‘Haunting of Bly Manor': Oliver Jackson-Cohen on ‘Really F–d Up’ Choices Peter Makes for Rebecca and Miles
(Warning: This post contains major spoilers leading up to the finale of "The Haunting of Bly Manor".)
Among the complex villains that The Haunting of Bly Manor gives us is Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), the devilishly charming employee of Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas), who turns into Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif), who Whip, in love. smart au pair for Henry's young niece Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) and nephew Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth).
Peter repeatedly proves himself to be a selfish person, both before and after death by the Lady in the Lake, with two very specific cases being his biggest downfalls in season two of Mike Flanagan's Netflix anthology. The first is when he commits suicide for Rebecca by entering her body with her permission and then drowning her against her will. The second is when Peter convinces young Miles and Flora to surrender their own little bodies to the ghosts of Peter and Rebecca and promises to "stick" the children with their deceased parents in special memories.
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When it comes to how Peter could manage to make that fatal decision for Rebecca, Jackson-Cohen tells TheWra, "That's really fascinating about Peter that he has to rationalize this so he can do it."
"The way I approach Peter and the way he behaves is that he had a very, very rough upbringing and has spent his entire life pretending that didn't happen and trying to to present oneself in a certain way. And he has never had a family or someone who really loved him. For Peter, the idea of losing that one person in his life who has ever shown him kindness and genuinely cared for him, just as he needed to be cared for in his youth, is not to let go. And so it's incredibly extreme what he does. But I think in Peter's head this is the only option. And it's such a selfish thing, it's a terrible thing that he does. But for Peter it really is life or death for him. He will not be able to exist there without her. And that's how an incredibly exciting story emerges. "
As for the children, Jackson-Cohen says that this is "pretty messed up" too, but for a slightly different motivation.
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"I kept asking about it because he couldn't just take over these children for selfish reasons. There must be something to it, there must be something he does in return for the children," said the Netflix star. "And in Peter's head is the basic principle that they are hidden in a house with their mother and father. And it's a safe place with loving parents, which is all that Peter never had. So I think in Peter's mind the deal that is taking place isn't that bad. He has a conscience, he knows how bad it is what he does or asks. But the payoff for Miles and Flora is that they will be with their parents, which is what Peter ultimately always wanted and needed in his life. He wanted this love and this care. And so I think it makes sense to Peter. But it's really done. "
Fortunately, fans who quit Bly Manor know that Peter's plan won't work in the end.
Stop by TheWrap for the weekend to find out more about Haunting of Bly Manor.
Read the original Haunting of Bly Manor story: Oliver Jackson-Cohen on Really F-d Up decisions Peter makes for Rebecca and Miles At TheWrap
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