The Act: The shocking Gypsy Rose Blanchard prison scene in the finale never happened
2 May 2019, 13:57
Gypsy's real neighbour Aleah Woodmansee has called out The Act for making things up...
Ever since The Act debuted on Hulu in March, the true crime drama has divided viewers. Many critics have praised the show for its brilliant acting (Joey King and Patricia Arquette are both excellent) and raising awareness about Munchausen syndrome by proxy (it tells the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard). However, Gypsy has criticised the show for profiting off of her life without her consent and Gypsy's neighbour, Aleah Woodmansee, has claimed The Act made a lot of things up.
Much of The Act is based on real life events, but some of it isn't. And there is a scene in the finale that was completely fictionalised.
Which Gypsy Rose Blanchard scene in The Act finale is made up?
At the end of The Act finale, Gypsy's neighbour, Mel (Chloë Sevigny), visits her in prison. After supporting Gypsy and Dee Dee for years, Mel wants to know if Gypsy was at all complicit in Dee Dee's lies. Dee Dee forced Gypsy to use a wheelchair and pretend to be ill throughout her life. She also used it as a means to ask neighbours and strangers for donations and help, which she and Gypsy never actually needed.
In the scene, Mel is initially angry with Gypsy but, as it develops, she starts to wonder if Gypsy is a victim, not a villain. When Gypsy realises this, she asks Dee Dee if she can now be a mother figure to her but Mel is brutally honest. Mel says: "I can’t be your mom, Gypsy. You’re on your own now. Do you hear what I’m saying?” The show ends with Gypsy alone in her prison cell imagining Dee Dee with her.
The confrontation is incredibly moving but it's fictitious. In real life, Mel didn't exist at all. Mel's daughter Lacey (AnnaSophia Robb), however, is based on a real life person. Aleah Woodmansee was Gypsy's actual neighbour and she was one of the only people who knew about Gypsy's ex boyfriend Nick Godejohn (the man who Gyspy asked to stab Dee Dee). Aleah doesn't approve of Lacey, though.
Speaking to In Touch about Lacey and The Act, Aleah said: "[The show] apparently depicts me smoking with Gypsy? That never happened. Alcohol and smoking were things we never discussed." She then adds: " Literally, the most risqué topics we even touched on were boys, and at the time, I believed she was no older than the age of 15, so we can all assume that remained pretty tame.”
While the show does specify that some scenes and characters are fictionalised, it's understandable why people depicted in the show aren't happy with some of the ways in which they're being represented. Gypsy Rose Blanchard herself is actually pursuing legal action against the show.