Meet the Delaneys, the family at the heart of “Apples Never Fall ”and its (possible) murder mystery

EW opens up the case files on characters played by Annette Bening, Sam Neill, Alison Brie, Jake Lacy, Conor Merrigan-Turner, and Essie Randles.

On the surface, the family at the heart of new Peacock series Apples Never Fall, the Delaneys, seem perfect: Loving parents Joy and Stan (Annette Bening and Sam Neill) have just sold their successful tennis academy and look forward to a peaceful retirement. They have a beautiful home and four grown kids: Amy, Troy, Logan, and Brooke (played by Alison Brie, Jake Lacy, Conor Merrigan-Turner, and Essie Randles).

But things never are as they seem, and when a mysterious woman named Savannah (Georgia Flood) shows up on their doorstep wounded and needing a place to stay, the façade and all the secrets it was masking begin to unravel. And then Joy suddenly disappears, and the family is embroiled in the case of her disappearance... and possible murder.

<p>Vince Valitutti/PEACOCK via Getty</p> Conor Merrigan-Turner as Logan, Essie Randles as Brooke, Sam Neill as Stan, Annette Bening as Joy, Alison Brie as Amy, Jake Lacy as Troy in 'Apples Never Fall'

Vince Valitutti/PEACOCK via Getty

Conor Merrigan-Turner as Logan, Essie Randles as Brooke, Sam Neill as Stan, Annette Bening as Joy, Alison Brie as Amy, Jake Lacy as Troy in 'Apples Never Fall'

Ahead, EW got the cast to pry open the case files on each of the family members central to the mystery at the heart of the series, which is based on the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name, and hits Peacock March 14.


<p>Jasin Boland/PEACOCK</p> Annette Bening as Joy

Jasin Boland/PEACOCK

Annette Bening as Joy

Key facts and personality: When we first meet Joy before her disappearance, she's definitely not okay, says Bening. Though she's facing retirement and loves her kids and husband deeply, she finds herself "at a place where she has a blankness inside, and is on the edge." "Joy is a little bit lost," explains Bening. "I think she's at a point in her life that she didn't anticipate turning out in the way that it has. I think she feels invisible. I think she feels unseen, and I think she has a problem even seeing herself. She's searching and she doesn't even know what for."

On Joy's secrets: "I think she, like a lot of women, is holding the family together, but that's no longer working. She loves her husband very much, but there's so much that's happened that never got resolved, never got discussed, never got aired in an open, honest way. And there's a cost. And now I think they're paying the price of that. There's years and layers of stuff. Some of it's just between me and my husband that the kids don't even know about. And some of it's happened with the children. I think I've got secrets with each of the kids that the other kids don't know about, and so there's just these layers of denial and unexplored tensions that has caused this kind of fracturing among us."

What does the character think of the mysterious Savannah: Bening says her character is "thirsty, but doesn't know it" and Savannah's arrival is like "a glass of the most delicious lemonade" for her. "In that moment, for whatever reason, Joy just says, 'Yeah, I do need a little something here.' Nobody is aware of the fact that I am kind of desperate inside for something, and no one sees it," says Bening. "Part of it, I think, is Joy's responsibility. She doesn't show it. And then part of it is because as a mom, as a wife, it's like she always seems okay, so everyone just assumes she is okay... but she's not okay."


<p>Jasin Boland/PEACOCK</p> Sam Neill as Stan

Jasin Boland/PEACOCK

Sam Neill as Stan

Key facts and personality: "Stan has had a difficult childhood and, one way or another, he's ensured that all his children have difficult childhoods, too," Neill tells EW. He describes his character as someone who "ferociously loves his family" but is "super competitive." "He has the mind of an obsessive coach and he wants to coach his children to be the absolute best they can possibly be. And he is that kind of weird alpha male thing, which I find pretty strange, personally," Neill says with a laugh. "But he's also vulnerable and full of love and also kind of hilarious in his own way. I found Stan to be very funny. Doesn't mean to be, but he just is. He just turns out that way. He's a very complex character to play with, and I enjoyed Stan a lot."

What the character initially thinks of Joy's disappearance: As the husband of the missing woman, Stan quickly rises to the top of the police's suspect list, and it's not without good reason, says Neill. "I think Stan is hard to read. It's obvious that Stan is capable of anything and a lot of his stuff is difficult to read. Is it guilt that he's showing? Is he angry because he is innocent and people don't believe him? Or is he angry because he has done something and they shouldn't believe him? He's a difficult guy to read. There's an essential enigma about Stan. You learn more about him as you go on, but nothing's straightforward with Stan, and thereby hangs a lot of the mystery."

What does the character think of the mysterious Savannah: Stan is initially a bit curious about Savannah's sudden appearance in their lives, but is quickly won over. "Savannah has a lot of charm and she seems vulnerable and needy and he's easily won over," says Neill. "But then things weigh on his mind more and more. She stays on for too long. She is a catalyst for many, many things in the story, and not the least in Stan. It's an uncomfortable situation for him, ultimately."


<p>Jasin Boland/PEACOCK</p> Alison Brie as Amy

Jasin Boland/PEACOCK

Alison Brie as Amy

Birth order: Oldest

Key facts and personality: Free-spirited Amy is living with her landlord and starting work as a life coach. She seems to be the opposite of her younger sister, Brooke, in just about every way, says Brie. "She's more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants gal. I think that Amy has made her life's rebellion against the Delaney family and their goal-oriented competitive nature. So she has spent a lifetime trying to undo the things that she learned in childhood and trying to continue to tap into her emotions," Brie explains. Amy is also "a highly emotional and emotive person," and Brie thinks she spent a lot of time in therapy over the years trying to figure herself out. Amy seeks to be a great communicator, and wants that from her family as well. "She's often belittled by her family and not taken seriously because she doesn't seem to have hard, fast goals, and that's true," says Brie. "She's very in tune with the universe and with the energy frequencies around herself, and I think her family also doesn't take her seriously because of that."

What the character initially thinks of Joy's disappearance: "I think because Amy is so worried from the jump at not hearing from her mom, I mean, first of all, it's a sign of how connected to her mother she feels. So when she doesn't hear back from her mom, even in a short amount of time, she raises the alarm bells," Brie says. "But because of that, it sort of equips her in a better way to handle a lot of the traumatic news that the siblings continue to get over the course of the series. I think because she starts at an 11, she's sort of got nowhere to go other than more calm and more mature." The star says her character almost comes into her own in a lot of ways after Joy's disappearance, and she takes on the role of family matriarch as the series goes on. Conversely, says Brie, "Her siblings really fall apart. They really fall apart."

What does the character think of the mysterious Savannah: Amy is definitely threatened by the arrival of Savannah, but unlike her siblings, she tries to keep a positive attitude and even welcome her into the fold, at least to start. "The first time she meets her, I think she's really determined to prove her siblings wrong and sort of be the superior sibling, the peacemaker, and [she] really tries to embrace Savannah with open arms," explains Brie. "But even over the course of a single night, red flags are raised and jealousies are really put to the forefront when she starts to realize how much her family is sharing with Savannah — how well Savannah seems to know her parents is very threatening — and I think she starts to worry that her mother's bond with Savannah is becoming stronger than her own."


<p>Jasin Boland/PEACOCK</p> Jake Lacy as Troy

Jasin Boland/PEACOCK

Jake Lacy as Troy

Birth order: Second oldest

Key facts and personality: The most financially successful of the bunch, Troy works at a venture capital firm. To start, he's got a marriage that's fallen apart and he's picking up the pieces in a (probably) unhealthy way. Troy is also the eldest male but the second-oldest child, and is the "mama's boy" of the group. "Troy is highly competitive and a little locked off from his emotions and therefore from relating maybe to his family, to his siblings in kind of an open, clear way," says Lacy. He adds: "And maybe most importantly to the story, he has a bond with their mother over shared trauma from his childhood. And so there's a real, like, who is caregiving for who here? And so when Joy disappears, there's this stabilizing that happens for all the siblings. But in Troy's mind, he thinks he's the unique one. He thinks he's the special one, he's had it the worst, and he is the best kind of thing."

What the character initially thinks of Joy's disappearance: Troy very much doesn't want to deal with Joy's disappearance, both for selfish and unselfish reasons. "He doesn't want to accept that Joy is gone, doesn't want to accept the way they left things the last time they interacted, and doesn't want to have more on his plate in a very selfish way," says Lacy, who believes his character — whether right or wrong — feels it's his responsibility to "solve this" problem of his mother's disappearance.

What does the character think of the mysterious Savannah: Troy is suspicious of Savannah, but doesn't want to admit to himself or anyone else that he is suspicious. And he also wants the independence to come to his own conclusion, because he thinks his sisters tend to be dramatic and Logan is "wishy-washy," says Lacy. "He thinks, I am an island, I will come to the conclusion and that is the way we will move forward, and he doesn't want that colored by their take on this. And so there's always, at least with Troy, some mix of what does he really think? Does he even know? What does he feel, and is he attuned to that, and what's he doing to cover it for himself or others? Then some of that crumbles and some of it leads him in the wrong path. There's a lot of self-delusion going on for Troy, I think early on, that hopefully settles over the course of the series."


<p>Jasin Boland/PEACOCK</p> Conor Merrigan-Turner as Logan

Jasin Boland/PEACOCK

Conor Merrigan-Turner as Logan

Birth order: Second youngest

Key facts and personality: Like the rest of the family, Logan was tapped to be the next big name in tennis, and like the rest of the family, that didn't pan out. Accordingly, Stan's hopes that Logan would take over the tennis academy also didn't work out, so now he works at the marina by day and practices yoga by night. Merrigan-Turner says his character is the "chill one of the family," and is best described as "the amiable sibling, the quieter one." He's also in a relationship with a woman named Indira, who wants to move out of state for her work, but Logan has reservations about that, which is causing a rift between them.

What the character initially thinks of Joy's disappearance: "For Logan, he's very protective of his family, not in a superficial way, like protective of the mask and the masquerade of it all — I think he's genuinely protective over his siblings and his father and his mother — so that sort of remains the same for most of the story," explains Merrigan-Turner. "At the core of that, it's like, I want to protect my Delaney family at all costs. And so he looks everywhere else he can and he wants the attention off the family because that's the most important thing to him."

What does the character think of the mysterious Savannah: "Logan is suspicious from the get. I think he's working at the house, and then there's this lady in Amy's clothes, there's something off. And I think that's probably back to his protective mechanism of his family at his core," he says. "It's the six of us and that's it, and someone else coming into that is a threat. Anyone walking into the dynamic could be friend or foe. And he sort of immediately was thinking foe."


<p>Jasin Boland/PEACOCK</p> Essie Randles as Brooke

Jasin Boland/PEACOCK

Essie Randles as Brooke

Birth order: Youngest

Key facts and personality: When we first meet Brooke, she's running her own physical therapy practice and she's planning her wedding with her fiancée, Gina. "She is very particular and a bit of a perfectionist, which I think comes from this desire to really live up to her parents' expectations and clinging to this idea of a perfect child," Randles says of her character. "Also, she can be really hard on other people because I think she holds herself to a very, very high standard. She can be very hard on her sister, Amy. But deep down, I think she just really wants to be loved and accepted and she's scared of being alone." Of the children, Brooke is also the one quickest to defend Stan, as the resident daddy's girl.

What the character initially thinks of Joy's disappearance: When Amy first tells Brooke she thinks their mother is missing, Brooke thinks her sister is "catastrophizing as always" and tries to downplay the situation, and she definitely doesn't believe Stan had anything to do with it. "I think that comes from, I guess, wanting to be this tennis star and growing up, finding this really big emphasis on tennis and winning and being the youngest child and knowing that the family, and especially Stan, really want a champion in the family," explains Randles. "And by the time Brooke is kind of that age, I think it's become clear that the other children aren't actually going to make it there. So she's sort of the last hope, and I think that pressure and that really wanting to live up to dad's expectations means that she really, really, really trusts her dad with everything."

What does the character think of the mysterious Savannah: Unlike some of her siblings, Randles says her character is not threatened by Savannah's arrival, at least initially. But that begins to change when she actually sees how close her mother and the new arrival have become in such a short amount of time. Says Randles, "I think that that sort of starts to destabilize Brooke, and really make her feel quite disarmed and a bit unnerved by this person, and a bit curious and a bit suspicious about what she's up to, and why she's weaseling her way into our family. "

Apples Never Fall premieres on Peacock March 14.

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