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‘The Crowded Room’ Star Emmy Rossum on Candy’s Heartbreaking Choice

[This interview was conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike authorization.]

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Crowded Room Season 1, Episode 9, “Family.”]

The Crowded Room is nearing the end of its run at Apple TV+, and as fans await to see the fate of Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland), star Emmy Rossum is addressing his mom Candy’s decisions in the penultimate episode, “Family.”

While Danny’s trial continued, Candy finally showed her face in court after being asked by his lawyer Stan (Christopher Abbott) and psychologist Rya (Amanda Seyfried). At first, she’s apprehensive about participating, afraid of the backlash she’ll face from her abusive husband Marlin (Will Chase) and the judgment she’d experience from onlookers, but little by little, she was seemingly swayed to take a definitive stand in support of her son.

(Credit: Apple TV+)

Sadly, it all fell apart when Marlin found her out and showed up at court the same day she intended to testify. Packing her bags and deciding to turn a new leaf, Candy shriveled under the pressure of Marlin’s manipulative perspective, and she denied her son was ever sexually abused, effectively hurting his defense in the case which arose from Danny shooting at Marlin in Rockefeller Center.

“I worked with a psychologist to understand the mentality of the character and also had the opportunity to speak with a woman who was in a very similar situation who was a very committed and loving mother who had no idea what was happening around her, the violence,” Rossum tells TV Insider about her process of understanding Candy’s trauma.

“It’s pretty soul-stirring when you have to play scenes like that,” the actress admits, “but when you’ve been given a script that is as complicated and nuanced and beautiful as the one that we were given, it’s kind of a joy to be able to bring empathy and humanity to a woman who has a Shakespearean level of tragedy.”

In the episode, Rossum points out the scene between herself and Seyfried as a turning point for Candy. “When she is offered a different perception of herself than she has ever considered by Amanda’s character of maybe she is good inside, even though she has done bad things, that maybe there is hope for her. You see that little moment where she’s kind of galvanized in believing that there could be a way out, that there could be a happy ending for her, that she could love herself and love her child.”

Of course, viewers know Candy is dissuaded from following the promising path paved for her. Rossum says, “You realize that the monster comes back and puts her right back into that paralyzed state of fear, which we’ve seen her sink into. It’s kind of devastating, and ultimately in that episode, she betrays herself and her child, and it is pretty crushing.”

While her decision may surprise, Rossum points out why it makes sense. “You’ve been with her on that journey enough to understand that this is what she needs to do to survive.” But will Danny? As viewers saw in the penultimate episode’s final moments, Danny seemingly slit his wrists with a metal paper clip. Stay tuned to find out as The Crowded Room reaches its conclusion on Apple TV+.

The Crowded Room, Fridays, Apple TV+

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