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‘The Act’: What the Real Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard (and Others) Look Like

By Kate Hudson | TV | April 9, 2019 |

By Kate Hudson | TV | April 9, 2019 |


Ever since Hulu debuted The Act last month March, the series has posed as many questions as it has answers. Based on the true story of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard, the Hulu show has taken some artistic license with the portrayal of the two women, but surprisingly, how the cast looks is fairly true to life. We’ve pulled images of the real people the cast of The Act is portraying, and we’ll let you decide how accurate the casting has been.


Gypsy Rose Blanchard- played by Joey King

The real-life Gypsy Rose in an undated photo (HBO)

Joey King as Gypsy Rose Blanchard in ‘The Act’ (Hulu)

Joey King was born in 1999 and is 8 years younger than the real-life Gypsy Rose. The bulk of the action of the series takes place from 2009 onwards, leading up to Dee Dee’s murder in 2015, when Gypsy Rose was 24. So while Joey King is 5 years younger than her counterpart at the time of Dee Dee’s murder, her physical transformation into Gypsy is pretty accurate.

Dee Dee Blanchard - Played by Patricia Arquette


The real-life Dee Dee in an undated photo (HBO)


Patricia Arquette as Dee Dee Blanchard (Hulu)

Dee Dee was 48 years old when she was murdered, and Arquette is currently 51 years old, putting her in the same range as Dee Dee. While she doesn’t have Dee Dee’s exact haircut and has swapped Dee Dee’s Louisiana accent for a much more generic “Southern” one, she’s definitely embodying the frumpy look that Dee Dee favored in real life, most likely because it made her seem like a sympathetic yet beleaguered single mother, masking her abuse towards Gypsy Rose.

Aleah Woodmansee - Played by AnnaSophia Robb


The real-life Aleah Woodmansee in an undated interview (HBO)


AnnaSophia Robb as Lacey (Hulu)

The character of Lacey is roughly based on Aleah, who was Gypsy’s neighbor, and in whom Gypsy would confide from time to time. Aleah was a friend of Gypsy’s on Gypsy’s secret social media account(s).

Nicholas Godejohn - Played By Calum Worthy


The real-life Nicholas Godejohn in an undated photo (HBO)


Calum Worthy as Nicholas Godejohn (Hulu)

Nicholas, who was introduced last week, is Gypsy’s-would-be-boyfriend with a dark streak. The real Nicholas was recently sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard.

What about Mel?


Chloe Sevingy as Mel (Hulu)

Mel, played by Chloe Sevigny doesn’t seem to have a real-life counterpart.

What about Gypsy’s Dad?


Rod and Kristy Blanchard, from ‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’ (HBO)

Here he is with his wife Kristy, in a screenshot from the documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest. Rod has yet to appear in The Act, but he, along with Kristy, have been actively involved in Gypsy’s life since Dee Dee’s murder. Although The Act may leave all of that out since they’ve downplayed his involvement in his daughter’s life thus far.

What Does Gypsy Rose look like, now?


Gypsy Rose at Nicholas Godejohn’s trial in the Fall of 2018 (Law&Crime YouTube Channel)

Gypsy Rose is currently incarcerated, serving 10 years for murder and is not scheduled for release until 2026, although she is eligible for parole in 2023.

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Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

Image sources (in order of posting): Hulu/YouTube (images from The Act), HBO/YouTube (Images from Mommy Dead and Dearest), Law&Crime Network/YouTube (Current Photo of Gypsy Rose)