Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery Talk Parenting Ups and Downs in ‘Defending Jacob’

If you’re a fan of crime television, chances are you’ve heard of the new Apple TV series Defending Jacob. It stars Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, and Jaeden Martell as a family facing an absolutely impossible situation.

When a high school student is found murdered, a DA’s son is suspected of committing the crime. Of course, this soon changes everything. The accusation doesn’t just affect Jacob (played by Martell), but his parents Andy and Laurie Barber, too.

Some big questions are posed as the story is told. Can Jacob and Laurie defend their son through anything? Do they ever, even for a moment, question his innocence? Maybe the most important question of all soon follows – how far would you go to protect someone you love?

In an interview with IndieWire both Evans and Dockery discussed the series and how the ups and downs of parenting are at the heart of the story.

Dockery talked about parents being able to relate to the series in the way that we all share hopes and dreams, as well as anxieties, about raising children.

“I think, of course, parents out there will relate somewhat to their hopes and anxieties with children. It’s just a very extreme situation that they’re going through. But yeah, I don’t know how parents do it.”

Evans agreed, adding that loving deeply is a risk in itself, especially when the person you love so unconditionally is your child.

“I think for the most part, we’d all agree loving deeply is a risk and there’s a gamble involved. You’ve really got to untether yourself and let the let the ocean take you out, but a kid is different because you are the primary caregiver, you’re in charge of their lives. If a marriage falls apart, you can leave. A child, it’s on you, you know what I mean?”

If you’ve seen the series in its entirety, you know that as the last episode wraps up, there are still some fish left to fry.

Spoilers follow.

The series ends with Andy visiting Laurie in a hospital bed, having just seen their son Jacob – lying in a hospital bed – only kept ‘alive’ by machines.

From the beginning of the series, through flashes in and out of a courtroom, fans could tell that something big was wrong with Andy. He was a man defeated, at the wrap of the series, we finally learn why. His wife and son were in a life-altering accident, and the question was…did Laurie crash on purpose.

As fans, we have insight that those in the courtroom did not, but Andy assures Laurie that the accident was ruled just that…an accident. While she looks relieved in the moment, we see a look of something else existing just below the surface – too.

That’s the heart of the story – not Jacob’s guilt or innocence, but the love of his parents through it.

The series ended in a spot where a second season could be a possibility. Both Evans and Dockery have recently spoken about the series only being slated for one season, but if the story was worth telling – they’d be open to revisiting it.

Here’s hoping, we’d love to see what happens next for the Barber family, and to see what parenting looks like for them, now.

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