‘Friday Night Lights’ alum Connie Britton groomed herself for rich, socialite TV role watching ‘Housewives’
Connie Britton tells how she prepared for her last role in “Dear Edward”: She watched reality TV, in particular the “Real Housewives of New Jersey”.
The actress’ role in “Dear Edward” is that of Dee Dee, a wealthy Manhattan socialite who lives the good life until her husband dies in a plane crash.
“Dee Dee just made me laugh,” Britton told The Associated Press.
“She made me smile all the time, so I really, really had fun playing her… It was like the gorgeous clothes and jewelry and things, it’s fun to be able to do that stuff . And then just as well an actor, (it’s) fun to have all of that taken away.”
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“Dear Edward,” which aired February 3 on Apple TV+, reunited Britton with her “Friday Night Lights” executive producer, Jason Katims.
Britton played Tami Taylor, a high school guidance counselor in small town Texas who is married to the school’s football coach (Kyle Chandler.) She is often a surrogate mother for the students and motivates her husband when the pressure to succeed is particularly high. The show also put its cast — including Britton, Chandler, Jesse Plemons and Taylor Kitsch — on a different career trajectory.
“‘Friday Night Lights’ has set the bar for me in so many ways around what I want, what I want creatively and how I want to work and who I want to work with,” said Britton.
Britton’s role in ‘Dear Edward’ has given her a chance to reunite with Katims since they wrapped filming in 2011.
“When you work with an actor like Connie, you want to work with her again, like it’s always on your mind,” Katims explained. “But I felt like I waited to get a role that was the right role. I wanted to bring her a role that really had a chance of her wanting to do it.”
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“Dear Edward” also follows the main character, Edward, a 12-year-old boy (played by Colin O’Brien) who is the sole survivor of a plane crash and goes to live with his aunt and uncle after his parents and his brother. are killed. Viewers see Edward adjust to this catastrophic loss and experience magical thinking, where he claims his older brother also survived the accident.
The story is based on a novel of the same name by Ann Napolitano. For his adaptation, Katims opted to add more characters to the story (including Dee Dee) and have them interact during grief therapy.
Britton hopes “Dear Edward” will remind people that there are different ways to grieve and that people are stronger than they sometimes realize.
“I hope the show is going to give people a language for grief and make it a relatable idea. And the idea that we have strength in the face of adversity,” she says.
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“We’ve been through so much as a global culture with the pandemic,” she adds. “Through every character, even a character like Dee Dee, we can recognize ourselves and see the strength we have.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report