Things are not what they seem in the new Netflix series Devil in Ohio. Emily Deschanel stars as a psychiatrist who shelters a new patient who has just escaped from a cult, and she told ABC Audio she was drawn to the show because it was based on a true story.
“I’m fascinated by cults. I’m fascinated by psychology and why people do certain things,” Deschanel said. “Knowing this was inspired by true events was just something I really wanted to dive into and understand.”
Madeleine Arthur plays Mae, the cult escapee, and says she was interested in getting to unravel the complicated nature of her character. “I just love a challenge, and Mae was a challenge,” Arthur said. “There was so many different complexities to explore with her that, for me, as an actor, is like a dream.”
Playing a traumatized character can lend itself to getting stuck in an intense headspace. Arthur said usually she could “shake it off at the end of the day,” but she also had a different method for decompressing on days with big breaks between her scenes.
“Sometimes if I had a scene or two off, I would watch Ted Lasso in between and then reset,” Arthur said. “I can shake it off and go about the day.”
As for unraveling the series’ mysteries, Deschanel teased that it’ll keep you guessing until the very end. “I think there’s lots of amazing twists and turns. So, you’ll think you understand one thing and then it’ll switch and then it’ll switch again,” she said. “It really keeps you guessing pretty much until the last moment.”
All episodes of Devil in Ohio drop Friday on Netflix.