‘Would you kill my mother for me?’

The chilling true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard is streaming on Hulu

By on April 16, 2019

The infamous story of the relationship between Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee, has gained attention yet again after Hulu’s new original series “The Act” streamed its way to popularity.

Gypsy grew up in Dee Dee’s care, believing that she was living with many different diseases and health issues, including an allergy to sugar and an inability to physically walk. However, as Gypsy grew up, she began to learn that the diseases she was told she had by her mother were not real. This caused for Gypsy, as viewers learned through watching “The Act,” to lash out, resulting to her boyfriend at the time, Nicholas Godejohn, to attempt to save her from Dee Dee. This is when the murder was conspired.

On June 14, 2015, Dee Dee was found stabbed to death in her bed, with Gypsy being nowhere in sight. This pivotal moment was the main focus of the first scene of “The Act,” and the series ends up telling the story of the murder and the change that happens between the relationship of Dee Dee and Gypsy. The rest of the episodes go back and forth between the investigation of the murder and this mother-daughter bond.

Hulu Press Kit
Joey King (Gypsy) and Patricia Arquette (Dee Dee) are the two stars of “The Act” and illustrate the relationship this mother-daughter duo had before the murder. King, in an interview with Refinery29, talked about her working relationship with Arquette when describing a moment in an episode where she is semi-nude in a bathtub. Arquette, during that scene, demanded that the set be closed off and the only people in that room filming were crew who needed to be there.

“Patricia really took the reins on that one,” King said to Refinery29. “This [semi-nude scene] is my first time doing a scene like this. I want that kind of guidance and to know that I can be that assertive and be straightforward with people, because it is my body. It is a very vulnerable experience. To watch someone that I love and admire be able to just, in a very kind way, orchestrate how it’s going to be was really inspiring.”

When preparing and playing the role of Gypsy, King was not actually legally allowed to talk to the actual Gypsy who is now 27 years old and is currently serving her 10-year sentence in prison for playing a part in the killing of Dee Dee. Then, in order to get to learn more about Gypsy, King researched via watching video footage, documentaries and talking with the producer and a Buzzfeed article writer, Michelle Dean, who has spoken with the real Gypsy many times. Even with this challenge to get to learn the role of Gypsy and gaining some negative reaction, King spent a lot of time and energy learning the Gypsy voice and typical mannerisms.

“When [‘The Act’] came about, I had a little bit of hesitation, like I don’t know, man, do I really want to [shave my head] again [has shaved before for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘Wish I Was Here’]?” King said to Refinery29. “But then I took a second, and I was like, ‘I want this job so badly that I would do anything.’ And I meant it.”

For Arquette, getting into the character of Dee Dee had her have to get into a particular mindset to be able to play someone that fabricated illness to a person that was under her care.

“This part came to me when my daughter was going to boarding school,” Arquette said to Time. “I had this longing feeling of wanting to keep her close to me. I expanded those feelings of care and loss almost to a phobic level. Everybody is afraid of being alone, of not being loved or needed. But when it comes to this toxic level, the behavior gets very weird because it’s so desperate.”

Even though viewers see the relationship between Dee Dee and Gypsy change, the majority of the show takes place from Gypsy’s perspective, evolving as she grows up over a time span of seven years.

“[Gypsy is] in this rage of having her sexuality and her adolescence and womanhood knocking at the door, with all the needs and desire that implies,” Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, director of three episodes of the eight-episode series, said to Hollywood Reporter. “We go from pastels to aggressive colors and from the doll’s house to the haunted house.”

“The Act” premiered on Hulu on March 20 and new episodes are posted every Wednesday.

rating

Comments

About Jessica Simms