Jackie Earle Haley

Anatomy of a Monster: LITTLE CHILDREN's Jackie Earle Haley

Article: Anatomy of a Monster: LITTLE CHILDREN's Jackie Earle Haley

The title of LITTLE CHILDREN (airing November 24 at 8P and throughout the month)—cowriter-director Todd Field’s chilling 2006 adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s tale of love, lust and lies in suburbia—works on many levels. It describes the type of people who would commit selfish, impulsive actions like the pair of unhappily married people (Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson) at the heart of the story who engage in a passionate but ultimately destructive affair with no regard for how it will affect others, especially their own, yes, little children. It also applies to those innocent young residents of a sleepy New Jersey burg whose parents feel they need to protect them from a convicted sex offender, Ronald “Ronnie” James McGorvey (THE BAD NEWS BEARS grad Jackie Earle Haley, in a career-redefining performance), who’s moved back into their neighborhood. And it also encapsulates the personality of Ronnie, who’s infantilized by his smothering mother (the heartbreakingly good Phyllis Somerville) and terrorized into believing he could never survive without her, leaving him in a state of perpetually arrested adolescence and unable to express his sexual longings in a mature manner—and with his peers.