's not every day you get to play one on screen either. So when Tina Majorino — yes, our beloved Mac from 'Veronica Mars' and Florence from 'Scorpion' — was offered the role of Jenny on Hulu's anthology horror 'Into the Dark: Delivered', she felt challenged and scared at once.
And that's exactly what drew her to a role that she will have you convinced was the most fun she has had in a while. In a casual chat with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Majorino talks about playing a character far outside the realm that she is used to and the significance of being compassionate to strike a balance in torture scenes.
Apart from her due research and extensive conversations on the character's backstory, what helped Majorino make Jenny stand apart in a world full of serial killer fanatics is how she is unlike any at all.
She is your regular Joe Goldberg; abused and tortured by her own parents, now stalking and kidnapping pregnant women because they can have something she can't anymore: a child.
Dropping hot as the anthology horror's Mother's Day installment, 'Delivered' sees Majorino as the villain who falls apart courtesy her latest victim — Natalie Paul's Valerie.
Jenny's MO involves pretending to be pregnant and befriending expecting mothers at pregnancy yoga classes, subsequently inviting them over for homely dinners before killing their partners and holding them hostages.
Or that's what she does with Valerie at least, which leaves it up for imagination what happens to Jenny's single-mom victims.
Just the trailer itself is enough to send some solid chills down the spine as within a matter of 40 seconds or so, Jenny can be seen torturing her victims with knives, injections, axes and even sheers.
She keeps them hostage in her 20-acre property in the middle of nowhere and even has them shackled in chains just to amplify their harrowing experience. But Jenny is compassionate at times; feeding them for the sake of what she calls "their baby" and it is her motherly instincts that drive her to murder and mayhem, not shy of spilling a proper bloodbath.
"I had never played someone remotely close to her in the past before, and I always try to make choices that will challenge and scare me," Majorino tells us about choosing to play this vicious psychopath.
"And I knew that I had to go after (Jenny) because of how intimidated I was by the prospect of playing someone so far outside of the realm that I'm used to, which I loved!" But Majorino also warns how easy it is to fall into the 'pitfalls' of such a disturbing character.
"I didn't want it to be cheesy. I wanted it to be grounded. It had to be real. So getting into that headspace was really a trip because I'm not someone who's dark in that way. And trying to find that within your own humanity takes some time."
"But the truth is that every human being has good and bad in them. We just are not asked to tap into that darker side as much," she shares.
Challenging or not, Jenny's actions are rife with sadistic torture. And while the need to deliver a brilliant performance loomed large, Majorino claims "It was also very important to me that no one else felt uncomfortable or unsafe."
So she struck the balance by asking her on-screen victims if they are okay with her unleashing that realistic fake-madness for the camera every time the scene called for it.
"The most important thing to me was making sure 'Hey, I have to do this thing to you. Is it okay?' or 'I'm going to have to touch you here. Do you not like that?' You know, it's just about communication."
All of this coming together as a whole is also probably why Majorino insists on creating Jenny was the best time she's had in a long time. "It was probably the most fun that I've had creating a character and also on set, dark as the subject matter was."
"We laughed a lot — which comes from the tone Emma (Tammi), our amazing director set, where she just created such a safe environment for us to go in there and take big swings that sometimes we hit, sometimes we miss."
Jenny is a proper hit, we can assure you that — something that Majorino delivers without borrowing any inspiration from true crime, solely for the purpose of keeping her character unique and authentic.
"You can't help when you've ingested so much content," she explains; "I'm sure you can't help being inspired by those things either, but I didn't actively pull from any real-life serial killers. As for the fetishizing of true crime, Majorino is self admittedly "guilty" of that.
"I think that it's fascinating to people to think what some human beings are capable of doing to one another and trying to understand why - or what would make somebody do that" she elaborates, defending the current craze of true crime on popular and mainstream media.
Heavy and taxing on the mind as Jenny can get, Majorino also has her coping mechanisms sorted for whenever she needs to distance and unwind from her on-screen persona. "I've been doing this for such a long time, I've learned over the years what works for me," Majorino reflects, spilling that while she had to double down on the detachment-mantra for Jenny, what always works best is not talking about it at all when she is back home with her family.
"I come home, I take a bath, and try to do things that like really fulfill me as a human being. Being with my dogs, being with my family, having normal conversations, and not talking about what we worked on that day helps me get that space."
"And then when the film is over, I usually try to do some kind of little trip or something to just completely get away from it!" she adds.
Catch Majorino completely terrify you with her menacing smiles and flickering moments of compassion amid disturbing rage as Jenny in 'Into the Dark: Delivered' that drops this Mothers' Day, May 8, at midnight, on Hulu.