The Act doesn’t hold back. Joey King and Patricia Arquette take on the roles of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard, respectively, in Hulu’s true crime anthology series based on the case that made headlines in 2015 after Dee Dee’s body was discovered in Chackbay, Louisiana.
“I read about it along with six million other people when I read Michelle Dean‘s Buzzfeed article, and that was well before I had any thought of working on it as a TV show,” cocreator Nick Antosca told Us Weekly exclusively about the case. Dean is also a cocreator on the series. “We had some conversations about how to adapt it in an elevated way, in a way that didn’t feel like an exploitative true crime drama, and we went from there.”
The series, based on the 2016 Buzzfeed article, follows Gypsy and Dee Dee after they have moved to Louisiana in 2007. At first, Dee Dee appeared to be a mother who’s constantly worrying about her chronically ill daughter and struggling to make ends meet. However, there was much more than meets the eye. In fact, her mother was faking her daughter’s illnesses, and after finding out, Gypsy and her boyfriend planned to kill Dee Dee.
In July 2015, Gypsy pled guilty to second-degree murder for planning her mother’s death; she’s serving 10 years in prison. Her boyfriend, Nick Godejohn, was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
“After reading the article, you’re left wondering, ‘How could that happen? How could love turn so toxic between a mother and a daughter?’” Antosca said. “This isn’t a normal story of rebellion. It’s far more extreme and complicated than that, and yet, it’s rooted in relatable emotions and relatable character dynamics. We all feel controlled by our parents, and we all sometimes want to kill our parents, but this was the extreme version, and in a way, Gypsy’s story is such a complicated and dark and twisted coming-of-age story, and I was fascinated by that. And I also was fascinated by the layers of deception. Gypsy lying to the world along with her mom, lying to herself and then lying to her mom in exactly the ways that her mom taught her.”