Baby Reindeer star talks challenges of playing Martha character

jessica gunning as martha, baby reindeer
Baby Reindeer star reveals challenges of filmingED MILLER/NETFLIX

Baby Reindeer star Jessica Gunning has opened up about the challenges of playing her character Martha.

The Netflix limited series is written and produced by comedian Richard Gadd and is based on his real-life experience of being stalked by an older woman he met in the pub where he worked.

Gadd plays a character called Donny Dunn, who is a fictionalised version of himself, while Gunning (The Outlaws) plays his stalker Martha, who is moved by an act of kindness by Donny and begins to harass him both in-person and on social media.

richard gadd as donny, jessica gunning as martha, baby reindeer

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In an interview with Metro, the actor spoke candidly about the challenges of playing such a complex character, and the pressure of bringing to the screen what is largely a true story for Gadd.

She said: "I always used to roll my eyes slightly when actors said, ‘Oh god, it took me a week to say goodbye’, but because this is obviously based on a true story, and I know Richard now, I wanted to do the part justice so much I think I was constantly with her all the time in my head.

"Even when there were days I wasn’t in, I was thinking of Martha and the story, just wanting to do the best I could do. In that aspect, I didn’t really let go of her until we finished filming. I couldn’t really put her to bed."

jessica gunning as martha, baby reindeer

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Gunning continued: "When you do a job like this as well, it’s long hours, and you’re there, and you’re in it. With this, emotionally, everyone was really invested… it does dominate your life… it took a while to, kind of, say goodbye in a way. I was really sad when it finished, to say goodbye to her."

The seven-part series is currently sitting on a perfect 100% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and is in the global top 10 most watched series on Netflix in the last week.

Baby Reindeer is now available to watch on Netflix.

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