If Hollywood ever tries adapting Steven Avery‘s life for the big screen, the 54-year-old — who was the focus of the hit Netflix true crime series Making a Murderer — says he wants actor Brad Pitt cast in the lead role.
On Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil, Avery called in from Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution to tell the show’s host he believes Pitt would be the perfect choice to portray him on film.
When asked why he wants the Hollywood hunk playing him, Avery replied, “I think he’d be good for that.” At this point, there are no known plans for any dramatic retelling of Avery’s controversial trial and conviction.
Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil concludes a two-part series focusing on Avery and his ex-fiancée, Lynn Hartman; both episodes were taped prior to the relationship’s dissolution. Prior to the breakup, they had planned to marry in December, they said on the show.
The relationship was first revealed earlier this month, but sources close to Avery claim the brief engagement was called off over the weekend.
In an interview airing during Tuesday’s episode, Hartman recalled first meeting Avery in prison after spending eight months exchanging letters with him and talking via telephone. According to Hartman, she was expecting someone taller.
“‘He is not 5 feet 5 inches,’ I thought,” she said on Dr. Phil. “He’s 5 feet 2 inches, but he smiled at me and it was magic…the chemistry was there.”
Sources tell PEOPLE that the split followed mounting tensions between Hartman and Avery’s family and suspicion on the family’s part of her intentions. Avery and Hartman have not spoken since taping their segments for Dr. Phil, sources say.
Hartman admitted that Avery isn’t exactly her type during her Dr. Phil appearance.
“It was different than what I have ever looked for in a man before — very different, completely different, actually,” Hartman said. “He was so innocent and unworldly, because he has been incarcerated, wrongfully, for approximately 30 years, so he hasn’t been out into the world and he’s not tainted. He’s just so innocent and happy.”
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Hartman also acknowledged Avery’s criminal past bothers her, but rationalized each of Avery’s various brushes with the law, including his convicted in 1982 on animal cruelty charges for throwing a gas-soaked cat into a bonfire.
“He’s uneducated and was young at the time,” Hartman explained. “That is certainly not the kind of thing I would want my son to do, but I believe that people deserve second chances and an opportunity to get counseling so they can learn to deal with anger issues or problem solving in a better way.”
Hartman said on Dr. Phil that Avery has been seeing a counselor while incarcerated.
Avery ‘Has a Hunch’ Who Killed Teresa Halbach
Hartman also said during the show’s taping that she believes Avery is innocent of the crime he’s been convicted of. In 2007, Avery received a life sentence for his alleged role in the murder of 25-year-old Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach.
When asked on Dr. Phil if he killed Halbach, Avery said, “No…I had nothing to do with it.” Without naming names, Avery said he “has a hunch” who did carry out the 2005 murder, “but I ain’t sure.”
He also reacted to the recent reversal of his nephew Brendan Dassey’s conviction and what it could mean for his own appeal. Dassey admitted his role in Halbach’s murder during police questioning but later recanted, insisting the real killer was still walking free and that police had coerced his confession. (Dassey is still in prison as prosecutors appeal the judge’s decision.)
“It was about time that justice came like that,” Avery reflected. “The truth is coming out sooner or later.”
Talking to Dr. Phil, Avery also discussed his budding romance with Hartman, telling the host, “I think I’ve got the right one,” “I’m feeling lucky to have her,” and “I think God put us together.”