‘Under the Bridge’ Teens on Playing Into the Show’s ’90s Setting & Learning Biggie’s Rap

TV Shows

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Under the Bridge Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2.]

Hulu’s true-crime drama Under the Bridge brings to life the real-life story of Reena Virk (Vritika Gupta), a teen girl who was murdered in the ’90s and almost every one of her peers is currently a suspect as the limited drama series unfolds.

But some are more suspicious than others as tough-girl Josephine “Jo” Bell (Chloe Guidry) projects as mob boss-aura proclaiming herself the “John Gotti of Seven Oaks,” the boarding house for wayward teen girls. Meanwhile, is there more to Warren Glowatski (Javon “Wanna” Walton)? It’s quite clear that Reena’s pal Dusty (Aiyana Goodfellow) is cracking under pressure as investigator Cam Bentland (Lily Gladstone) seeks answers surrounding the crime.

Javon Walton in 'Under the Bridge'

Bettina Strauss/Hulu

And yet, not everything is as it appears, allowing for the mystery to unfold little by little. When it came time to take on these roles, the teens at the center of it all were eager to honor the fact that they’re playing real individuals. “It was really important to me to research everything I could,” Guidry tells TV Insider, noting that she often referenced Rebecca Godfrey’s book upon which the show is based for information. “I highlighted everything that I could to bring her to life. Jo was a very tough-on-the-outside mean girl, but realistically she was really struggling. As Guidry puts it, “she’s such a dynamic and complex character.”

For Walton, who fans will know from Euphoria and Umbrella Academy teased that his character Warren has “got a very sweet and charming side to him for sure. And you get to see that with his girlfriend and even the dynamic between him and Rebecca (Riley Keough).” For the young star, he says,  “That’s a super sweet dynamic,” viewers will see continue over the season.

Chloe Guidry and Aiyana Goodfellow from 'Under the Bridge'

Darko Sikman/Hulu

When it comes to Dusty, Goodfellow says their “journey throughout the narrative is basically deciding whether she’s going to choose her sense of belonging and her heart or her sense of safety with some of the other characters.”

Because of the show’s ’90s-set tale, these tees are experiencing youth in a whole new light through the series as well, as Goodfellow notes, “the idea that you just have to guess where people are and you can’t just call them or text them and be like, ‘Hey, where should we meet?’” is baffling to the star.

But it was the music for Gupta who had to learn Biggie‘s raps because of Reena’s love for the artist. “I had no idea about who even Biggie was,” Gupta admits, “I know it might seem like I was living under a rock, but having to play Reena, I know she loved Biggie so much and that was a very big part of her life. So me and my acting coach actually made a Reena playlist, which had a lot of Biggie songs in it, and we just continued to listen to it,” the actress reveals.

“I feel like back then everyone was listening to a lot of the same thing,” Gupta adds,  “which is very interesting for me to dig in and see that.” But at the end of the day, Guidry makes a valid point, that despite the show’s ’90s-set tale, “They were teenagers like we are too… teenagers have always been teenagers.”

But not all teenagers are quite like the ones seen in Under the Bridge. See how their stories unfold as the rest of the season continues to unfold on Hulu.

Under the Bridge, New Episodes, Wednesdays, Hulu

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