Manhunt: Deadly Games tells the true story of Richard Jewell and the situation behind the deadly terrorist attack at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. Throughout the course of the CBS show, which airs Saturday nights at 8 p.m. ET, viewers get to see multiple sides of Jewell as he navigates being publicly condemned for a crime he did not commit. For actor Cameron Britton, who plays Jewell in the series, being able to portray a dynamic character actually helped his own personal growth in a significant way.
Britton spoke to PopCulture.com exclusively about how he prepared for the role of Jewell. While the actor typically tackles roles by addressing the character's "beliefs and strengths," he said that when it came to Jewell, he looked at the real-life figure's "doubts and his faults."
"When I built Jewell that way, it led to a lot of pain on and off the screen. It was a hard shoot," he said. "Ironically, playing a serial killer was fun. I felt very confident, and sometimes it's hard blurring the lines between Jewell's lack of confidence and my own lack of confidence because it was such a long shoot." According to Britton, he was able to identify with Jewell's lack of confidence, making the shoot that much more personal, and emotional, for him to be a part of.
"I felt confident that my life in middle school, I felt like a walking apology as if I needed to apologize to everyone in the room for my existence," Britton explained. "And I thought I was past that, but pulling it up was very cathartic because I realized there was more work to be done with myself in feeling confident in present."
While he didn't initially find catharsis in portraying Jewell, one of his co-stars, Judith Light, who portrays Jewell's mother, Bobi Jewell, gave him some expert advice on how one can navigate these feelings. "It wasn't cathartic at the time, but Judith Light, for one, was really encouraging, like, 'Be patient. When this project is done, you're going to feel really good. You can work through that stuff.' And she was right. I mean, she was a guiding light through the entire shoot," Britton said.
As for the specific advice that Light gave him, he shared that the Transparent star helped him come to terms with the uncertainties in life. "She instilled in me an excitement for uncertainty, that life is uncertain," Britton said. "And the fact that we are in control of, literally, nothing is very daunting to some, but if you look at it from her angle, it's beautiful. It's a gift to have uncertainty. Accepting, embracing uncertainty, it takes humility and a sense of adventure. And that's what I needed." Along with Light's advice, and the emotional nature of the shoot, Britton was able to come out of filming Manhunt: Deadly Games with an entirely new perspective about Jewell, the world, and to a greater extent, himself.0comments
"If you're trying to control your problems, then you're letting your problems control you. That's just what you're doing, spending your days. You're putting your focus on your issues. And it's not that your issues don't need healing and awareness, but they don't need control," the Umbrella Academy actor explained. "And I felt like I knew that, and something with Manhunt just tore it all back down, and Judith was there to help it be rebuilt stronger. It was almost like stripping things down. And honestly, out of Manhunt came my interest in having a therapist. I have a therapist now, and it's been incredible growth. There's been a lot of growth that came out of all of that vulnerability. I found a lot of empathy."
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