Understanding the Mind of a Killer: Bill Pullman’s Experience in Portraying Alex Murdaugh

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Bill Pullman, a seasoned actor, found himself thrust into the spotlight of true crime drama when he took on the role of Alex Murdaugh, a personal injury attorney convicted of a double homicide involving his wife, Maggie, and son Paul. Surprisingly, Pullman confessed to being ignorant of Murdaugh’s story until he embarked on this project for Lifetime’s collection of ripped-from-the-headlines movies.

In his preparation for the role, Pullman delved deep into the real-life footage from the courtroom proceedings, absorbing hours of behavior, 911 calls, and body cam recordings of the crime scene. The actor was struck by the chilling realization of sociopathic behavior and how it manifests in the syntax of speech. Pullman noted the unsettling shift in tone within a sentence, indicative of a cauterized morality and a lack of emotional depth.

With a mere six days to prepare for the role, Pullman faced the daunting task of embodying a man who committed filicide. The actor recalled his initial nervousness and apprehension regarding the portrayal but found solace in discussions with the writers and director. Through his exploration of Murdaugh’s psyche, Pullman grappled with the inconceivable concept of harming those one loves and the psychological unraveling that precedes such a heinous act.

Reflecting on Murdaugh’s trial, Pullman highlighted the pivotal moment when the perpetrator took the stand in his defense. The actor observed this decision as a fatal error, illustrating Murdaugh’s misplaced confidence in his ability to sway the jury through eloquent speech. This misguided belief in his own charisma ultimately led to his downfall and further solidified Pullman’s understanding of the complex interplay between guilt and deception in the mind of a killer.


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