EXCLUSIVE: Nico Tortorella Opens Up About Playing Courtney Love's Son in Lifetime's Menendez Brothers Movie
By Philiana Ng
Nico Tortorella is showing a new side in his latest project.
In Lifetime's Menendez: Blood Brothers, Tortorella plays Lyle Menendez, who, along with younger brother Erik, was convicted of murdering his parents, Jose and Kitty, in their Beverly Hills, California, home in 1989. The case captivated a nation. During the trial, the brothers claimed that the murders stemmed from years of sexual and psychological abuse that they suffered from their parents.
"When you're playing a real-life person you have to approach it with a different sensitivity than you would if you were creating a brand new character," the 28-year-old actor told ET's Katie Krause during a Facebook Live chat on Thursday. "There's no lack of footage, so I watched everything I possibly could and instead of trying to mimic [Lyle's] every move, I treated him like a human being that may do one thing but think another thing, and treated him as real as possible."
The Younger star admitted that he wasn't familiar with the Menendez brothers initially, revealing that he called up his mother, who had an encyclopedic knowledge on the case, to find out more. But deciding to do the movie wasn't a difficult decision for Tortorella. It was Courtney Love, who was already attached to play Kitty, that immediately piqued his interest.
"To be honest with you, the second I saw the breakdown of the movie and I saw Courtney's name, I signed on to do the movie," Tortorella revealed. "I was like, 'Yes, I'm going to do the movie,' before I even saw the script. I saw Courtney's name and was like, 'Yup, I want to work with her.'"
Tortorella and Love became fast friends while filming Menendez: Blood Brothers in Vancouver earlier this year, and he spoke glowingly about working with the Hole frontwoman.
"She's such a layered human being. She's so much more than what people think that she is," Tortorella said. "She has this hyper-intelligence about her. She comes to work and is so prepared. She puts so much work into the craft of acting and I think she's really in this re-brand of sorts right now and she's just dedicated to her well-being and it shows."
"We connected really fast and have been spending a lot of time after the movie," he continued, sharing a story about a recent episode of his podcast, TheLove Bomb, in which the 52-year-old singer was a guest. "One of the most interesting questions is, 'Would teenage Courtney Love be proud of the Courtney Love today?' Ultimately, she said yeah. ... I love her so much, to be honest with you."
The upcoming film takes a "more sympathetic" look on the brothers' story and is "seen through Erik's eyes," Tortorella said. And though Kitty dies early in the movie, he teased that Love does appear in most of it. "She comes back actually as a ghost, as this supernatural entity, and has this whole relationship with Erik for the rest of the movie. So she's in quite a bit of the movie for sure."
After working with Love for several weeks, Tortorella said that the biggest misconception people have about her is "that she's crazy."
"I feel like Courtney Love has been witch-hunted for years and look, we're all crazy in one way or another but I think that she's crazy in all the right ways," he said. "Her work ethic is something I've never seen. It's next level. She just wants to be doing good work all the time."
Watch the entire Facebook Live chat below.
Nico Tortorella is here dishing about his new Lifetime movie, "Menendez: Blood Brothers."