Top 10 Things The Act Got Factually Right & Wrong



Top 10 Things The Act Got Factually Right & Wrong

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
You might be surprised by the things The Act got factually right and wrong. For this list, we'll be looking at what was fact and what was fiction in this 2019 series. Our countdown includes Gypsy's voice, Nick being a nice guy, a doctor was suspicious, and more!
Shockingly, many things in this disturbing show were actually true. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things The Act Got Factually Right and Wrong.

For this list, we’ll be looking at what was fact and what was fiction in this 2019 series.

#10: Gypsy Didn’t Know How Old She Was

From the show, we know that Dee Dee Blanchard minimized her daughter Gypsy’s cognitive abilities, telling people that she was functioning as though she were a seven year old rather than a teenager. While that’s disturbing enough, in fact Dee Dee kept Gypsy from knowing her actual age. When Gypsy’s father called her on her 18th birthday, he recalls Dee Dee telling him to avoid mentioning Gypsy’s age because she thought she was 14. It was only later that Gypsy found out that she was in fact born in 1991.

#9: Gypsy's Voice

In “The Act,” actress Joey King, who plays Gypsy, uses an exaggerated high pitched voice that makes her sound like a little girl rather than a teenager. The voice is jarring and made many wonder if that’s what King sounds like in real life. If you’ve seen any of her other roles, you’ll know that in fact, she was doing an excellent job impersonating the real life Gypsy. There are several pieces of video that show what Gypsy’s voice sounded like at the time, and King did an excellent job doing her research and imitating the pitch.

#8: Gypsy’s Father’s Involvement

On the show, we see that Dee Dee and Gypsy are very much alone. Gypsy’s father allegedly left the two of them when she was a baby because he wasn’t ready for the commitments of marriage and fatherhood. In the final episode, he redeems himself somewhat, but in real life, he made a much bigger effort to be involved in Gypsy’s life. He paid child support and sent her gifts, and tried to visit although Dee Dee would often find ways to stop their encounters from taking place. He was manipulated by Dee Dee as well and prevented from being the parent he wanted to be.

#7: Mel Breaking Into the House

After they kill Dee Dee, Gypsy and Nick decide to speed up the process of her body being found by posting shocking comments from her Facebook page. On the show, Lacey sees the posts and informs her mother, who then breaks into the family’s house. In real life though, it was a man named David Blanchard (who despite his name was not related to Dee Dee) who also lived nearby who responded. The dark Facebooks posts are very real, and the screenshots of them can easily be found online. The posts contributed to Nick and Gypsy being caught, just like on the show.

#6: Gypsy’s Teeth Falling Out

In the first episodes of the show, we see Gypsy’s mother telling her that she’s allergic to sugar and taking her to the doctor. She hears the doctor say that her allergy isn’t real, and decides to test it out for herself by eating sweets. She ends up at the dentist where she has all of her teeth taken out because they’re rotten. This part was actually true, and it was happening because Dee Dee was giving her the medication Tegretol for the epilepsy that she didn’t actually have. Yikes.

#5: Mind of a 7-Year-Old

On the show, Dee Dee minimizes Gypsy’s intelligence and mental abilities, telling people that her teenage daughter has the mind of a 7-year-old, along with lying about her actual age. This is actually true, and in real life she blamed the issue on Gypsy’s premature birth, saying that she suffered from brain damage in the process. Of course, Gypsy may have been stunted in some ways, but her intellectual capacities were not impaired. This was all part of the Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which we’ll touch more on later.

#4: Nick Being a Nice Guy

In “The Act”, Nick is a sympathetic character who seems to really care about Gypsy. And although we can’t be sure of his true motives in real life, there are some serious red flags about the actual Nick Godejohn. The Blanchard family believe that he controlled Gypsy and took advantage of her. Not only that, but in the 2017 documentary about the story “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” it’s revealed that Nick wanted to rape Dee Dee before killing her. Gypsy offered herself up instead and so he raped her after killing her mother.

#3: Gypsy Falling off a Trampoline

In the series, we see the origins of Gypsy being in a wheelchair. Dee Dee puts her in one after she has a trampoline accident when she is six years old. That’s not how it happened in real life though. What actually happened is that Gypsy was riding on a motorcycle with her maternal grandfather and they got into a minor accident. While at that point Gypsy had already been using a walker for the alleged muscular dystrophy that she had, after the accident Dee Dee told her that a doctor had ordered her to use a wheelchair.

#2: A Doctor Was Suspicious

Considering how long Dee Dee got away with lying about Gypsy’s conditions, it’s no surprised that doctors started to have questions eventually. On the show, Dr. Lakshmi Chandra begins to track down Gypsy’s medical history from other sources because she has her suspicions about what Dee Dee is telling her. Eventually, she reports the case to Child Protective Services. In real life, it was pediatric neurologist Bernardo Flasterstein who raised some red flags. He said that he was worried about Munchausen syndrome by proxy, but he didn’t report his concerns.

#1: Dee Dee Is Suspected of More Than One Crime

It’s evident from everything we saw in “The Act” that Dee Dee was mentally unwell, and in the show’s sixth episode it's implied that her daughter’s wasn’t the only life she took into her own hands. Dee Dee is shown keeping food from her own mother, Emma, when she was sick, and her neglect led to her death. In reality, Dee Dee’s family does believe that she did have a hand in Emma’s death. And her stepmother, Laura, didn’t get off easy either, as she has accused Dee Dee of trying to poison her with weed killer, leaving her incapacitated for months.
Secondly, Gypsy did not have the mind of a 7-year old. She was simply forced to act that way. In one scene, Dee Dee gave Gypsy a pill that made her drowsy and child-like, which made it difficult for the social worker to get factual information out of her.
You got a few facts wrong. Firstly, Gypsy was able to walk without a wheelchair. She was just forced to use one to add "evidence" to her muscular dystrophy.