Cameron Britton on Channeling the “Intellectual Creepiness” of a Real-Life Serial Killer

Patrick Harbron / Netflix

The Netflix series’ breakout guest actor reveals what it took to pull off his haunting performance as the murderous Ed Kemper (hint: lots and lots of director David Fincher’s infamous takes).

Daniel Fienberg
August 17, 2018
The Hollywood Reporter

You can’t always pinpoint exactly the moment when a show makes its big qualitative leap, but with Netflix‘s Mindhunter, it’s easy. Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), an FBI agent experiencing frustration at his colleagues’ antiquated approach to murder investigation, goes to prison to visit a notorious killer and comes face-to-face with Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton).

Towering in stature, soft-spoken, viewing the world inquisitively through thick glasses, Kemper is intellectually vicious, yet unfailingly polite. By the end of one 10-minute conversation, we understand completely why Holden has been pulled into Kemper’s gravity and how this giant has instantly transformed his worldview.

It’s a show-changing character and a career-changing performance for Britton, making his first major TV role and earning his first career Emmy nomination. The actor talked with The Hollywood Reporter about his approach to the real-life killer, director David Fincher‘s notoriously exacting standards and more.

Read the full interview

 

Meet Your Nominee: Cameron Britton on ‘Mindhunter’s’ Lone Emmy Nomination & Future of The Show

The Hollywood Reporter (YouTube)
August 7, 2018

2018 ‘Mindhunter‘ star and the show’s only Emmy nominee, Cameron Britton, joins THR for Meet Your Nominee!

 

Cameron Britton (‘Mindhunter’): It was difficult to get into the mind of a killer

Gold Derby (YouTube)
August 6, 2018

Cameron Britton (‘Mindhunter’) chats with Gold Derby editor Daniel Montgomery: It was difficult to get into the mind of a killer, and to get out of it.

Complete Interview Transcript

 

How Ice Cream and The Beatles Helped Cameron Britton Destroy a Killer

TV Guide (YouTube)
August 15, 2018

Mindhunter’s Cameron Britton tells us how he was able to get into the mind of serial killer Ed Kemper, the toll it took on him, and how he ultimately got him out of his system.

 

Emmy-Nominee Cameron Britton On Becoming Ed Kemper In ‘Mindhunter’

Mindhunter‘s Cameron Britton talks to Awards Daily about how he became serial killer Ed Kemper, how the role impacted his life, and what his Emmy nomination means to him.

Clarence Moye
August 20, 2018
Awards Daily

Cameron Britton is having a very, very good year.

When Netflix’s Mindhunter premiered last fall, critics and audiences alike approached the dramatic series with respect and awe, thanks to the influence of the great director David Fincher. But everyone, literally everyone, was talking about Cameron Britton. His take on infamous serial killer Edmund Kemper captivated audiences. If you were talking about Mindhunter, then you were talking about Cameron Britton’s brilliant performance.

Here, Cameron talks to Awards Daily about how he wrestled with Edmund Kemper. He dove so deeply into Kemper that it took time to exorcise the role from his system. He also talks about what the role meant for his career and how he prepped for it by running lines with his close friends. It’s a fascinating conversation with an actor clearly on the rise in Hollywood.

Listen to the full interview

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Cameron Britton Transforms Into Disturbed Killer Ed Kemper

Patrick Harbron / Netflix

Netflix (YouTube)
June 14, 2018

Cameron Britton pulls back the curtain to reveal his process as he transforms from nice guy actor into disturbed serial killer Ed Kemper.

Emmy FYC Spot directed & DP’d by Mindhunter DP Erik Messerschmidt.

252_Mindhunter_102_Unit_03095r3Patrick Harbron / Netflix

‘Mindhunter’ Breakout Cameron Britton Taps Into Psychology & Cold Intelligence Of Real-Life Serial Killer Edmund Kemper

Matt Grobar
June 14, 2018
Deadline

Breaking through with his first guest star role on David Fincher’s Netflix crime drama Mindhunter, where he would play terrifying serial killer Edmund Kemper, Cameron Britton found both an incredible artistic opportunity and a challenge that would daunt any actor, coming face to face with one of the industry’s most formidable auteurs.

In his first experience playing a real-life figure, Britton couldn’t have found a more deliciously complicated character than Kemper, who is still alive, living out his remaining years at California Medical Facility. Towering over his victims at 6’9” (Britton is 6’5”), Kemper’s dominance wasn’t only physical. Murdering 10 people, including his mother and his paternal grandparents—before desecrating their bodies—Kemper also possessed great intelligence and a knack for manipulation that made him a nightmare for his opponents, in life and in prison, where FBI agents (played in the series by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) tried to come to grips with his psychology.

“What drew me to the role was this dynamic where he’s this horribly violent, narcissistic, selfish person with no remorse, and yet he’s well spoken, he’s polite, he’s engaging,” Britton explains. “That sort of ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’ concept, it’s always been interesting to me. If you are threatening and your opponent knows it, why flaunt it? Why not offer them the path of least resistance?”

To play Kemper effectively, Britton would have to dig uncomfortably deep into the psyche of a murderer who viewed himself as the hero of his own story, figuring out what it was that baffled psychologists—what made him tick.

Read the full interview

250_Mindhunter_102_Unit_02776R3Patrick Harbron / Netflix

Cameron Britton Breaks Through Playing Real Life Serial Killer Ed Kemper in Mindhunter

Hugh Hart
June 14, 2018
MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), The Credits (Profiles Below the Line)

Netflix true crime drama Mindhunter moves efficiently in tracking the origins of forensic science as experienced through FBI odd couple (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) until midway through its second episode. Then, Cameron Britton makes his entrance. Playing real-life 70’s-era serial killer Ed Kemper, Britton strolls into an interrogation room and takes the show in utterly unnerving new direction through his embodiment of folksy evil incarnate.

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How David Fincher Nailed ‘Mindhunter,’ from Charlize Theron to Jonathan Groff

Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Erik Messerschmidt (Director of Photography), Laray Mayfield (Casting Director), Cameron Britton, Jonathan Groff, Jennifer Starzyk (Costume Designer), Steve Arnold (Production Designer), David Fincher (Director/Executive Producer). (Patrick Lewis/Starpix for Netflix/REX/Shutterstock/IndieWire)

Take some people obsessed with serial killers, and a detail freak like David Fincher, and the alchemy is undeniably compelling.

Anne Thompson
June 4, 2018
IndieWire, Thompson on Hollywood

There are manifold reasons why Netflix’s chilling series “Mindhunter” breaks the mold, from David Fincher to the bromantic chemistry between boyish FBI agent Holden Ford (“Hamilton” star Jonathan Groff) and gruff, chain-smoking G-man Bill Tench (Fincher veteran Holt McCallany). Here are a few factors that pushed this series to the top of the competitive drama Emmy contenders.

1. Charlize Theron

The series may never have existed if executive producer Charlize Theron hadn’t recognized a fellow serial killer buff in Fincher. When the actress was researching her Oscar-winning role as sociopath Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkins’ “Monster,” she read John Douglas’s “Mindhunter,” about the groundbreaking ’70s FBI unit that pioneered research into serial killers.

“This guy had an incredible life,” she said. “What he does is so rare and mind-blowing. I’m fascinated by books on neurology and brain development and why people are sociopaths: They cut off all emotion in order to do horrible things. I bought the rights to his book. I thought about Fincher, who loved ‘Zodiac’ and ‘Seven’ [and thought] ‘He must be obsessed with this stuff too; he must know who John Douglas is.’ People said, ‘You have never produced television.’ I asked David to lunch and he knew about Douglas and was on board: ‘Let’s make it into a series.’ Dream big, motherfuckers!”

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Charlize Theron craves Sushi
Fincher and Theron, after their meeting in 2012 (Bauer-Griffin, AKM-GSI)

The Cast of Mindhunter in Conversation

Vulture (YouTube)
June 1, 2018

Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, and Cameron Britton sat down with Vulture‘s Abraham Riesman for a conversation about the critically acclaimed series’ first season, the series’ real-life inspirations, and exactly what level of creepiness fans can look forward to enjoying in season two.

Thanks to Andrew Moore

The Mindhunter Cast Knows How to Spot a Sociopath

2018-08-21. Vulture - The Mindhunter Cast Knows How to Spot a Sociopath

Abraham Riesman
August 21, 2018
Vulture

Despite being a 1970s period piece, Mindhunter feels eminently of the present moment. We’re living in the midst of a true-crime renaissance, and the David Fincher–helmed Netflix series stands out not only as a (heavily fictionalized) example of the genre, but as a critique of it. As FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) delve into the brains and motivations of serial killers — especially real-life murderer Ed Kemper (Emmy nominee Cameron Britton) — we’re given a window into why humans have such a fascination with individuals who engage in death and destruction. But just as interesting as the tales on the screen are the tales of what it takes to tell them, as an audience learned during a panel discussion with Groff, McCallany, Torv, and Britton at this year’s Vulture Festival. Over the course of the conversation, the actors talked about Fincher’s notorious obsessiveness, whether Ford is a sociopath, and how Britton learned to play Kemper partially thanks to his own time as a schoolteacher.

Read the full conversation transcription