Baby Reindeer's Jessica Gunning Has A Message For People Trying To Work Out Martha's Real Identity

Jessica Gunning in Netflix's Baby Reindeer
Jessica Gunning in Netflix's Baby Reindeer Ed Miller/Netflix

Baby Reindeer star Jessica Gunning has spoken out against those trying to work out the identity of creator Richard Gadd’s real stalker.

Jessica plays Martha in the hugely popular Netflix miniseries, which is based on creator and star Richard’s actual life experiences.

Since it began streaming earlier this month, Baby Reindeer has been hugely popular with critics and barely budged from Netflix’s list of most-watched shows.

However, that popularity has come with some downsides, namely amateur internet sleuths trying to work out the real-life figures that inspired characters in the show.

I didn’t know that was happening,” Jessica admitted to Glamour magazine when asked how she felt about people online trying to unearth the “real” Martha.

She continued: “I would urge people not to be doing that.

“I think if that is happening, I think it’s a real, real shame, because it shows that they haven’t watched the show properly. That’s not the point of it in any way.

“Netflix and Richard [Gadd] went to extreme lengths to try and make sure that the identities were kept private for a reason.”

Jessica Gunning pictured in 2021
Jessica Gunning pictured in 2021 Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

Jessica urged the people in question to “try and watch the show again, and really see what the point of it was”, because “it definitely wasn’t that”.

“I deliberately didn’t want to do an impersonation of somebody,” she insisted. “I wanted to do an interpretation of this character.”

Richard previously wrote on his Instagram story earlier this week: “People I love, have worked with, and admire […] are unfairly getting caught up in speculation. Please don’t speculate on who any of the real life people could be.”

“That’s not the point of our show,” he added.

Richard Gadd at the 2020 Oliviers
Richard Gadd at the 2020 Oliviers Dave Benett via Getty Images

He told The Independent in 2019 of his real-life stalker: “I can’t emphasise enough how much of a victim she is in all this.

“When we think of stalkers, we always think of films like Misery and Fatal Attraction, where the stalker is a monstrous figure in the night down an alleyway.

“But usually, it’s a prior relationship or someone you know or a work colleague. Stalking and harassment is a form of mental illness.”

“It would have been wrong to paint her as a monster, because she’s unwell, and the system’s failed her,” he added.