‘Defending Jacob’ stars Chris Evans & Michelle Dockery on Apple TV+

 Which would you choose—upholding justice or protecting your child? In Defending Jacob, Chris Evans (Captain America) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) are faced with that dilemma. The limited series for Apple TV+ questions how far people might bend their ethical boundaries for the ones they love.

 Defending Jacob premiered the first three episodes on Apple TV+ (on April 24, 2020) and remaining episodes will follow a weekly-release format for a total of eight episodes.

 The compelling miniseries stars Chris Evans (Captain America, Knives Out) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Good Behavior) as Andy and Laurie Barber, the parents of a 14-year-old son, Jacob (Jaeden Martell, who was in Knives Out), whose classmate has been murdered. The drama is based on the gripping 2012 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name.

 Defending Jacob follows the investigation of a crime which stuns the town of Newton, Massachusetts, where Andy is an assistant district attorney. As the story unfolds it appears that Jacob might have committed the murder, and Andy’s unconditional love for his son may get in the way of seeing that justice is served.

 The series was shot in Massachusetts and was written and executive produced by Mark Bomback and directed by Morten Tyldum, an Oscar nominee for The Imitation Game.

 Both Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery were on hand at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter 2020 press tour at the posh Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena in January to talk about the production.

Defending Jacob‘s Barber family: Laurie (Michelle Dockery), Jacob (Jaeden Martell) and Andy (Chris Evans) ©2020 Apple TV

 What was it about Defending Jacob that impressed Chris Evans, who is better known in his superhero Captain America role? Evans said, “It’s just one of those ones. I can be capricious at times, so I take my time. And it was a project that I had read while I was working on something in New York and I just kinda kept coming back to it. It’s the type of project that sticks in your head for some reason. And my meetings with Morten and Mark were always so fantastic. Every time I left one of those meetings I was more encouraged, more excited. And, eventually, I had to do it.”

 Michelle Dockery was also hooked by the quality of the story. “For me it always starts with the writing, and I was hooked the minute I started reading these scripts and I was really drawn to the story itself, initially. I like watching this type of genre. And what I loved so much about Defending Jacob is that actually it becomes so much more about the characters. It’s not about the mystery of who did it so much, as it’s a real kind of exploration into how would you respond as a parent. Playing Laurie, I was really drawn to really tapping into how you would react as a parent and what lengths you would go to protect your child. I’d never read anything like this before about family and I was just so instantly drawn to the project. Chris and Jaeden were both attached and Morten and Mark, we instantly had a sort of connection when I met them.”

 Dockery added, “I was drawn to (playing Laurie) because she’s very different from any other character that I’ve played. I love her journey throughout the story. Without giving too much away, I think that was something that really intrigued me from the start. You know, I like doing accents, so I liked playing another American.”

 Is there justice for Jacob? Tune in Defending Jacob on Apple TV+ now streaming.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.