Timothy Simons Opens Up About Portraying Life In The '70s In Candy - Exclusive

For actors, a challenge of performing in period pieces is figuring out how to understand and convincingly play someone who lives and operates in a world different from their own. Good actors know that it's not enough to put on a period costume and go — societies and social expectations change over time, and a person living in an earlier time period may react differently to certain situations than that same person might today.

This challenge still holds even for scripts set in the recent past, such as Hulu's true-crime miniseries "Candy." The series features a lightly fictionalized retelling of the 1980 murder trial of Candy Montgomery — a well-liked, church-going Texas housewife accused of murdering her friend Betty Gore. While that's recent enough that many of those involved in the case are still living (and some even consulted with the production team of "Candy"), the world is still a very different place now than it was in 1980. Timothy Simons, who portrays Candy Montgomery's husband, Pat Montgomery, understood the challenge well and shared with The List how he got himself into the late '70s vibe for his role.

Speech was subtly different in the '70s

Language not only changes over time, but it can also change quickly — we've all seen new slang terms suddenly emerge out of nowhere and take over our social media feeds, only to disappear a few months later. If you watch old movies or TV shows, you've probably noticed slightly different intonation patterns and other ways of speaking than you'd hear today. Timothy Simons knows this as well and was aware that his own speech patterns needed to be changed if he was to convincingly portray someone of his parents' generation.

"I feel like I have a modern way of speaking in that I say 'like' and 'man' too much," he said, "and when you're trying to be conversational in something that takes place in the 1970s, that was a challenge for me to sound like someone that was in the 1970s, to make it sound conversational without making it sound modern conversational."

Vintage fashion and cars were a tight fit for Timothy Simons

Another interesting challenge Timothy Simons faced in "Candy" was dealing with the groovy late '70s fashion. Some parts of his costuming — like the wig he wore to achieve a classic men's haircut of the time — had both ups and downs. "On a cold day, wearing a wig's amazing because it's like wearing a winter hat, it's awesome," he said. "But [when it's] a hot Atlanta day and you're in a wig, that's rough."

He also found the casual clothing of the era felt neither casual nor comfortable, which added to the challenge of acting natural while wearing them. "Getting used to how those clothes felt because they were so unlike what I would wear day-to-day, and then having to feel natural and comfortable in them, that was interesting as well," he said.

Compounding the problem is that Simons is a tall guy (6 feet 5½ inches, according to IMDb), so he has come to expect challenges finding pieces that fit. "I'm a challenge to fit no matter what, and I'm definitely a challenge to fit when you're talking about period costumes," he explained. And don't get him started about vintage cars. "I don't fit into any car that existed before 1992," he said.

"Candy" premiered on Hulu Monday, May 9, kicking off a five-night event leading up to the finale on Friday, May 13.