Mena Suvari Details 'Intense' Role of Mother Imprisoning Her Children in 'House of Chains' (Exclusive)

Based on the Turpin family, the film tells the story of a couple who keep their children locked away from the outside world.

For Mena Suvari, her latest role as an abusive mother in the Lifetime movie, House of Chains, was anything but easy. ET's Lauren Zima spoke to the new mom about the challenges of playing the part and how she drew on her own past experiences while making the film.

"It was a lot, not gonna lie," Suvari admitted. "It was very, very intense, and I felt like I needed to definitely decompress for at least two hours every night."

As a new mother -- Suvari welcomed her first child, Christopher, with husband Michael Hope, last year -- the role was not only challenging, it was also heart-wrenching.

"I have played a parental figure before I became a mother in my own life, and it's very different," she explained. "I feel like you're kind of on the other side, and it was very heart-wrenching for me. It was very challenging."

While the role was taxing for Suvari, what drew her to the project was how complex it was and how layered her character, Laura, was.

"I think that that's what really interested me, was how complex it was," she said. "I think really just trying to wrap my head around how people can end up in situations like this. I was really fascinated by Laura, and when you first meet her in the beginning of the film, the situation she's in and how she meets this man who is seemingly so sure of himself, and so strong, so confident, and she puts everything into him and invests everything into this relationship and just how it goes so sour."

"It was really fascinating to me, you know, the trajectory of her and her life, she added."

Suvari, who stars alongside Greyston Holt in the ripped-from-the-headlines story, said she felt a connection to her character and the fragile state she found herself in.

"I think, for me, in my own experience life and in relationships, I definitely felt a connection there," Suvari shared. "I felt like we had a lot to draw from on how you can be in such a fragile state and how to me, it's like a chipping away."

"I'm just fascinated by the human story, how we can kind of end up in these situations," she continued. "I think also, with Laura, I think, overall, with this film, is just the strength of the human spirit, and really just seeing -- I don't want to give too much away -- but seeing how there is something left within her to try to change the circumstance, and I was really impressed by that."

Based on the real-life story of the Turpin family, House of Chains tells the story of a troubled married couple who imprison their six children within their home, keeping them locked away from the world due to their strict religious beliefs. While the 43-year-old American Beauty actress was aware of the Turpin's story, she said that through making the film, she discovered that there's much more than meets the eye when it comes to these stories of imprisonment.

"I'd been aware of -- I think we all kind of heard of these stories of imprisonment -- and it's so fascinating, because on the outside it can look a particular way, and everything seems so structured and controlled, and there's much more to those situations," Suvari said.

House of Chains airs September 10 on Lifetime.