A compendium of all things Menendez: Blood Brothers, including (but not limited to!) interviews with the directors and stars, reviews, promotional stills, trailers, and Menendez ephemera. Let’s get started! And don’t forget, Menendez: Blood Brothers premieres SUNDAY NIGHT! ON LIFETIME! at 8PM!
– InTouch gives you a thoughtful refresher course in the Menendez Brothers and their trial here.
– Here’s a Facebook video which gives you a visual history of the boys (with stills from the LIFETIME movie).
– A fabulous talk with directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato at Unicorn Booty Here they are discussing working with Courtney and shooting the big murder scene:
With a rather well-known history of gun violence in their lead actress’s family’s past, Barbato and Bailey were sensitive to the fact that the Blood Brothers story recalls one of recent history’s most gruesome acts of violence.
“It was a very emotional day,” Barbato says of shooting the film’s murder scene, to which Bailey adds, “We talked about being able to do as much of it with Courtney off-set as possible, but in the end she was there for all of it. She just gave herself over to it. I think it was an incredibly emotional day for her, and super intense, but I also think everybody felt it.”
“And her performance in that scene is really harrowing,” says Barbato.
“It stays with you,” Bailey adds.
– Nico talks to Access Hollywood about portraying convicted murderer Lyle Menendez, his friendship with Courtney Love. Plus, Nico plays a round of Access Hollywood Live’s “Spin the Bottle” with Natalie and Kit. (NOW WHY DIDN’T WE THINK TO DO THAT?)
– Here’s the Nico interview with Pride Source that’s getting all the buzz. In it he talks polyamory, his ever-evolving sexuality, and when we can finally see him naked (!!!!!!!!).
– Here he is talking to PARADE magazine about getting into Lyle’s head. (Read the whole interview here)
PARADE: This is a pretty dark story. Did you have any second thoughts on playing a man who killed his parents?
NICO: This is a new genre for me. The fear that I had was knowing the toll that it takes on me, as an actor, to dive into these types of characters. This was an 18-day shoot of a movie and not a multi-year contract for a television show. To be honest with you, I think that I was more nervous to get into the head space of the sexual abuse than I was to get into the head space of the final moment, taking the gun and killing your parents.
I think that these guys really needed to be in therapy for a really long time. This is a really serious topic and these are real people’s stories, so I took it really seriously. This wasn’t just another fun little horror movie that I went to go do. I did all of my research. It’s a dark space to live in, but that’s part of my job. As much work as it takes to get into this kind of space, it takes as much work to get out of it. I can say that I’m in the clear as of now.
– Courtney talks to Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan, below, on how she prepare for the role: “There’s not a lot on Kitty,” she said. “There’s like four photos, a little tiny clip of video. I kind of had to make her up and I read as many books as I could, saw as many things as I could and did as much research. We kind of got the point that she was in life not happy.”
– And here she is on Late Night with Seth Meyers (being too, too fabulous!)
– Here’s a fun little Menendez ’90s artifact from the Menendez: Blood Brothers screenwriter:
My #tbt had to be the invite for the Menendez Brothers screening party I hosted in high school (yes, I was a unique child). The fact that, all these years later, I wrote a movie about them is wild. My take on the case has changed drastically with time, and I hope yours will too when you see the film, which airs Sunday June 11, 8pm, on Lifetime. And for the record, the only other screening party I hosted in high school was for Mommie Dearest. I hope that means I’ll write a movie about Joan someday. #the90s #highschool #BYOBDSACS
– Inside Edition covers the upcoming LIFETIME movie, and has these two fun tidbits from Courtney, Nico, and Benito Martinez (who plays the father, Jose Menendez)
“When you look at the number of times she was shot, there was a level of rage there,” she said. “They went to the car, got more ammunition and shot her again. They hated him so much but really, really hated her.”
Nico Tortorella plays Lyle. He told Inside Edition that he actually feels sorry for the man he portrays.
“Do I feel sorry for Lyle and Erik? Yes,” he said. “These kids went through hell with Jose. Murder is not the answer to anything, but these kids went through hell.”
Actor Benito Martinez plays millionaire businessman Jose Menendez, the father of the two songs.
“He was a beast,” he told Inside Edition. “He was a monster. He was so wealthy and so demanding, the way he raised his boys created a very dangerous atmosphere in the house and that played out.”
– Nico and Myko spoke to TOO FAB, check out a brief portion of their interview below.
“With this story, we’re taking their perspective, their argument and trying to say well, what if this is what really happened,” Olivier told TooFab. “It is a relatively sympathetic view of their understanding, which hopefully makes it interesting.”
“I don’t think murder is the right answer, just want to put that out there,” he added. “They don’t deny that they killed their parents.”
“The issue is the court system denied any other issue that was happening with these two,” Tortorella chimed in. “I think it was really important for us to tell their side of the story because I think these two real life human beings were so overexposed and they were kind of stereotyped as like these two rich kids that killed their parents for money and that’s just not really what happened, right?”
– WWD talks to Courtney (and the wardrobe designer) about Kitty Melendez’s look for the movie: “Lots of high-waisted jeans, silk blouses, big hair and big shoulder pads — Eighties glamour, baby.” (And might I interject here and say SHE LOOKS AMAAAAAAZING. I would wear every single one of those outfits!)
– And here’s a Courtney-centric trailer
– Oxygen’s SNAPPED has a special two-episode examining the notorious case of the Menendez brothers: their background, their crime and the stunning trials that made history. Watch it HERE.
– NewNowNext calls Menendez: Blood Brothers “just as dark and dramatic as you would expect.” Lots of promotional stills and trailers there, as well.
– Did Hollywood Medium Tyler Henry Just Summon the G-G-Ghost of Nico Tortorella’s Dead Grandfather? Watch here.
Awards Daily: What made you want to take this project on?
Fenton Bailey: Randy and I were gripped by the story when it happened and over the years. The Menendez brothers were kind of hot, and it just seemed like such an interesting story. We’re always attracted to subjects that are over-exposed but yet under revealed.
I just remember thinking, “Are they really these cold-blooded murderers?” It just seemed weird. It was a crazy time in L.A. with the riots and Rodney King. At the time, we didn’t do anything about it because life goes on. With the anniversary coming up, it’s been 25 years. I thought this was such a juicy and interesting story.
Randy Barbato: I also think as filmmakers, most of our work is making documentaries. We did Party Monster the documentary and then the scripted film. We just felt it was time to be doing more scripted stuff. All of our stuff is about similar over-exposed but under-revealed stories. We’re attracted to the same kinds of story, but it’s all storytelling. With this film, the idea of working with Abdi Nazemian who’s this amazing screenwriter and with this incredible cast, all the pieces fell into place for us to be able to transfer our sensibilities in all the work we’ve done in documentary into a great script, a cool cast, and an amazing story. We hope people will get to see it and be open to the ideas that are explored in it.
It’s not necessarily the popular notion. We’re not trying to defend their horrific actions, we’re just trying to take a different look at what might have inspired those actions.
Awards Daily: We’re so obsessed with true crime. I remember when this happened. As you said, it’s been 25 years, and we’re still obsessed. What is our obsession with true crime?
Fenton: I think it’s the similar thing that fascinates people about O.J. Simpson. I wonder if it’s true crime or was it this intersection of crime and popular culture as well. It wasn’t just true crime, it was money and glamor, right?
And finally, BoyCulture interviews Fenton and Randy and an provides an interesting review in the process:
The film contains a lovely, fragile performance by Olivier and a surprisingly stolid one from Tortorella as the mastermind who hasn’t thought things through; you can see the wheels turning in his head, but his dead gaze betrays his lack of true cunning. The film also finds a way — that you will love or hate — to feature plenty of screen time for Love, even though her character is eliminated early on. Similarly, her take on a feckless, enabling society wife will either excite you or leave you cold, but her director Barbato boldly calls her a “contender” in the role. Will she generate Emmy buzz the way she once generated Oscar buzz, for The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)?
“She was the first choice from the get-go,” he says. “She just embodies the character in so many ways.”
Interestingly, the movie is devoid of camp, even though it features a scene in which Courtney Love’s Kitty tears off Lyle’s toupee — and that’s a neat trick.
It does, however, have a lot of skin. “Sex is present in the whole story,” Bailey stresses. “We don’t shy away from that at all. There were rumors about Erik being gay and Lyle being gay … In talking with people who’ve been sexually abused and victims of incest, they question their own sexuality and their own willingness to be in that situation. It’s very complex, it’s very layered.”
Indeed, though the film is steeped in sex, it’s unlikely to provide jack-off material. Barbato says, “We don’t shy away from controversial material. This is controversial on emany levels. Just having a discussion about sexual abuse with men is still, to this day, not really something that’s discussed in the mainstream, yet it is something that occurs.”
The film’s sexuality is dead-serious, but at the time the boys used their alleged molestation as a defense, people mocked it. Bailey argues, “You see things that are on the edge of the culture … people laugh about it and mock it at first. We’ve seen the same thing regarding gender in the last few years — there’s been so much change.”
Read the entire interview and review here.