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NBC Insider The Thing About Pam

Why Josh Duhamel Says Renée Zellweger Is 'Chilling' in The Thing About Pam

"I don't think I've ever worked with anybody as sort of locked in as she's been," he says. 

By Christopher Rosa

NBC's new drama series The Thing About Pam will give true-crime fans so much to talk about. Based on the hit Dateline podcast of the same name, the show centers on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria in Troy, MO. Her husband, Russell Faria, quickly became the main suspect and in 2013 received a life sentence plus 30 years for the crime. 

But he was innocent. Russell Faria was later exonerated, and investigators turned their attention to Pam Hupp, Betsy Faria's best friend. After Hupp was implicated in the 2016 murder of 33-year-old Louis Gumpenberger, people started raising their eyebrows and thinking perhaps she was responsible for Betsy Faria's death. In 2021, a full 10 years of twists and turns later, Pam Hupp was officially charged with the first-degree murder of Betsy Faria. (Hupp pled not guilty.)

NBC's The Thing About Pam will document in detail Hupp's story⁠—how she evaded suspicion from a town and court system that had already decided Russell Faria was guilty. Renée Zellweger plays Hupp, and she's supported by a stellar ensemble cast. Katy Mixon plays Betsy Faria; Glenn Fleshler plays Russell Faria; Josh Duhamel plays Joel Schwartz, Russell Faria’s defense attorney; and Judy Greer plays Leah Askey, the lawyer who prosecuted Russell Faria’s case. 

"Renée's portrayal of Pam is chilling," Duhamel says in the NBC video, above, which takes you behind-the-scenes on The Thing About Pam. "I don't think I've ever worked with anybody as sort of locked in as she's been." 

This level of dedication, though, was necessary. "When we tell these stories and we become obsessed with them, we have to remember to try to get to the bottom of them," Greer says. "To try to have justice for these people." 

As viewers get to the bottom of this story, they'll be hit with one absurdity after the next. "You kind of want to scream at the screen," Fleshler says, while Zellweger adds, "What makes it so fascinating is that the events surrounding this case and the people involved, at every turn, breach the parameters that we have established as for what defines normalcy." 

Mixon perhaps puts it best: "Truth is stranger than fiction," she says.

Watch more BTS from The Thing About Pam in the NBC video, above. The show premieres Tuesday, March 8 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.