Bravo’s Dirty John is packed with dark, shudder-inducing moments.
With good reason: The true-crime series, based on the 2017 podcast, chronicles the doomed romance between rich divorcée Debra Newell (Connie Britton) and her dangerous con man suitor, John Meehan (Eric Bana).
Plus, the actor shares what makes this true-crime drama different from others.
And yet, whenever Juno Temple appears — playing the scene-stealing role of Debra’s eldest daughter, Veronica — we’re filled with delight. Here’s why.
1. She’s a character.
Listeners of the podcast will recall this spitfire who tried to free her mom from John’s clutches. (In real life, her name is Jacquelyn, but it’s been changed to Veronica for TV.) Temple’s portrayal captures that, and then some: Veronica is Badass Barbie, designer-clad and ironclad. “My inspiration was Elle Woods from Legally Blonde,” the actress says. As for her alter ego’s spot-on Southern California “uptalk” dialect? It’s pretty impressive considering Temple hails from England. “The accent was a challenge!” she says.
2. She doesn’t suffer sociopaths gladly.
On Sunday night, John punishes Veronica for her meddling by causing trouble at the clinic where she works. “It’s frightening,” says Temple. “She realizes this man is going to ruin her family, and she isn’t putting up with it.” Her moxie may prove contagious. Continues Temple, “Veronica has more confidence than Juno does, but I think she bled into my bones!”
3. She’s in it for the long haul.
Although Temple has acted in countless films over the past decade (Atonement, The Dark Knight Rises, Maleficent), she’s not exactly a household name. Which is totally fine with her. “I want to just keep doing interesting work that challenges me,” she says. “Becoming an overnight sensation would be too much — my heart might stop!”
Dirty John, Sundays, 10/9c, Bravo