How Fallen Angels Murder Club's Yanic Truesdale Connected To His Ex-Convict Character - Exclusive

The first film in Lifetime's two-part series, "Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For," premiered April 2, with the second film, "Fallen Angles Murder Club: Heroes and Felons," set to follow on April 9. The movies are based on a mystery book series by R. Franklin James, and they follow the story of a book club that gets caught up in a murder investigation when one of their own is killed. However, unlike most book clubs, this one is comprised entirely of ex-convicts, making them even more suspicious to the police.

One of those book club members, Gene Donovan, is played by Yanic Truesdale, a Canadian actor well-known for his role as Michel in "Gilmore Girls." Prior to the first film's release, Truesdale had an exclusive interview with The List to discuss the project. During his conversation, the actor shared how he connected to his character and why he was happy he had two films to play the same role.

Why Yanic Truesdale felt like he was 'dating' his character

Yanic Truesdale was excited that "Fallen Angels Murder Club" included two movies because it gave him the chance to work with the same cast and explore the same character for longer. He explained that he sees the first part of any series as "when you discover the tone and the relationship with the other characters and yourself and layers for your character. But then it's established and then you can just be free and play. So I always looked forward to the second season or the second movie ... I feel that's when the real work and freedom starts, for me."

Just as he expected, Truesdale got the chance to know his character, Gene Donovan, on a deeper level working on the second film, "Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Fellons." Truesdale compared playing his character to dating when he said, "I'm discovering him kind of like as the public will discover him. Because it's like dating someone, you don't know everything from the start. You got to be dating to know. So I'm dating my character, and I'm getting to know him better."

How he found the humanity in his Fallen Angels character

Through his work preparing for and filming the first and second movies, Yanic Truesdale was able to connect to the humanity of his character. Although he's playing an ex-convict, his role as Gene Donavan is far from an unsympathetic man. Gene has committed a crime, but his actions were motivated by love. For Truesdale, connecting to that motivation made it easy to understand his part. "I'm always interested in human behavior when it's like, it's not completely black, it's not completely white, it's somewhere in the middle," Truesdale said. "Where you're not a bad person, you try to protect someone, and you do bad things in the process." In playing Gene, Truesdale leaned on those parts of his backstory to bring him to life.

In "Fallen Angels Murder Club," you can also see how the character is working to right his wrongs and the struggles he goes through because of that. This was another element that Truesdale was able to focus on. "I was able to connect with him through trying to redeem yourself and fix things from the past and move forward in your life in a positive way. That's what he's trying to do. He's trying to fix his life," Truesdale said.

"Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For," premiered April 2. "Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Felons" premieres Saturday, April 9. The movies are based on books "Fallen Angels Book Club" by R. Franklin James.