The Act is a true crime anthology series that centers around Dee Dee Blanchard and her victim/daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard. While there are a lot of similarities between The Act and the real-life story that it is based on, there are several differences as well. As expected, TV shows are known to dramatize and exaggerate situations that are based on real-life events in order to create more entertainment and convenience to the plot. It even states at the end of every episode how "while the show is based on real events, some scenes and characters have been dramatized or fictionalized". What are some of the events from The Act that have been fictionalized or changed? What has been kept the same from the true story?
Find out below.
10 VIDEO RECORDING (KEPT THE SAME)
In episode 6 of The Act, viewers are met with a chilling video of Gypsy and her boyfriend Nick laughing hysterically and having a grand old time less than 24 hours after killing Dee Dee Blanchard. It seems as though this scene is too haunting to be real, but in fact, Gypsy had actually recorded the giggle fest with a brownie-eating Nick and the dialogue is pretty much the exact same in the real-life footage as it is on The Act. Gypsy Rose has stated her embarrassment towards the video yet claimed the reason she was acting so giddy was because of the fact that she was extremely high at the time on drugs, and she also felt a sense of freedom for the very first time in her life.
9 CINDERELLA INCIDENT (KEPT THE SAME)
There are several versions and retellings of the classic "Cinderella story", yet none are quite like the one between Gypsy and Nick. According to the documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest, the couple actually planned to meet up at the movie theater for Cinderella (2015) and pretty much everything that happened on The Act during the theater scene was accurate.
Yes, that includes the two sneaking off to have sex in the theater's restroom. It also includes Dee Dee being creeped out by Nick, who went to the theater alone and kept trying to get close to Gypsy as planned. According to an interview with 20/20, Gypsy claimed her mother became jealous of Nick and would call her derogatory names such as "slut" and "b*tch" because of her interactions with him.
In real life, Nick dressed up as Prince Charming at the theater, which most likely caused Dee Dee to be even more suspicious of him.
8 NICK'S MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES (KEPT THE SAME)
Gypsy's boyfriend at the time Nick Godejohn has a few similarities in real life to the version on The Act portrayed by Calum Worthy. Worthy apparently did a heavy amount of research on the character before portraying the role and everything from his mannerisms to his diet was kept the same. For example, Godejohn's real-life diet mostly consisted of peanut butter and pizza, so Worthy would eat the same foods exclusively in order to become the role. In reality, Nick Godejohn really does claim to have multiple personality disorder which includes his "good side" (Nick) and his bad side (Victor, the 500-year-old vampire).
While there are many similarities between Godejohn and Worthy's portrayal of him on The Act, according to the Blanchard family, he is seen on the show to be more gentle and sympathetic than in real life. The Blanchard family has stated how Gypsy's ex-boyfriend was much more controlling and domineering towards her than what we are given on the show.
7 DEE DEE TYING GYPSY UP (KEPT THE SAME)
As much as we wish something as abusive as this was fictional, in real life Dee Dee Blanchard actually tied her daughter up to the bed. Although in the show Dee Dee does this more than once, it had only happened one time in real life after Gypsy attempted to run away. Unfortunately, Gypsy was starved in real life and more terrified than submissive and accepting to her mother's behavior as portrayed on the show. According to Gypsy Rose, it was one of the worst moments of her life, and we can't blame her.
6 LACEY (KEPT THE SAME)
Gypsy Rose Blanchard's friend on The Act aka Lacey (portrayed terrifically by AnnaSophia Robb), is based on Blanchard's real life "best friend", Aleah Woodmansee. Much like on the show, the two were neighbors and Woodmansee would help Gypsy learn more about things kids their age usually take interest in, such as the topics of boys and dating.
Like on the show, Woodmansee was also the only one to know about Gypsy's secret Facebook account named "Emma Rose" and she was also in on the fact that Gypsy would use the account to message boys. Aleah Woodmansee served as a good friend to Gypsy Rose by allowing her an ear to expose all her secrets.
5 THE PHONE CALL (CHANGED)
In episode 5 of The Act, Nick Godejohn calls Dee Dee up and confesses to her that he is the man from the theater (during Cinderella) and that he has secretly been dating Gypsy for a while now. He tells Dee Dee how he plans on spending the rest of his life with Gypsy while having future kids with her one day. As a response, Dee Dee ties Gypsy up to the bed for an extended period of time. In real life, this phone call never happened, and that is perhaps one huge relief. Who knows what would have happened to Gypsy if Dee Dee actually found out that she had been dating a man for two years behind her back, especially the man she loathed from the movie theater? Perhaps this story would have ended up much differently and according to the Blanchard family friend, Fancy, "If that had happened, I can honestly say I'm not sure we'd even be sitting here talking." We're not so sure either...
4 NICK ISN'T SO "SWEET" IN REALITY (CHANGED)
Trigger warning for sexual assault!
According to The Blanchards, there are a few major differences with Nick portrayed on The Act by Calum Worthy and the real-life Nick Godejohn. The Blanchards have claimed that the show attempts to humanize Godejohn too much as an idiotic young man who means well, while in real life he was much more in control of things during the events leading up to Dee Dee's death. As seen in the documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest, Godejohn planned on assaulting Dee Dee Blanchard as well as murder her.
Gypsy Rose stated in the documentary how she made a deal with her then-boyfriend that he could assault her instead so that he wouldn't rape her mother. Gypsy then claimed that Godejohn went through with the deal and assaulted Gypsy as "Victor", despite her screaming for him to stop.
3 GYPSY WHEELCHAIR INCIDENT (CHANGED)
As seen in episode 6, Gypsy is put into a wheelchair by her mother after she falls off of a trampoline. In real life, the incident that led up to Dee Dee forcing Gypsy into a wheelchair was brought on by a minor motorcycle accident that she experienced with Dee Dee's father. The scene with the trampoline as seen on the show was completely fictional, and instead of using Dee Dee's mother's wheelchair, Dee Dee had used a random wheelchair that she had found "From God knows where". As stated by the Blanchard family friend fancy, "The motorcycle accident was weird enough, but to believe a kid fell off a trampoline and that everyone bought she was paralyzed from [...] it was very calculated and strategic."
2 DEE DEE'S JAIL TIME (CHANGED)
On the show, it appears as though Dee Dee had been in jail for at least six months due to writing bad checks, yet in real life, she had only spent a single night in jail. Perhaps this was done on the show in an effort to dramatize the real-life events and to create more of a conflict between Dee Dee and her mother Emma, where Emma tries to spend that amount of time taking control over Dee Dee's parenting for Gypsy. Yet Dee Dee's relationship with her mother Emma was quite different in real life than it was on the show which can be explained in the next slide.
1 DEE DEE AND HER MOTHER (CHANGED)
Dee Dee and her mother Emma seem like sworn enemies on The Act. As seen in episode 6, it seems as if the two are constantly butting heads and competing over the control when it comes to parenting Gypsy Rose. Emma even claims on the show how Dee Dee made it impossible for her to ever love her, yet in real life, their relationship was quite different. According to The Blanchards and Fancy, Dee Dee was easily seen as "the favorite" out of all of Emma's children and was constantly given special attention from Emma. There have even been claims that Emma had symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy with Dee Dee as her victim, although it was said to be much milder than Dee Dee's condition.