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Them is filled with horrors supernatural and otherwise, but there’s nothing more threatening to the safety of the Emory family than neighbor Betty Wendell. Played with verve and a simmering menace by the reliably great Alison Pill, Betty is the epitome of racism in America, hatred masked with a smile and perfectly coiffed hair. As the tension mounts over ten episodes, Them invites us deeper and deeper into Betty’s psyche, but it’s not to make her a sympathetic villain—it’s to show us the roots of her fears and her bigotries. For Pill, the role offered an opportunity to face an all-too familiar monster: “It’s important for white women to explore and interrogate their role in white supremacy,” she told The A.V. Club. In the video above, the actor discusses why intersectionality is crucial in stories about institutional racism in America, and how she worked with series creator Little Marvin (“LM,” as she refers to him) to make Betty feel as real—and horrifying—as possible.
Covenant—the first season of horror anthology series Them—is available now on Amazon Prime Video.