When details started surfacing about the gruesome 2015 murder of Dee Dee Blanchard — the mother of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who allegedly forced her to pretend she was disabled and had terminal cancer — it was clear that it would only be a matter of time before the story was adapted for TV. Now, Hulu has released another trailer for The Act, its original true-crime series based on the story of Gypsy and Nicholas Godejohn, who fell in love after meeting online and plotted to murder Gypsy’s mother. (Blanchard is currently serving 10 years for her role in the crime after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, while Godejohn was recently sentenced to life in prison.)
In the latest trailer for the series, which debuts on March 20th, Joey King metamorphoses into the terrified, childlike Dee Dee, who is forced to pretend that she is severely disabled under threats of physical violence from her mother Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette, nearly unrecognizable in a frizzy fright wig). In real life, Dee Dee allegedly forced Gypsy to use a wheelchair (despite the fact that she was able to walk), fed her through a feeding tube and shaved her head before doctors’ appointments so people believed she had cancer. Dee Dee is alleged to have had Munchhausen syndrome by proxy, a relatively rare condition in which a caretaker sickens another person (usually, a child) as a means of getting attention for themselves.
If the trailer is any indication, The Act will take a fairly sympathetic approach toward Gypsy, who is largely depicted as a terrified and lovestruck teenager who gets sucked into a dark online world of sex games (multiple wigs make an appearance, Americans-style) and violence. For what it’s worth, Godejohn’s legal team has largely disputed this characterization, depicting Gypsy as the originator of the murder plot and Godejohn as her unwitting pawn. “She was basically the mastermind behind it all [and] I was basically a hired hit man in its own weird sense,” Godejohn told 20/20 in an interview last year.
Either way, fans of Mommy Dead and Dearest, Erin Lee Carr’s 2017 HBO documentary based on the Blanchard case, will definitely want to check this one out.