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Andrew Garfield is playing a ‘Mormon’ detective because he loved Jon Krakauer’s book about the Lafferty murders

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Posted at 1:30 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 15:48:30-04

It didn’t take much to convince Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield to star as a Latter-day Saint police detective in the TV miniseries “Under the Banner of Heaven.” He said it was a role he’d been waiting years to play.

“To be honest, I’ve been a fan of this book by Jon Krakauer since it came out,” said the 38-year-old actor. “I read it kind of so hungrily, and I found it so deeply fascinating. The themes, the story itself, how thrilling the story was, but also how horrifying it was.”

Krakauer’s book, published in 2003, recounts the murders of Brenda Laffery and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica, in American Fork in 1984. Her brothers-in-law, Ron and Dan Lafferty, were eventually convicted of the crimes.

Reading the book as a young man, Garfield said he “thought, ‘Well, who’s going to make this into a film or a television show,’ because it has to be made. And then, cut to 10 years later and I get a call” from showrunner Dustin Lance Black and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

In the miniseries, Garfield (familiar for his roles in “tick, tick...BOOM” and “The Amazing Spider-Man”) plays a fictional character — “Mormon” police detective Jeb Pyre, whose investigation into the murders causes him to question his own faith. (The miniseries is set in the 1980s and earlier, so the word “Mormon” — a term discouraged by the church’s current leader, President Russell M. Nelson — is used throughout the miniseries.)

Read the full story on The Salt Lake Tribune

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.