Under the Banner of Heaven, FX’s new true crime series, is based on investigative journalism about the 1984 Lafferty murders that was chronicled by Jon Krakauer in his book of the same name. The story, which premiered April 28 on Hulu, raises questions about the Mormon community and faith when viewed through the eyes of Detectives Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!) and Bill Taba (Gil Birmingham, Yellowstone). The partners attempt to learn who killed Brenda Lafferty, and who might be helping to cover up the crime.
The limited series spends time with various members of the powerful Rafferty family, who are at once powerful members of their church and at the center of the storm. The women of the family, however, are in a very precarious position that becomes crucial to the understanding of the murders. Chloe Pirrie (The Queen’s Gambit) plays Dan Rafferty’s wife Matilda, recently arrived from Scotland while Daisy Edgar-Jones (Fresh) plays Brenda, the outspoken wife of Alan Rafferty who becomes a victim. Then there is Emma Smith, played by Tyner Rushing, who represents the religion itself as the wife of its founder.
Edgar-Jones, Pirrie and Rushing spoke to Screen Rant about what made Under the Banner of Heaven a challenge compared to previous projects, and how they found moments of levity on set.
Screen Rant: Congratulations on this series. How does this role differ from anything you’ve taken on before?
When you read the book and the script, what would you say stuck out to you the most?
When you’re doing something as dark as this, knowing it’s real, how do you bring the levity when you’re not filming? Was there anything that you did during your downtime to just have a little fun? Andrew told me that he took up knitting, I have no idea if that’s true.
Daisy, did you see them?
FX’s Under the Banner of Heaven, the original limited series inspired by the true crime bestseller by Jon Krakauer, follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter in a suburb in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah.
As Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield) investigates events which transpired within the Lafferty family, he uncovers buried truths about the origins of the LDS religion and the violent consequences of unyielding faith. What Pyre, a devout Mormon, unearths leads him to question his own faith.
Check out our interviews with stars Sam Worthington, Andrew Garfield & Gil Birmingham, and with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black as well.
More: 10 Best Shows Like Under the Banner of Heaven
The first 2 episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven are available to stream on Hulu, with new episodes dropping every Thursday.