Cindy Turner’s seemingly perfect facade is crumbling around her on Cruel Summer. The rumors about Jeanette seeing Kate while she was being held captive are running rampant. As Jeanette is being questioned by the police, Cindy is clearly starting to doubt her own daughter. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Sarah Drew about Cindy’s motives. Is Cindy just concerned about her family’s reputation or the truth about what happened between Jeanette and Kate?
“I think it’s a combination of both,” Sarah told HollywoodLife. “One of the kinds of defining characteristics of her as a human is that she, her identity is wrapped up into the success of her family, especially her children, you know, it’s like, well, I spent my life raising these kids, and if they’re not successful, then I’m not successful. That’s kind of where her brain is, I think. I don’t know that she’s aware of that. I think that for her, she thinks she’s just loving her child. But I think what’s really happening underneath it is that she’s starting to see some cracks in this sort of tableau that she thought she created or helped create. The 1994 version of Jeanette is definitely who Cindy wants her daughter to be. And then when things start to crack, it’s like, quickly, let’s like plaster that crack up. God, that can’t be true. It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not. We just have to plaster it up really quick before more people find out about it or hear about it. I think that gets her into a little bit of trouble.”
When Jeanette is brought in to be questioned about Kate, that’s when Cindy’s world begins to collapse. The police ask Jeanette about the necklace Kate claims is Jeanette’s, but Jeanette swears it’s not hers. Sarah breaks down what is going through Cindy’s mind.
“I think what’s happening in that moment is that the narrative that she had created about what her family was is starting to fall apart,” Sarah continued. “It’s a very big moment for Cindy when that necklace comes out. Because for her, [it’s like], are you lying? Are you? Are we not? Did you do? So it’s not only it’s the betrayal, it’s the potential of the betrayal of me. You’ve betrayed me because you’ve lied to me. But there’s also the potential of what does this mean for our family? If this is true, then how do I fix it? How can I possibly fix it? Something needs to be done. All of these things, I think are going through Cindy’s brain in this moment. Whether she really believes Jeanette’s been lying or not, it’s a crack. It’s a massive, gaping crack in what she thought was true about her life.”
In the year 1993, Cindy reveals to Jeanette that she and Kate’s mom used to be friends in high school. In Cindy’s eyes, Kate’s mom was the one always chasing after Cindy. All the guys had eyes for Cindy. Sarah noted that Cindy and Joy’s past, as well as what’s going with Kate and Jeanette, explores the idea of perception.
“There’s a lot to be told there, especially watching the scene between Joy and Kate in episode 2 and seeing kind of a mirror of that same conversation between Cindy and Jeanette in episode 3,” Sarah told HollywoodLife. “But in Joy’s version, Joy was the popular one and Cindy was always chasing after her, and all the men wanted Joy, not Cindy. In Cindy’s version, all the guys including Joy’s husband wanted Cindy, Joy was the one chasing after Cindy like a puppy dog. What I find so fascinating about this show is that it really does explore the idea of perception, right? In just watching those two scenes next to one another, you could think as an audience member: is Cindy lying? Is Joy lying? One of them might be lying. One of them might be in denial. Or maybe that was their experience of both those times for them. That’s the thing that I think is so fascinating is that we, as humans, can interact and receive the same situation differently than someone else. And for me, this is truth. And for you, it happened in a totally different way because of how it made you feel.”
In the 1995 timeline, Cindy is still nowhere to be seen. Sarah could only say this about Cindy’s whereabouts: “Yes, you will find out where she is. But that’s the only thing I’m allowed to say about that.” Cruel Summer airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Freeform.