Jessica Gunning Baby Reindeer Martha

Jessica Gunning has shared how she feels now about playing Martha in Baby Reindeer

‘I wouldn’t use the word problematic’

Jessica Gunning has spoken in a new interview on how she feels about playing Martha in Baby Reindeer on Netflix now. The new quotes come after the show has ascended to unparalleled global success, whilst creating a media firestorm centred around a whole divisive debate regarding the show’s declaration that it’s a true story and the identification of the ‘real-life Martha’.

Baby Reindeer has been a huge hit for Netflix, and tells the “true story” of Donny Dunn, played by the writer and creator Richard Gadd, who finds himself stalked and assaulted by a character named Martha – played by Jessica Gunning. Since the show became a major success and online sleuths named Fiona Harvey as the real life woman the character was based on, Harvey has done a widely watched viral interview with Piers Morgan where she claims she believes the character is based on her, but denies most of the show’s “true story” plot including stalking Gadd, assaulting his girlfriend, wreaking havoc in the pub where he worked or being convicted of any crimes. Fiona Harvey is now claiming to be seeking legal action against Richard Gadd, Netflix and the production company Clerkenwell Films.

Jessica Gunning Martha Baby Reindeer

via Netflix

Jessica Gunning and Richard Gadd have stayed out of the real world controversy. In a new interview with Radio Times, Jessica Gunning said she’s “fiercely protective” of Gadd, explaining “I think he was incredibly brave to bare all. He really did put everything into that show, warts and all, errors, mistakes that were made.”

She was also then asked if she found it problematic to be playing a character the show claims to be real – a timely question in the aftermath of the Baby Reindeer discourse that has followed the show. Gunning responded ““I wouldn’t use the word problematic, I would say, maybe, sensitive. I absolutely saw Martha as a character, I wasn’t doing an impersonation of a real person. She was very clear to me in the script, but I genuinely didn’t know anything about the real person.

“But Richard is playing a character as well. When I was acting with him, I felt like he was a character. I didn’t feel like we were re-enacting scenes for some documentary, it felt like we were doing interpretations of these characters in this emotionally true world.”

Jessica Gunning also said she believes Richard Gadd was indeed “a survivor of sexual assault” and said that “any search for real people almost undermines that slightly.”

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