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Liana Liberato and Priscilla Quintana Say Based on a True Story is "Very Aware of Itself"
The actresses spoke to Oxygen.com about their time on- and off-screen and how they balanced the show's tone.
Peacock's new series Based on a True Story stars Kaley Cuoco and Chris Messina as married couple Ava and Nathan Bartlett, two Angelinos who create a true-crime podcast — featuring the killer himself — to help make ends meet.
Fellow actresses Liana Liberato (Scream VI, The Beach House) and Priscilla Quintana (Good Trouble, Pandora) co-star in the series, and recently caught up with Oxygen.com’s Stephanie Gomulka to discuss the new comedic thriller.
Liana Liberato and Priscilla Quintana on Based on a True Story
Quintana plays Ruby Gale, the Bartletts’ attractive — albeit opportunistic friend — who has secrets of her own. The actress said unfortunately, she didn’t share much on-screen time with Liberato, who plays Ava Bartlett’s cool and casual live-in sister, Tory Thompson.
According to Quintana, Ruby and Tory are “polar opposites.”
“Ruby’s moral compass is not quite working; it’s a little bit off-center,” said Quintana. “But she’s so fun. She’s a party girl. She’s the girl that you see at a bar, and you instantly want to be friends with, and then once you get to know her, you kind of realize maybe why she doesn’t have that many girlfriends.”
Tory, on the other hand, is a more even-keeled character.
“I would like to consider her like a lighthouse in the mist of a crazy storm,” Liberato said of her character. “I think it’s refreshing to read more of a grounding character amidst a bunch of chaos.”
Liberato added Tory “disrupts a lot of plans” for Ava and Nathan throughout the series.
Liberato and Quintana on “Blending” Comedy and True Crime
Based on a True Story manages to bring comedy to the gravitas of true crime, which struck both actresses as something that sets it apart from similar shows.
“I would say the show is very aware of itself,” said Quintana, who called the series a mix of satire and dark comedy. She said that filming some of the scenes was “difficult” because they could get “quite dark,” but added, “Overall, it was so much fun to film.”
“The writers are absolutely incredible; they are whip-smart, and I think they did an amazing job of blending all the worlds together,” Quintana continued. “Because it does feel like there’s a lot of worlds in one show, but it blends quite seamlessly.”
Liberato said in reading the script, she had to become “a little investigator” to keep up with where the series could take their characters, citing its many twists and turns.
Are Liberato and Quintana True Crime Fans IRL?
“I think that’s why we probably both connected so much to the script when we first read it,” Liberato told Oxygen True Crime. “I didn’t realize until they started doing interviews how many true crime podcasts I listen to.”
Some of Liberato’s go-to true crime podcasts include Root of Evil, S-Town, and To Live and Die in L.A., which she called both “fascinating” and “unsettling” due to how many crimes went unsolved.
Quintana also discussed her love of the genre, citing Crime Junkie, Sword and Scale, and My Favorite Murder as just a few of her favs.
How to Watch Based on a True Story
Watch Liana Liberato and Priscilla Quintana in Based on a True Story, with all eight episodes dropping Thursday, June 8, only on Peacock.