Joey King on her 'nerve-racking' transformation into Gypsy Rose Blanchard in the true crime series The Act

Joey King stars in The Act on Hulu, which retells the tragic and shocking story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who murdered her mother with the help of a boyfriend in 2015.
Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette) and Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King) in The Act on Hulu. (Brownie Harris/Hulu)

Originally published on April 8, 2019

However you feel about your mother, that relationship is supposed to be a place of trust. A new series from Hulu called The Act depicts what happens when that trust is destroyed.

The Hulu true crime drama retells the tragic and shocking story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who murdered her mother Dee Dee Blanchard with the help of a boyfriend in 2015.

Actor Joey King. (Hudson Taylor)

Dee Dee had a psychological disorder called Munchausen syndrome by proxy, in which a caregiver fabricates, exaggerates or otherwise induces illness in a person under their care, typically their child. Dee Dee insisted that her daughter Gypsy had asthma, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and cancer — none of it was true.

After undergoing numerous unnecessary medical treatments and being forced to use a wheelchair and feeding tube, Gypsy snapped. Police found Dee Dee stabbed to death in her house and less than 48 hours later, Gypsy and her boyfriend were arrested for her mother's murder.

In The Act, Gypsy Rose Blanchard is played by 19-year-old Joey King, who's best known for her roles in rom-coms and teen movies like Ramona and Beezus and The Kissing Booth. It's a dark turn for King, who had to transform herself both mentally and physically to play the character. 

King spoke with q's Tom Power about what drew her to Gypsy's story, how she prepared for the role and why it's a bold new step in her career. The Act is available through Crave in Canada and Hulu in the U.S.

Download our podcast or click the 'Listen' link near the top of this page to hear the full interview. 

Produced by Cora Nijhawan

Miss an episode of CBC q? Download our podcast.



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?