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Interview: Juliette Lewis of 'Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones'

By: Kayla Caldwell

If you’ve been looking to fill a Mindhunter-shaped hole in your life, you’re about to be really happy with Blumhouse Television. Mind you, SACRED LIES: THE SINGING BONES is a fictional murder mystery, but how could you say no to a female-driven thriller, lead by none other than Juliette Lewis?

SACRED LIES: THE SINGING BONES follows arm-chair detective Harper (Lewis) as she hunts for answers regarding two unidentified murder victims. She joins forces with Elsie (Jordan Alexander), a foster kid whose life will intersect with that of the murder victims - and Harper - in ways you wouldn’t expect.

Ahead of the release, we were able to chat with leading lady Juliette Lewis about inclusive writing, the joy of a good mystery, and our shared love of true crime. Check out the interview below, and don’t forget to watch SACRED LIES: THE SINGING BONES when it debuts on Facebook Watch, February 20.

How did you get involved with the second season of SACRED LIES?

Juliette Lewis: The script was unlike anything I’d read, because it’s a murder mystery. I just love the way it unfolds, and how you learn about all these characters.

And then I met Raelle Tucker, who was such a discovery for me. She’s the show creator and writer. I really loved everything she had to say about people finding connections, who are lost, and sort of choosing your own family.

What drew you to the character Harper?

Juliette Lewis: Oh, I loved Harper. I knew exactly how I wanted to play her. I loved that there was no vanity. I loved that she’s an introvert. She doesn’t really take care of herself. She’s single-mindedly obsessed with solving cases. It comes from a place of deep pain and trauma that we learn about [as the show goes on].

One scene that sticks out is when Harper calls her mom. It’s just such a heartbreaking moment.

Juliette Lewis: Yeah, we get to see that. We get to see that broken person that’s forever wounded, and then she doesn’t do any work to heal it. She’s just on a path of wishing she could save her sister, and make good of all the tough stuff that they grew up in.

When Harper finds the body in the tree, is she really intuitive and looking at it from the woman’s perspective - or is there a supernatural element?

Juliette Lewis: Well, it’s funny, because I feel like we have in life sometimes, these amazing moments of synchronicity. And from all the documentaries that I’ve seen that show the best homicide detectives, there is kind of this sixth sense, and how people discover that is really wild.

But for Harper, her whole plight is that she tries to be the victim. She tries to be the person who is lost, and think how they might think. So, I like the scene where she’s walking deeper and deeper into the woods, and going, “Why were you here? What were you looking for? What were you doing?”

That’s part of her discovery. But I definitely think it is a sixth sense that really good detectives have. You could call it the spirit speaking to them. We don’t know… I don’t even think they know.

Exactly. Personally, I love true crime, and I know I’m continually mystified by profiling.

Juliette Lewis: I was just going to say that! How is it they’re not psychic? They can read the crime scene… I’ve seen profilers, who would say, “He lives right next door. He was really mad at his mom, and the last crime he committed was, like, five years ago.”

So you’re also interested in true crime, then?

Juliette Lewis: One hundred percent. I joked with Raelle, “Oh, you mean all those hundreds of hours of Forensic Files and the ID channel is what prepared me? I already did my research!”

But yeah, I was super into the mystery of it, and how people are able to solve it [the crime]. Of course, I’ve seen some shows where it’s survivors stories, where, of course you want the survivors, because they survived! But, if you can’t have that, you at least want the people who solve the crimes. Cold cases, I just can’t even get into, because they’re so frustrating.

How much of the mystery did you know at any given point?

Juliette Lewis: It was a constant surprise. Although, Raelle told me the general arc of everything, it was sort of, “What do you want to know? And what don’t you want to know?” And I liked to know as much as my character needs to know. I find that helpful.

When she [Harper] goes home, and you get what her past was like. That’s really interesting, and how everything ties up… I just think it’s a great mystery. It is not what you’d predict, and I think that’s what I like about it. And every character has a development, from where they started and where they end… It’s a really good mystery.

Follow along as Harper tries to solve the case in Blumhouse Television’s SACRED LIES: THE SINGING BONES, available on Facebook Watch starting February 20.


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