We’re constantly in search of our next favorite TV show and now that Once Upon a Time and Grimm have aired their final episodes, you might just be feeling like TV shows based on fairy tales is a trend that has come and gone. But maybe you’re just not looking in the right places? Facebook Watch has rolled out a new TV show called Sacred Lies, starring Elena Kampouris, that just might fill the Grimm-shaped hole in your schedule. It’s based on a novel called The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes, a book based on lesser-known Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale, “The Handless Maiden.”
On the show, Elena plays Minnow Bly, a teenager who mysteriously lost both of her hands while her family participated in a cult out in the Montana woods. But it seems the cult has burned down, Minnow’s the only one who re-enters mainstream society, and she’s placed in a Juvenile Detention Center after somehow handless-ly beating a man she met on the street to a bloody pulp. Elena took some time to chat with the team about Sacred Lies, the Brothers Grimm, our collective fascination with cults, and the cool connection the new show has with her 2017 movie Before I Fall with Zoey Deutch.
“The book’s based off ‘The Handless Maiden’ in the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. You know all the popular fairy tales, but this is one that went under the radar. No one really knew about it. So, it’s the modern retelling, which is kind of cool that we get to be the first ones to get it out there,” Elena said. “There are a lot of parallels to the fairy tale. Obviously, it’s modern, but there are really cool nods throughout the series. People might catch the subtle things that come from the original that we’re paying tribute to. So it’s cool, especially because everyone knows the Brothers Grimm, so it’s a fun topic.”
Another interesting topic Sacred Lies gets to work with? Cults.
“To me, what fascinates me about [cults] is just the psychological aspect of it,” the 21-year-old actress mentioned. “That’s what I want to dig my teeth into. It’s just the fact that, as you see from the episodes [of Sacred Lies], really intelligent people who have worked hard to build lives for themselves and their families are susceptible to some guy coming to them, claiming to be this prophet who talks to God and all that stuff. For them to give up everything they’ve worked for to follow him to live in the woods and pick up bows and arrows and follow his way of life and follow his ideals, that’s just a fascinating thing to me. This guy can manipulate intelligent people, and how does he do it? He plays upon their weaknesses and their insecurities and makes them feel loved and admired and cherished, so it’s a really interesting topic to explore. And the fact that Minnow is a character who was brought up in this world and told not to be curious, told not to be independent… So it’s all about her fighting against that and coming out to survive and sticking true to herself.”
We also had to talk to Elena about Before I Fall, a beloved YA book adaptation Elena starred in alongside Zoey Deutch (Set it Up), Halston Sage (The Orville), and Kian Lawley (Zac & Mia) in 2017.
“Before I Fall has a special place in my heart. That’s another one based on a book! The people who worked on that are so dear to me. We shot it in Vancouver, where we shot Sacred Lies. And it’s so funny because in juvy [on the show], there’s a library and they had Before I Fall in the stacks there, and I was like ‘ahh!’ I was writing to Ry [Russo-Young], our director. We all keep in touch.”
“I run into them all the time. I talk to Zoey. Everybody’s so cool. Also, I ran into a lot of the same crew members [of Before I Fall] filming Sacred Lies, and I have a special connection with all of them. It’s cool when you run into them on another project because they do work so hard.”
Vancouver’s a popular filming location, it seems, and the perfect one for eerie projects like Before I Fall and Sacred Lies! Everything comes full circle, doesn’t it? You can watch a trailer below: