A daughter has her own mother killed, but there’s more to this true story

The shocking tale of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother Dee Dee are chronicled in an astonishing new series on M-Net.

This fascinating eight-part crime drama will leave you gobsmacked. Based on real-life events, The Act chronicles the true story of a mother who fooled the world, doctors and her own daughter for years, manipulating the situation so that her daughter came across as ill and even disabled.

“No-one’s ever going to do more for you than I do,” says Dee Dee Blanchard (played by Patricia Arquette) to her daughter Gypsy Rose (played by Joey King) – and it’s terrifyingly true.

What really happened to Gypsy Rose?

Dee Dee’s a hovering helicopter mom who takes things to the extreme, obsessed with keeping her daughter all to herself. For years, poor Gypsy Rose believes her mother’s lies, buying into the fact that she is sick, not realising it’s all a plot to get ongoing attention and sympathy for Dee Dee.

But trouble starts when the young girl learns her real age and starts to get interested in boys, Nick Godejohn (Calum Worthy), in particular. As Gypsy discovers more and more about the abuse she’s unwittingly been subjected to for years, her relationship with her mother starts to fracture, and she hatches a plot to get even.

The real-life medical condition which caused Dee Dee to harm her daughter is called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy – a psychological condition where a caregiver, such as a parent, fabricates the appearance of health problems in someone else, usually their child. To fully understand the disease, Patricia did some serious research to prepare for the role, including interviewing therapists and a woman who was in jail for murdering her child because of the condition. So obsessed was the actress with getting into character, that she would often apologise to the cast and crew between takes. “Just pretending that I was doing these things that this woman did was so horrible,” she told Cosmopolitan.

Her commitment paid off. At the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, Patricia walked away with the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series award and Joey was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series.

Watch The Act on Mondays on M-Net (101) at 22:05.
Available on Catch Up and DStv Now »

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