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Is Lee Andersen Based On A Real Hacker? Brit Marling’s Murder At The End Of The World Character Explained | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Warning! This article contains spoilers for A Murder At The End Of The World.


  • Brit Marling’s character in “A Murder at the End of the World,” Lee Andersen, is not based on a real hacker, despite the realistic portrayal.
  • Lee Andersen’s backstory in the show involves her falling from grace after publishing a manifesto about misogyny on the internet.
  • Andersen faced extreme online harassment, including fake revenge porn videos and harm to her personal belongings, leading her to disappear from the internet for years.

A Murder at the End of the World‘s realistic portrayal of its characters has viewers questioning whether Brit Marling’s Lee Andersen is based on an actual person. Before A Murder at the End of the World, Brit Marling starred as the main character, Prairie Johnson, in Netflix’s The OA. Even though Brit Marling brilliantly portrayed the character in The OA and earned immense acclaim for her performance, the Netflix drama was canceled after two seasons. Marking Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s return as showrunners, A Murder at the End of the World is significantly different from The OA, especially when it comes to its genre.

However, like Netflix’s The OA, it features Brit Marling as one of the primary characters, Lee Andersen. The murder mystery limited series initially name-drops Lee Andersen, establishing that she used to be a renowned hacker in the early years of the internet. After referring to her a couple of times, A Murder at the End of the World finally reveals how Brit Marling is playing her. Marling’s convincing portrayal of Lee Andersen and the character’s backstory in A Murder at the End of the World makes it hard not to be curious if she is based on a real person.

A Murder at the End of the World is available on Hulu for streaming.

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Brit Marling’s Lee Andersen Is Not A Based On A Real Hacker

In the opening flashback in A Murder at the End of the World‘s episode 1, Emma Corrin’s Darby tells Bill how a hacker named Lee Andersen inspired her when she was much younger. Darby’s recollection of Lee Andersen’s work as a hacker suggests that she might be based on a real person. However, as realistic as Andersen’s characterization might seem in A Murder at the End of the World, she is not based on a real hacker. As Brit Marling revealed (via Elle), she and Zal Batmanglij extensively research before writing characters but also “try to leave it for the character to come alive on the page itself.

To get a better understanding of the early world of hacking in which Darby, Bill, and Lee Andersen belong in the series, Marling and Batmanglij learned a lot from their friend Moxie Marlinspike, an American entrepreneur and cryptographer who built the messaging app Signal. Marling also added that they enjoyed researching the early era of hacking because they were fascinated by punk kids hacked into major systems. Perhaps, the stories of these “punk kids” ultimately materialized into their writings and led them to create characters like Darby, Lee, and Bill.

Lee Andersen’s Hacking Backstory Explained: Why Was She Doxxed?

Brit Marling as Lee Andersen in A Murder At The End of the World_

In A Murder at the End of the World‘s episode 1, Darby uses a code written by Lee Andersen to hack open a serial killer’s garage door. When Bill asks her where she found the hack, Darby recalls how it was developed by Lee Andersen, the greatest female coder to have ever lived. She then tells him that, after achieving a kind of punk fame in the early days of the internet for her impressive coding skills, Lee Andersen fell from grace when she published a manifesto about how misogyny was destroying the early promise of the internet. Many readers were critical of her opinions and slandered her reputation by doxxing her.

Darby also reveals that Andersen’s haters posted fake AI-generated revenge porn videos of her and even cut her dog’s head before putting it on her doorstep. After facing this wave of hate, Andersen disappeared from the internet for years. However, she later ended up getting married to tech mogul Andy Ronson, the host of the central retreat in A Murder at the End of the World‘s present timeline.


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