Gypsy Rose Blanchard's story first fascinated and horrified viewers in HBO's Mommy Dead and Dearest. But Hulu's The Act has elaborated more on Gypsy's life behind closed doors with her mother Dee Dee Blanchard, whose murder Gypsy would eventually plan. The Act chronicles how Dee Dee, believed to be suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, was falsifying Gypsy's medical history and treatment plan to make her daughter seem much sicker than she was in real life. The show leads up to Dee Dee's 2015 murder, for which the real Gypsy is now serving a 10-year sentence.
But The Act is only based on real events — a disclaimer at the end of every episode says "some scenes and characters have been dramatized or fictionalized." With the third episode chronicling Gypsy Rose's boyfriends and dating history, viewers will want to know that more of that is real than fake — including her meeting an older man at a fan convention. Here's how the show stacks up to Gypsy's real life.
In The Act: Gypsy Rose Frequently Googled Things About Boys And Kissing
The Reality: She may well have, but that's not documented in any reports. However, ABC News reported that Gypsy treated her friend and neighbor Aleah Woodmansee (whom Lacey is based on in the show) as a Google of sorts. "She would show interest in like different boys and try to ask me advice on like, you know, 'How do you approach them? How do you like kiss a boy?’" Woodmansee said. "Gypsy just wanted to be a regular teen."
In The Act: Gypsy Rose Had A Secret Facebook Account Where She Talked To Boys Online
The Reality: The Buzzfeed article that The Act is based on reported that Gypsy Rose did indeed have a secret Facebook account under the name Emma Rose, just like in the show. She often used the account to talk to Woodmansee about boys, and to talk to boys. It's through that account that Gypsy revealed to Woodmansee that she'd been secretly dating Nicholas Godejohn (pictured on the right — he is not the guy from the fan convention). He eventually carried out the plan to murder Gypsy's mom and was sentenced to life in prison.
In The Act: Gypsy Rose Met An Older Man At A Fan Convention Called FanOptiCon
The Reality: FanOptiCon isn't real, and there's no confirmation that Gypsy ever specifically met someone dressed as Wolverine, but she did meet an older man at a convention in 2011. Buzzfeed reported that Gypsy had meet a 35-year-old man at a sci-fi convention and they started talking online shortly after meeting (this man is not Godejohn, who she later met online).
In The Act: Gypsy Was Dressed As Cinderella When She Met Him
The Reality: Gypsy did frequently dress up like Disney princesses, and there's even a photo on her joint Facebook account with her mom that shows her cosplaying Cinderella. There's no reports of what Gypsy was wearing to the 2011 convention, but ABC News reported that when Gypsy first met Godejohn in person she wore a Cinderella costume and he wore a Prince Charming one.
In The Act: Gypsy Rose Engaged In Light Comic Book Role Play With The Man From The Convention
The Reality: In The Act, Gypsy dresses up in a red wig to be the Jean Grey to Scott's Wolverine. There's no proof this specific thing happened in real life, but Buzzfeed reported that in her next relationship, Gypsy and Godejohn frequently took pictures of themselves in costume. In one, Gypsy dressed as DC Comics character Harley Quinn.
In The Act: Gypsy Rose Ran Away To Meet Up With The Convention Guy & Later Went To His Home
The Reality: In The Act, Gypsy ran away after she realized her mother had been lying about her birthdate and that Gypsy was much older than she'd been led to believe. In the show, she accompanies Scott to his home which he shares with a roommate. It's there that the two kiss.
Buzzfeed reported that Gypsy was found alone with the 35-year-old sci-fi convention-goer, but it was in his hotel room. There aren't any reports detailing whether or not they engaged in kissing or anything else.
In The Act: Gypsy's Mom Showed Up To Bring Her Back Home
The Reality: Like in The Act, Dee Dee tracked Gypsy down after she'd run away. In real life, according to Buzzfeed, Dee Dee reportedly showed the man papers that said Gypsy was a minor. (Dee Dee had been telling people that Gypsy was 15 at the time, but she was really 19.) In the show, Dee Dee hisses to a stunned Scott that Gypsy is just 14.
The Act has yet to show the full fallout from Gypsy's escape attempt, but, if it follows real life, the show is about to get even darker. According to Rolling Stone, Mommy Dead and Dearest revealed that Dee Dee smashed Gypsy's phone and computer following the incident. "If you ever try to do that again, I’m going to smash your fingers with a hammer," Gypsy claimed her mother told her.
Gypsy also told Dr. Phil in an interview that her mother tied her to the bed for two weeks so she couldn't escape again.
Judging by how angry Patricia Arquette's version of Dee Dee was at the end of The Act, Episode 3, these real life punishments could be coming for Joey King's Gypsy as well. But as some viewers already know, that didn't deter Gypsy from trying to find a boyfriend, and the series will continue to detail Gypsy's real life dating history as it leads to Godejohn and their eventual gruesome crime.