EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – Director Peter Sullivan Breaks Down Lifetime’s “To Kill a Stepfather”! – WATCH

We at Survived The Shows had the chance to chat with screenwriter and director Peter Sullivan and discuss Lifetime's To Kill A Stepfather and its making with him. Check out full interview below!

Lifetime Movie Network premieres new thriller movie To Kill a Stepfather on Sunday, July 30 – We at Survived The Shows had the chance to chat with screenwriter and director Peter Sullivan and discuss the movie and its making with him. Check out full interview below!

What initially attracted you to the story in “to kill a stepfather”?

PETER SULLIVAN: I have always wanted to do a legal filler. I love quote movies, I love John Grisham books. I love a few Good Men To Kill a Mockingbird. There’s a few of 12 Angry Men. There’s something about the legal system to me that I find it’s just absolutely full of drama and energy and tension. I’ve always wanted to play in that world and I’ve never really had a chance to. So when the story came up and said, ‘here’s an opportunity to do a movie about a murder case and dealing with the family dynamic and the relationship between the mother and the daughter’, I just thought that was too exciting to pass up.

What do you think makes the action in the movie so special and captivating?

PETER SULLIVANI think what really is captivating about this story, To Kill a Stepfather, is the fact that you have a mother and daughter who have not spoken in years and they don’t necessarily trust one another. The daughter blames her mother for a lot of the things that went wrong in her childhood. She blames her mother for the destruction of her family, basically.

So, now, here she is: she has to make a decision. Am I going to defend this woman who not only do I not like, I think might actually be guilty? Or am I going to turn my back on on her and she ultimately ends up deciding to take the case, but she does it not for her mother, but because of her sister’s love for her mother and her love for her sister. And so it’s really the bond between the sisters that ultimately ends up bringing the whole family back together. But it is a very long Suspenseful Rd.

What do you hope viewers will take away from “to kill a stepfather”?

PETER SULLIVAN: First of all, they’re going to get them wonderful performances. The cut. You get the wonderful actors in there and you just kind of set them loose and just the dynamic of the situation have all of these characters in conflict with one another. It’s just an opportunity to let some great performances shine.

We were blessed to have some really, really great performances. It was just a joy to sit back and watch them bounce off each other and come in conflict with one another and to see the relationship evolve and devolve and evolve again and twist and turn. So I really want to take the audiences on that journey with the characters because it’s like every day going to work we’re like watching a great stage play with these actors and I really want the audience to have that experience that I had where I got to sit and watch these people. I had a lot of fun with it.

What was your favorite scene or moment to direct “to kill a stepfather”?

PETER SULLIVAN: I gotta tell you, I really had a blast during the court room. This great scene that accomplishes a number of things. It’s essentially, narratively speaking, the mother’s arraignment. But it is also a number of other things. It is on the surface at the mother’s arraignment, but under the surface, it is our main character’s first time in her small town courtroom.

Then, at the first time, she’s beating the prosecutor, who surprised turns out to be somebody she knew from law school and somebody that she had the pact with that she didn’t expect to see. Plus you’ve got the partner from the sister not to mess anything up if you’re the one who let her sister down and then contract that with, oh, wait a minute, here’s the victim, relatives in the courtroom who very much think the mother’s guilty. And it’s that dynamic, and all of it is poured into one scene. That is just fantastic and I remember it took us a number of hours on that scene because it comes from so many different angles.

The interview with Peter Sullivan has been edited and condensed for lenght and clarity. Watch the full video interview at the top of the article!

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