What is real and what is not in “Baby Reindeer”, the number 1 series on Netflix

What is real and what is not in “Baby Reindeer”, the number 1 series on Netflix
What is real and what is not in “Baby Reindeer”, the number 1 series on Netflix

All those who opened Netflix On the weekend you probably saw the miniseries baby reindeer (Baby Reindeer) leading platform trends.

The production created and starring the Scot Richard Gadd resonated deeply with the audience for several reasons: its history of harassment, its short duration and, above all, the painful true story that inspired it.

Gadd, 34, tells the story of Donny Dunna small-time comedian who from one day to the next begins to be fiercely harassed by a lonely and mysterious woman named Martha.

What is striking – and at times shocking – is that the vast majority of the events represented in the plot occurred to the actor and showrunner of fiction.

Richard Gadd’s “self-sacrifice”

For Gadd it was “really difficult” to relive what he suffered. He makes this very clear in a note for The Guardian: “The series had triggering elements. But you hope it becomes a catharsis, which doesn’t really come from revisiting it, but from the positive response, the acceptance that people show you.”

Richard Gadd is 34 years old and Scottish.

The “self-sacrifice” of the author/victim to put himself in the shoes of his past self was so convincing that it even touched his filming companions closely: “I could see that some members of the props department were drowning, even the staff.” of enlightenment, but we all knew we were moving towards something that was important.”

In conversation with The Morning, Gadd said that he experienced the writing process as a “catharsis” and that it was “the best therapy.”

What is real and what is not?

Now we are going to enter the plot field, so we warn you: there will be spoilers below.

Donny meets Martha at the bar where he works.

Although at the beginning of the series Gadd warns that the story is “based on real events,” the author himself told Forbes that everything is actually “100% emotionally true”.

When Gadd refers to the emotional, one as a viewer understands that in the plot there may be elements slightly removed from reality that are there only for a dramatic function and that do not refer to a particular event in the author’s past.

Therefore, with the aim of making his story conform to the standards of the “N”, the Scotsman had to accommodate the chronology of the events. Baby Reindeer needed a climax typical of the classic narratives that the platform offers.

The story of abuse

In the fourth episode – the strongest of all – Donny is repeatedly sexually abused by Darrien O’Connora man of power in the British entertainment industry.

Darrien takes advantage of the fact that Donny is starting his career as a comedian and, after showing him that he is capable of leading him to glory, invites him to his house to deepen their relationship. As the minutes pass we see how the character’s intention is to drug him and abuse him when he is unconscious.

Although he did not give names or details, Gadd said in several interviews that in his twenties had a similar experience to that of her character with a man she met while acting in the Edinburgh Fringein 2012.

Tom Goodman-Hill as Darrien.

“It’s a true story based on my 20s, when I went through some pretty crazy things… There’s an episode of flashback in which we go back in time and see Donny going to the Edinburgh Fringe and meeting someone in the industry who helps him in his career but continues to abuse Donny and that’s obviously taken from my real life experiences”Gadd told Tudum.

In fiction, Donny does not report the abuser and it is believed that in real life that person – who is not called Darrien O’Connor – lives free in anonymity.

Harassment: Did Martha exist?

Yes, there was a real-life Martha who harassed Gadd, but little is known about her.

“We did everything we could to disguise her to the point where I don’t think she recognizes herself. What she borrowed is an emotional truth,” the author stated to GQ.

About the performance of Jessica Gunning and why he chose the character, Gadd told Variet that “what I needed to see was the essence of the person, the type of energy, and no one did it like Jess.” “He needed to see someone who could capture a full range of emotions,” he continued.

Jessica Gunning is Martha in Reindeer Baby.

The real stalker is two decades older than the victim, her name is not Martha, and it is not known if she was similar to Gunning.

Contrary to what happens in the series, Gadd preferred not to send her to jail so as not to worsen her “mental discomfort.”. Of course: he already resolved his unhealthy bond with her.

“Because where things ended up in real life is no longer a concern for me. Resulted in a situation where she can’t contact me again“Gadd confirmed to Variety.

In Reindeer Baby, Martha pleads guilty. She is arrested and sentenced to nine months in prison and Donny is given a five-year restraining order.

Another thing that is based on real events in the story is that Gadd, like his character, turned to the police to get rid of his stalker.

This becomes clear when the author criticizes the operation of the British Law in several notes: “I think the institution needs improvement, especially when it comes to harassment. “I can think of numerous examples where people have complained to the police about a stalker, but because they may have been in a previous relationship, the police have not taken it seriously.”

Both Martha’s story and Darrien’s story were part of a Gadd one-man show that the author released in 2016 and was called Monkey See, Monkey Do. The artist’s performance in that work led Netflix to hire him to create the miniseries.

Who is Teri?

There isn’t much information about the real-life Teri either. What is known is that the relationship between Teri and Donny is inspired by a relationship that Richard had in the past with a trans woman.

Nava Mau, Donny’s girlfriend in Reindeer Baby.

In an interview with The Independent, Gadd said he hid his ex-girlfriend’s name and occupation because he “had feelings of shame associated with his own sexuality.”

Gadd’s beginnings

Gadd also grew up with her parents – a microbiologist and a secretary – and, like Donny, had a hard time telling them the truth about abuse, harassment and her sexuality.

Richard said he doesn’t want them to watch the series the same way he didn’t want them to watch the one-man show Monkey See, Monkey Do.

However, since he shares a Netflix account with them, he warned them about what they could expect if they chose to watch it.

Like Dunn, Gadd trained at a drama school and began doing fringe shows in comedy clubs. “You could say (my comedy) was pretty bad, pushing the wrong buttons, alienatingly subversive.”

What other doubt do you have about whether it is real or not after watching the miniseries?

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