The stars of the true-crime thriller “Boston Strangler,” Carrie Coon and Keira Knightley, share an intimate connection with their characters as working mothers with public-facing careers. Coon and Knightley play Boston Record American investigative journalists Jean Cole and Loretta McLaughlin, respectively, who risked their lives to report on the 13 women who were murdered by the “Boston Strangler” in the early 1960s. The actors also understood the sacrifices their characters made to cover the case, as their newspaper published their byline and crime scene photos, putting them and their families in danger. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Coon and Knightley discussed the making of the film and their theories on the Boston Strangler case.
Coon and Knightley’s characters were part of a newspaper that used their gender to sell newspapers, an issue that resonates with the entertainment industry. Coon, a fan of the “Fincher-esque” thriller genre, praised the opportunity to play a female hero that “felt female,” adding that television is doing more to advance stories for women, while film still has work to do. Knightley said that she had never reported on an actual crime, but women in public spaces often receive death threats for reporting on politics, just like Loretta and Jean did for reporting on the Boston Strangler.
The two actors had never met before working on the film, but they admired each other’s work. Coon was a fan of Knightley’s and had worked with the writer-director Matt Ruskin, whom she described as a feminist and deeply moral filmmaker. Knightley, for her part, was glad to work with Scott Free again, the production company behind “The Aftermath.”
Coon and Knightley said that they relied heavily on Ruskin’s research to prepare for their roles. Ruskin had a booklet of research on the Boston Strangler case, and he knew Jean Cole’s daughter personally. Ruskin had also done due diligence in telling the story, so Coon and Knightley didn’t feel the need to reach out to the families of their characters. Loretta’s son and grandchildren did visit the set, though, allowing Knightley to meet them.
Coon and Knightley also discussed their theories on the Boston Strangler case. Ruskin’s film explores the possibility that multiple parties were involved in the murders, something that Coon and Knightley found plausible. The women received death threats for their reporting, and the case remains unsolved to this day.
In conclusion, “Boston Strangler” stars Carrie Coon and Keira Knightley bring a personal connection to their roles as working mothers with public-facing careers who put their lives on the line to report on the Boston Strangler case. The actors also understand the sacrifices their characters made to cover the story, as their newspaper put them and their families in danger by publishing their photos. Coon and Knightley relied heavily on writer-director Matt Ruskin’s research to prepare for their roles and praised his due diligence in telling the story. The two actors also discussed their theories on the Boston Strangler case, highlighting the unresolved nature of the case and the dangers that women in public spaces face when reporting on crime or politics.