Lifetime movie Prosecuting Casey Anthony will air in January 19 2013, and TV Equals was able to catch up with Virginia Welch, who plays Casey Anthony in the film. During the interview, Welch talked about how she approached the role, what she learned about Anthony and more.
What did you do to get into character?
Virginia Welch: Rob Lowe, who is one of the producers, and Peter Werner, who is the director, gave us loads and loads of links to watch video footage. It was an incredibly covered case–there was so much media on it, so basically, I watched hours and hours of court footage, news footage, any clips that they had [with] her speaking to her parents, the jailhouse videos, all that kind of stuff, her home videos–lots and lots of research from that standpoint. And Rob and Jean [Jean Abounader, executive producer] and Peter would have lots of talks about the character, her mindset, and where she was coming from.
Okay, and what did you learn about her that you didn’t really know beforehand?
Virginia Welch: That’s a good question (laughs). I guess I saw in her a very strong need of self-preservation, sort of by any means necessary. There’s sort of an underlying level of panic that “I have got to get myself out of this by any means necessary.”
Did you have any contact with anybody dealing with the case or even Casey Anthony herself when it came to doing this film?
Virginia Welch: No, no, no, no. No contact with Casey Anthony. The film is told from the point of view of Rob Lowe’s character, who’s part of the prosecution…Jeff Ashton. He actually stopped by the set the very last day. That was kind of interesting experience. I didn’t get a chance to speak with him much, but other than that, I don’t believe they had a lot of contact with him.
What was it like working with Rob Lowe?
Virginia Welch: It was actually pretty incredible. We had an all-star cast and it was just such an incredible learning experience to work with people who had been in the industry for such a long time and are all extremely talented. Rob was very excited to get in there and get his hands on all the different fun acting bits and work with the director. He and the director were really sort-of grabbed on and ran with it. Working with the other actors was really special–Kevin Dunn and Oscar Nuñez and David Richmond-Peck–they were all so very talented, and to watch them work is just very inspiring.
Lifetime has made quite a few of these films based on real life, and so far, they’ve been very successful. What do you hope the Lifetime audience takes away from this film? How do you hope they’ll react?
Virginia Welch: That’s a good one too…I look at them as characters as opposed to people, I guess. It’s just the way I had to look at the whole thing. I guess just kind of a greater understanding of each of the characters.
If you could guest star in any other television show, which one would you choose?
Virginia Welch: I love the show Castle. I’m a huge Nathan Fillion fan and along the same lines–I know the TV show is cancelled, but I’m a diehard Serenity fan [and] Firefly fan. So if that show was still on, absolutely. Or maybe any of the fairy tale ones that are out right now. I love that whole thing–”Grimm,” “Once Upon a Time,” any of those would be really fun.
(Photo Credit: Brett Erickson)