Have you had a chance to check out the amazing mystery/drama series on Apple TV, “Home Before Dark” yet? If not I highly recommend you give it a chance. The story has a ton of twists and turns and the series falls on the small shoulders of the brilliant up and coming child actress, Brooklyn Prince. Prince plays the series main protagonist, Hildie Lisko.
For those who aren’t familiar with the series, the show follows a young girl who moves from Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father left behind. While there, her dogged pursuit of the truth leads her to unearth a cold case that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury.
But just who is the real Hidlie the show is based on, and how much of the story is really true? The truth might be a little surprising.
Thee really was a child reporter named Hilde Lysiak (not Lisko) and Home Before Dark is based on her.
Lysniak was on a Television Critics Association panel for Home Before Dark on Jan. 19 with series creators Dana Fox and Dara Resnik. They discussed how much of the show actually reflects Lysiak’s life. Season 1 of Home Before Dark is now streaming on Apple TV+. Matt Lisko (Jim Sturgess) moves his family to a small town. His career in journalism inspired Hilde Lisko’s, just as her real dad inspired Lysiak.
“I honestly can’t remember a time where I didn’t love journalism,” Lysiak said. “My dad was a reporter for The New York Daily News when we lived in New York, and he was solving mysteries, and we were doing it together. So, when we moved to Pennsylvania he quit his job, but I was not ready to stop reporting.”
“So, I started The Orange Street News,” Lysiak said. “At first I did pretty boring stories. I’m pretty sure my first issue was my baby sister being born which looking back was kind of lame stuff, but soon I started doing more serious stuff like vandalism, and it snowballed from there.”
The show jumps right into her murder investigation, which is in fact based on one of Lysiak’s landmark coverage.
“After I reported on the story of a murder, everybody in my town didn’t think that I should be doing it,” Lysiak said. “Not everybody, but there were a lot of people commenting saying I should be playing with dolls and not reporting the news.”
Another scene from Home Before Dark that comes from Lysiak’s true story is when Hilde reads all the negative comments about her site in the school cafeteria. In real life, Lysiak read her negative comments in an online video.
“So, I made a video reading the comments about it,” Lysiak said. “It wasn’t so much that it bothered me. It’s that I have little sisters, right, and they look up to me, and I didn’t really want them to see me being pushed around.”
The Showrunners of Home Before Dark did not adapt the real case Lysiak investigated. They created their own, and just used the character of Hilde to solve it.
“We knew the stuff about her and her father, and that he got really sad and disaffected with journalism and quit his job and went to this hometown,” Fox said. “Basically Hilde said, ‘You may not be a journalist anymore, but I still am.’ And her pure of love of journalism is what brought him back to wanting to be a reporter again and brought him sort of back to life.”
Home Before Dark is now streaming on Apple TV.