Warning: Spoilers for all episodes of “The Girl Before.”









Even “The Girl Before” star David Oyelowo couldn’t predict the ending of the show.

The actor admitted to Variety that he purposely avoided reading the book the HBO Max series was based on so the ending could surprise him.

“I didn’t want to know, because that’s part of the joy of it, trying to figure it out. Having all these twists and turns, some of them unexpected,” he shared. “Some of them may be what you expect, but not in quite the way you expected it.”

In fact, the twists and turns of the show constantly kept him guessing, with the ending blindsiding both him and his wife.

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“I was genuinely surprised with where it went,” Oyelowo recalled as he read the final script. “And I’m pretty good at discerning these things early. And even my wife, who is an absolute genius — she read it and didn’t get it. So that to me really exemplified how well-constructed it was as a psychological thriller.”

The four-episode series followed Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Jane investigating the death of her building’s former tenant, Emma (Jessica Plummer).

In the finale that aired Feb. 10, it’s revealed that despite all evidence pointing to Oyelowo’s character Edward Monkford as the culprit, the real murderer was Emma’s ex-boyfriend Simon (Ben Hardy) who pushed her down a flight of stairs in a jealous rage.

It was a series that constantly tackled the difficult issues of trauma and mental health at the heart of the mystery.

“As a society, we are getting better at acknowledging the reality of both trauma and the need for mental health, and the need for it to be treated as important,” he said.

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“I think in the past, a show like this one, the reasons why these people are behaving in the questionable ways they’re behaving would sort of be swept under the rug, and maybe would just be a given: ‘OK, he’s the slightly creepy one, he’s the jealous one,’” continued Oyelowo. “But all of these behaviours come from places where we’re all nursing wounds and pain points that manifest in our relationships in ways that can sometimes be unhealthy.”

The ending saw Edward accompany Jane to terminate her pregnancy and eventually see her therapist. “I think she’ll help you too, if you let her,” Jane’s letter to him read.

The 45-year-old spoke with the director of the series about how his relationships during the series might help his character grow.

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“Lisa Brühlmann and I talked a lot about what lessons we thought Edward might have learned from his relationship with Emma, that informed his relationship with Jane,” he explained. “And so there were slight tweaks that we were keen to add in terms of his disposition with Jane, that was different to Emma. And I have to believe that his relationship with Jane probably had an even more significant effect on him.”

As for the future of his character, Oyelowo believed there’s a lot more work to be done.

“I don’t think Edward is the guy who suddenly becomes a warm, fuzzy dad with a white picket fence and two and a half kids,” Oyelowo added. “I think that there’s a lot more he needs to work through and work out. And I think, for Edward, there probably going to be a lot more mistakes made before he gets to a place of wholeness.”

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