Following her Emmy-nominated performance in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, Mckenna Grace has found her next TV project in the form of Peacock’s A Friend of the Family series. The rising young actress has been tapped for a leading role opposite Oscar winner Anna Paquin in the upcoming true-crime drama, centering around the real-life abductions of Jan Broberg.
Grace will be playing the teenage version of Jan Broberg, who is the oldest daughter of Bob and Mary Ann Broberg. “She leads a happy, traditional life in an idyllic American city,” reads her character description. “Jan trusts family friend and neighbor Robert Berchtold, though he has plans for her abduction that she doesn’t suspect.”
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A Friend of the Family will be based on the stranger-than-fiction kidnapping story of Jan Broberg, who was kidnapped by their neighbor Robert Berchtold on two different occasions during the 1970s. Broberg will be serving as a producer along with her mother Mary Ann Broberg, who previously wrote a memoir together about the horrifying incident titled Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story.
The drama will also star Anna Paquin (True Blood) as Mary Ann Broberg, Jake Lacy (The White Lotus) as Robert Berchtold, Colin Hanks (The Offer) as Bob, and Lio Tipton (Why Women Kill) as Gail Berchtold.
“It tells the harrowing true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped multiple times over a period of years by a charismatic, obsessed family ‘friend,’” reads the synopsis. “The Brobergs — devoted to their faith, family, and community — were utterly unprepared for the sophisticated tactics their neighbor used to exploit their vulnerabilities, drive them apart, and turn their daughter against them. This is the story of how their lives were permanently altered — and how they survived.”
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A Friend of the Family hails from writer, executive producer, and showrunner Nick Antosca, who’s known for his work on Hulu’s acclaimed true crime miniseries The Act. Eliza Hittman (Never Rarely Sometimes Always) has also boarded the project to direct multiple episodes including the pilot.
It is a production by UCP. Executive producers are Hittman, and Alex Hedlund, with Top Knot Films’ Skye Borgman set as a consulting producer.