Colin Firth Toni Collette Michael Peterson Kathleen Peterson Jean Xavier De-Lestrade USA show performer Death Colin Firth Toni Collette Michael Peterson Kathleen Peterson Jean Xavier De-Lestrade USA

The Staircase: Toni Collette says she spoke to Kathleen Peterson in her head before every death scene

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The Staircase, Toni Collette dies – a lot. The Sky Atlantic show sees her playing Kathleen Peterson, the wife of American novelist Michael Peterson (played by Colin Firth) who was convicted of killing her and sentenced to life in prison in 2003, despite maintaining she had died after falling down the stairs.

In 2017, Peterson was released after his charge was reduced to manslaughter and he was sentenced to time already served. In the series, Collette acts out a number of the scenarios that could have led to Kathleen’s death, all of which lead to her gruesome end on the stairs.

In a recent interview with Variety, Collette said she had just one chance to nail each of the three death scenes, which were carefully choreographed to match the conditions that Kathleen was really found in. “I had to really clear my mind and get out of the way for each take,” she said. “I remember sitting at the bottom of the stairs before a take, shutting everything out and talking to Kathleen in my head.

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