If you’ve been following the national headlines, you might be familiar with the story of Gabe Watson, the Birmingham, Alabama native who is accused of killing his new bride, 26-year-old Tina Watson during their Australian honeymoon. Lifetime has turned this true-life tragedy into a gripping television film, Fatal Honeymoon, with Billy Miller starring as Watson.
During a recent conference call, TV Equals was able to learn about why Miller chose to star in the film, what people might be able to glean from the film, and more.
Becoming Gabe Watson
Miller had a lot of research to do before really delving into playing Watson.
“So initially, there was quite a wealth of [information] from American television and Australian broadcasts,” said Miller. “I found that Australia’s broadcast was pretty biased to what they considered to be Gabe’s guilt.” He also did a lot of research on types of murders concerning husbands and wives. “I found this book called [Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives], and this book was amazing. It’s essentially about men in U.S. history that have erased their wives. They’ve found elaborate ways to kill them, dispose their bodies.”
Eventually, after taking all of this information into account, Miller said he started thinking about the opposite conclusion.
“What if he didn’t do it?,” he said. ” What if he did exactly as he initially came out as saying. He went on a dive, he freaked out with his wife, he panicked and became somebody that he really wasn’t. He left her. There was that pull the entire time–is it a guy trying to cover up a traumatic event or someone trying to commit murder?”
Learning about the story
Watson went to Australia, the place where the Watson honeymoon took place, to learn more about the event, he said. As he learned more, his ideas about the event got more complicated. “My take on it changed throughout working on the movie,” he said. “It really kind of leaves you without a satisfying ending.” One of the toughest things about portraying Watson, said Miller, is the reality of the situation. “Yeah, these people are still alive, and not having any contact with them…it makes it a wee bit difficult. But at the end of the day, I think we did a good job,” he said.
Unsolved motive, unsolved film
For many, especially those in Birmingham, Watson will always be a divisive figure. However, if you’re interested in watching Fatal Honeymoon for any possible new information, think again.
[For] people are coming to watch this film to see what [might have happened in real life], there’s no possible way to get answers,” said Miller.
Make sure to watch Fatal Honeymoon on Lifetime August 25 at 8/7c.
(Photo Credit: Lifetime/Vince Valitutti)