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What On TV Tonight: Bravo's 'Dirty John' starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana

(L-R): Eric Bana as John Meehan, Connie Britton as Debra Newell, Julia Garner as Terra Newell,
Juno Temple as Veronica Newell  (Photo by: Frank Ockenfels/Bravo)
Bravo is in the drama game with “Dirty John,” starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana, premiering Sunday, November 25 at 10pm ET/PT.

Based on the articles and breakout true crime podcast from Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard, the series tells the cautionary tale of how a whirlwind romance between Debra Newell (Britton) and the charismatic con-man John Meehan (Bana) spiraled into a frightening web of deception, denial and mental terror that nearly tore a family apart.  Created by Alexandra Cunningham and directed by Jeffrey Reiner, the eight hour-long episodes are produced by Universal Cable Productions (UCP), in association with Los Angeles Times Studios and Atlas Entertainment. 

For Bana and Britton getting into their characters headspace was a challenge emotionally. 

"While there's a lot of factual information about John, I actually find him really mysterious," Bana said at an onset Q and A back in August. "There's a lot of stuff about him that I don't want to know.  Because ultimately, I think, when you're dealing with something that's based in reality, you can either choose to do something that's 100 percent, you know, traceable to the exact facts of how they were, which can potentially be a little bit boring to watch, or you can try and come up with something that has a sense of that person, that might be more interesting.  And the challenge for us, and especially for Alex and with Jeff, has been to, I think what's fascinating, I'd like to think, is that he's a type of character.  It's not him individually that's fascinating.  It's his behavior and that type of character.  And I think that's why people find the podcast so interesting because he's such an unusual person.  So I think there are some generalities there.  And most definitely, studying something how sociopaths behave and think and that sort of thing was more important or as important to me as it was to just focus on specific events that occurred in his life and kind of put them in some sort of memory bank.  Because I think it's important to come up with a character for the show that's a little bit further developed than what the facts are that are available."

For Britton, she can relate to her character on some level when she sees women stay in a bad relationship for too long. 

"If you talk to anyone who's ever ended up in a relationship with a sociopath and I've been amazed since I started working on this the people in my life who have come out of the woodwork, that I've known for years who have been like, “Oh, my gosh. Yeah, I was in a relationship with a sociopath," Britton says. "The one thing that they say is they will – “They can say anything to get you to stay.” That it's amazing. And it's also coercive control, which is a really viable thing that happens particularly to women. And, you know, so it's really again, we're having we're being able to show what that looks like and that it's really about this character. It's really about John and what he's capable of doing because that's how his brain works."

The 8 episode series begins Sunday, November 25 at 10:00 p.m. on Bravo. 

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