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Jason Ritter on channeling Charles Manson: “It’s kind of intoxicating

We love watching him play Mark Cyr on NBC’s family drama Parenthood. But it turns out Ritter may have a darker side that he’s hoping to express in an upcoming film about a legendary serial killer. Keep reading to find out which murderer the darling actor is preparing to play.

We caught up with Jason Ritter, son of the legendary late actor John Ritter, on the red carpet for the Radio Disney Music Awards. We asked him about working on the TV show Parenthood.

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“It’s been a dream come true. A sort of unexpected journey because I was only supposed to do a couple of episodes in the first season, and I kept being brought back. Lauren [Graham] is so lovely and wonderful and amazing. The show is an actor’s dream, they trust us and let us try new things.”

OK, that’s great he enjoys the show, but what we really wanted to know were the details of his upcoming film I Fought the Law, in which Ritter is preparing to play the serial killer Charles Manson.

The real Manson is serving out a life sentence in central California for the gruesome murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at her home in 1969.

So what about Manson intrigues Ritter so much that he wants to portray the lunatic on film?

“He was able to charm and manipulate a lot of people and that takes some kind of people skills. He didn’t introduce himself as a psychopath-murderer-manipulator. He drew a lot of people to him, including some of the Beach Boys. A lot of people just thought he was a strange guy but didn’t know what he was capable of, and that’s what was so scary about him.”

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We asked Ritter if the research he did on Manson stayed with him.

“He definitely gets in your head. The way he talks is so sort of circular. It’s kind of intoxicating, you start to follow his logic. A lot of it, you go that doesn’t fully make sense, but he’s so convinced of what he’s saying, you kind of fall into it. It’s really eerie.”

I Fought the Law will also star Melissa Leo, Malin Akerman and Giovanni Ribisi.

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