Grace Van Patten & Jackson White Interview: Tell Me Lies

The first three episodes of Tell Me Lies are currently available on Hulu, with the streaming service adding new episodes weekly. Created by Meaghan Oppenheimer and based on the novel by Carola Lovering, Tell Me Lies follows the toxic romance of two college students who become addicted to each other. Switching between the past and present, the story unfolds over the course of eight years.

The cast includes Alicia Crowder, Grace Van Patten, Branden Cook, Jackson White, Sonia Mena, Benjamin Wadsworth, Spencer House, and Catherine Missal.


Screen Rant chats with stars Grace Van Patten and Jackson White about their characters’ tumultuous relationship in the new Hulu series.

Screen Rant: You play Lucy and Stephen, the couple this show is about. They’re described as having a “tumultuous, but intoxicating” relationship, so what else can you tell us about it?

Grace Van Patten: Oh… [laughs]

Jackson White: Oh… [laughs]

Screen Rant: I think that speaks for itself.

Grace Van Patten: Yeah, it’s really intense, and it’s a rollercoaster. And I think the audience will be just as confused as the characters are in real time, which is exciting. You kind of get to know these characters as they’re getting to know themselves. And it goes crazy. I really don’t know how else to describe it.

Jackson White: It’s gonna remind people of some really bad sh*t in their own lives. And it’s going to warn people about things. It’s gonna light up a lot of fires. It makes you really sweaty to watch it—in a good way.

Screen Rant: What is it about these two characters that you think causes them to become addicted to each other so quickly?

Jackson White: They’re perfect for each other in this time in their lives. So she is completely locked up from her traumas. This dude is sort of learning how to externalize his trauma and put that on other people and be charming and extroverted, and they kind of meet at this perfect time in their lives to really f*ck each other up.

Grace Van Patten: Yeah. You know, being eighteen, you’re so malleable and susceptible to influence. I think for Lucy, especially, she makes the very common mistake of mistaking passion and sexual awakening for love. Especially for someone who has not felt much in her life, at least for the past few years, has kind of felt numb. The new feeling of all of these different experiences, I think she latches onto very intensely.

Jackson White: Yes. And, in turn, she’s the person that kind of calls him on his sh*t in a way. Where all his stuff doesn’t really land the same way on her and he sees that as a challenge. And that is what draws him.

Screen Rant: There’s a lot more that goes into building a relationship like this than just what you see on camera. Did you do any work together off-screen to really flesh this out?

Grace Van Patten: It was constant kind of talking. Us two and Megan, the showrunner, just before we started filming before we went to Atlanta, just really diving into this dynamic, and also making sure it just felt really comfortable and safe because we had to really be vulnerable in these parts.

Jackson White: Yeah. The big one was being comfortable around each other, so that we can feel free to be as destructive as we need to be in scenes. So it was just building friendship, building the relationship so that it was easy and safe.

Tell Me Lies Synopsis

“Tell Me Lies” follows a tumultuous but intoxicating relationship as it unfolds over the course of 8 years. When Lucy Albright (Grace Van Patten) and Stephen DeMarco (Jackson White) meet at college, they are at that formative age when seemingly mundane choices lead the way to irrevocable consequences. Although their relationship begins like any typical campus romance, they quickly fall into an addictive entanglement that will permanently alter not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.

Read our other Tell Me Lies interview with EPs Emma Roberts & Karah Preiss.

The first three episodes of Tell Me Liesare now available to stream on Hulu.

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