Timothy Simons Shares The Hardest Thing About His Role In Candy - Exclusive

Timothy Simons has built his reputation as a comic actor and voiceover artist, earning critical acclaim for his work in such varied shows as "Veep" and "Bob's Burgers." But his latest role, as the husband of accused murderer Candy Montgomery in Hulu's true-crime miniseries "Candy," takes him in a surprisingly dark direction.

Despite his character Pat Montgomery's sunny personality, there's nothing funny about his role: Pat Montgomery is a happy family man, dedicated to his kids and in a great marriage to an equally cheerful, energetic, and well-adjusted wife — or so he thinks. When one of his wife's church friends is found violently murdered in her home, he's justifiably concerned for his family's safety, but he has no idea the killer may be even closer than he can imagine. For Simons, Pat Montgomery was a puzzle to be solved, and the actor put a lot of thought into getting the character right. Recently Simons exclusively chatted with The List to share what made playing Pat Montgomery a special challenge.

Timothy Simons is no stranger to serious dramatic roles

While known primarily for his comic roles, Timothy Simons leapt at the opportunity to play Pat Montgomery in "Candy." As he shared, "A friend of mine and I always joke, what drew me to the role is that they offered me the opportunity to play it," he said. He was also drawn in by the quality of the show's script. "What drew me to it was that Robin [Veith]'s writing is incredible. The balance of tones that she has is amazing and [fit with] my own personal taste," he said.

As he said, his personal tastes encompass way more than just comedy. "I think I'm best known for a show that was very much straight-up comedy, but I came out of and came up in an independent theater world, which is always a mix of everything together all at once," he said. With "Candy," Simons had a chance to revisit his professional roots, throwing himself into the challenge of interpreting the nuances of Veith's scripts. "She was able to blend all these tones together of things that are weird and things that are funny and things that are scary and things that are very dramatic and sad," he said.

Pat Montgomery's motivations were puzzling to Timothy Simons

To understand who the character Pat Montgomery really was, and the events and people involved in the murder at the center of "Candy," Timothy Simons researched and read up extensively on the real-life case — but not until after he'd finished reading the scripts. "I did not know the story when I first got the scripts and intentionally didn't find out anything about it until I had read all five of the scripts, because I wanted the story to be revealed to me as if I was a person watching the show with no prior knowledge," Simons explained.

But the more he read, the more baffling Pat Montgomery became to the actor. "I kept thinking, 'When is Pat going to leave? When is Pat going to wise up? And when's Pat going to get out of there?' And when that trial's over and he's still around ... that was the thing, I was like, 'Wait, after all that, he still stuck with her, so what was it about him?' What was it about him? What was it about Candy? What was it about their life that made him think, 'Staying here is better than leaving?'"

All of this made it a challenge for Simons to portray Pat. "As a performer, you're trying to rationally find your way through a scene when the character is in an irrational place," Simons said. "That was really challenging."

The first two episodes of "Candy" are now streaming on Hulu, and the five-night event leads up to the finale on Friday, May 13.