Not everyone is a good person. Some people have dark lurking within them that drives them to commit unspeakable acts. These people can be your family, colleagues and friends. People change behind closed doors, but some monsters refuse to remain hidden when an object of desire threatens to escape their grasp. At Peacock’s A friend of the family trailer, the Broberg family discovers an inscrutable secret about a friend who feels more like an extended family member.
According to Peacock, A friend of the family is “based on the harrowing true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped several times over the course of a few years by a charismatic, obsessed family “friend”. The Brobergs – devoted to their faith, family and community – were completely unprepared on the sophisticated tactics their neighbor used to exploit their vulnerabilities, drive them apart and turn their daughter against them. This is the story of how their lives were permanently changed – and how they survived.”
Peacock’s A friend of the family trailer will send shivers down your spine as you watch Jake Lacy’s transformation from a seemingly harmless Mormon to a lecherous and manipulative kidnapper. Disturbing patterns emerge as Lacy casts a spell over the Broberg family and inserts herself into a role that threatens to tear the group apart at the seams. What do you do when you can no longer trust the people closest to you?
Premiere on October 6, writes Nick Antosca, executive producing and presenting the Peacock Original series. Alex Hedlund will produce alongside Eliza Hitman, who will direct several episodes. Jan Broberg and Mary Ann Broberg are producing, while Skye Borgman is advising Top Knot Films.
According to the official press release for Peacock’s A friend of the family trailers:
Anna Paquin (Flack, The Irishman, True blood) will play the role of Mary Ann Broberg. Mary Ann is the mother of three daughters and her life has been safe, happy and rewarding until recently. She has realized too late that she may have overlooked warning signs and made a terrible mistake by getting close to her charismatic neighbor Robert Berchtold – and trusting him around her eldest daughter, Jan.
Jake Lacy (The white lotus that is Ricardo’s) will play the role of Robert “B” Berchtold, a charming local businessman who appears to be a genial Mormon father and husband. An expert at manipulation, he puts everyone around him at ease as he carefully plans the abduction of Mary Ann’s daughter.
Colin Hanks (The Offer, Impeachment: American Crime Story) will play the role of Bob Broberg, Mary Ann’s husband and Jan’s father, Bob is big-hearted, kind and everyone’s best friend, the very model of a suburban patriarch. As his family grows closer to neighbor Robert Berchtold, Bob begins to fear that something is missing.
Leo Tipton (The edge of sleep, Why women kill) will play the role of Gail Berchtold. Gail is Robert Berchtold’s wife and mother of a large family. Her husband suffers from mood swings and this has caused him to act erratically. Gail’s worries about her husband may keep her on edge, but she could never have anticipated what her husband would do in the end.
McKenna Grace (Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Captain Marvel) will play the role of Jan Broberg in later years. Jan is the eldest daughter of Bob and Mary Ann Broberg and lives a happy, traditional life in an idyllic American town. Jan trusts family friend and neighbor Robert Berchtold, even though he has plans for her abduction that she doesn’t suspect.
Hendrix Yancey (George & Tammy, incredible) gets to play the role of Jan Broberg in the early years. Jan is the eldest daughter of Bob and Mary Ann Broberg and lives a happy, traditional life in an idyllic American town. Jan trusts family friend and neighbor Robert Berchtold, even though he has plans for her abduction that she doesn’t suspect.
Speaking about what compelled him to the harrowing story of the Broberg family, Nick Antosca included the following note in today’s official press release:
“It is easy to judge the history of the Broberg family from the outside. Sometimes when people first hear it, they get defensive: How could these parents have allowed this to happen? I do not like them.
It is understandable. It’s a surreal story. When I first heard it, I empathized with the family’s vulnerability and felt like I understood their story from the outside. But it stayed with me and I wanted to understand from the inside – to know what their lives felt like, to live in each family member’s experience, to see how they were caught in such a bizarre web, and to help the audience empathize with them too.
I hope people will come away from the series with a deeper understanding of the family and say: At that time, in that place, they were just like me. They made terrible mistakes, but they loved their children. And a master manipulator took advantage of them.
The series exists outside the typical genre categories. It’s a thriller built around obsessive relationships, a family drama and a nightmarish coming-of-age story.
Over the course of working on this story and talking to others who have worked on it, one thing has become clear: It is more relatable than it first appears. The Brobergers’ story is an extreme point on a continuum that more of us are on than we realize.
The other reason I couldn’t stop thinking about this story is that the Broberg family grew stronger after all. They loved and forgave. This is a story of survival and a larger story of the American psyche and the institutions of family, religion and society. And part of what makes the story so unique is not how strange it is, but the fact that the Brobergers told it at all.
It was a harrowing, complicated story to work on. In addition to the thousands of pages of court transcripts, FBI memos, interviews, and childhood diaries that we could use to tell the story, we have had the privilege of working with Jan Broberg himself. We could not and would not tell this story without the blessing and participation of Jan and her family.
Thank you for watching.”
What do you think of Peacock’s? A friend of the family trailer? Want to tune in to this disturbing suburban horror October 6?