Patricia Arquette plays Dee Dee Blanchard, mother of Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King), a girl trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother.
Josmar Taveras, USA TODAY
Though Joey King has an impressive list of acting credits at just 19, she says she threw away what she knew about acting to play Gypsy Rose Blanchard.
In an interview with E! News Wednesday, the actress talked about her transformation for the Hulu’s drama “The Act,” which is based on the life of Blanchard and the 2015 murder of her mother, Dee Dee (played by Patricia Arquette).
“It is very different from the things I’ve been doing. That’s why I love it so much, because I was able to showcase something that I haven’t showcased before, that I can completely transform myself, that I am capable of portraying a different person. It was really exciting for me,” she said.
She continued, “This role, the way I approached her, was very much different than how I’ve approached any other role. I decided to strip away everything I thought I knew about acting, about anything, and just completely try and dive in and become someone else who’s alive.”
Blanchard “lived” with chronic conditions for years – leukemia, muscular dystrophy and asthma among them – but most were later found to be fabricated by Dee Dee as part of an elaborate scam to get money. In 2015, Dee Dee was brutally stabbed to death by her daughter’s boyfriend.
All of the emotions from these events, King said, flowed through her during filming.
“This situation, it was so tragic and so kind of traumatizing and toxic, that when you put yourself in the mind space of being in that character’s position the feelings and the emotions really just flow through you,” she said.
Contributing: Patrick Ryan
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