Gypsy Rose Blanchard, Dee Dee Blanchard, The Act, Joey King, Patricia Arquette

Greene County Sheriff’s Office; Brownie Harris / Hulu

One of true crime's wildest stories is now on Hulu, and it stars two actresses who you might not even recognize if you didn't know it was them. 

Joey King and Patricia Arquette completely transformed to play Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, the mother-daughter duo at the center of a story that shocked everyone in 2017. For years, Dee Dee had been telling everyone that her daughter had, among other ailments, leukemia, asthma, muscular dystrophy, and the mental capacity of a 7 year-old, and it turned out none of that was true. Dee Dee was found murdered in 2015, and Gypsy and a boyfriend she had met online were convicted of the crime. 

HBO aired a documentary in 2017 called Mommy Dead and Dearest about the case, and now Hulu has turned it into a miniseries called The Act, starring King and Arquette. 

At a TV Critics Association panel in February, King said she was initially hesitant to shave her head to take on the look Gypsy's mother forced her to wear. 

"There was a bit of me being like, well, do I have to? Is there a way we can make it not?" she told reporters. "But at the end of the day, I realized this role and this show, I connected with it a lot. It just meant so much to me and I would've done anything to be able to portray Gypsy's story and to play her, so I have zero regret. I'm so happy that I did, and now I'm spiking it, like what's up?" 

King says she prepared as much as she could by talking to journalist and EP Michelle Dean and reading about the case, but it was a role she couldn't really prepare for.

"It's crazy though because with a role like Gypsy, no matter how much prep you do, no matter how much research you do, no matter how much script work you do, nothing will prepare you," she said. "Nothing will make it fall into place more than when you actually step on set. I truly believe that. Along with shaving my head, putting in the fake teeth, I wear several stages of fake teeth throughout the entire series, and being in the wheelchair. Being in Gypsy's clothing, all of it. The minute you get on set, everything that you've prepared for truly all falls into place right then and there." 

Arquette had recently finished filming Showtime's Escape at Dannemora, which she won the Golden Globe, Critics' Choice Award, and SAG Award for. That role already required some physical transformation like weight gain, and this role required even more. 

"I started losing weight after Dannemora then I stopped for this, but this real lady was like a hundred pounds more and I thought, I will die, I'll just be a dead person, so I'm gonna stop here," Arquette said. "Now I'm going to start taking a little more care of my own self. But to work with these actresses—this is such exciting material and it's also about this relationship, this intense love affair that this mother's so jealous and protective of. The normal material thing's distorted beyond, and then they have this very important relationship..." 

Take a look at King and Arquette in character, as well as some other famous True Crime transformations below!

Joey King, The Act

Rich Fury/Getty Images; Brownie Harris / Hulu

Patricia Arquette, The Act

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images; Brownie Harris / Hulu

Dirty John, Eric Bana


Dirty John, Connie Britton

Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images, Bravo

Dirty John, Jean Smart

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images, Bravo

Edie Falco, Leslie Abramson, Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, TV Transformations

Getty Images; NBC

Killer TV Transformation, Al Pacino

Phil Caruso/GAME CHANGE, Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Turner

TV Transformations, Edgar Ramirez, Gianni Versace, American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni

Splash News

Penelope Cruz, American Crime Story

Mike Marsland/WireImage; RSKM/BACKGRID

Darren Criss, Andrew Cunanan, American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Cindy Ord/Getty Images; BACKGRID

TV Transformations, Addison Timlin, The Girl in the Box

Getty Images; Lifetime

Killer TV Transformation, Gethin Anthony

Ron Batzdorff/NBC, David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Amanda Knox, Hayden Panettiere, Murder on Trial in Italy, TV Transformations

Getty Images; Lifetime

Cuba Gooding Jr., The People v. O.J. Simpson, American Crime Story, TV Transformations

Getty Images; FX

Taryn Manning, Cleveland Abduction, Michelle Knight, TV Transformations

Getty Images; Lifetime

Sarah Paulson, Marcia Clark, The People v. O.J. Simpson, American Crime Story, TV Transformations

Getty Images; FX

TV Transformations, Zelda Williams, The Girl in the Box

Michael Bezjian/WireImage; Lifetime

Drew Peterson: Untouchable, Rob Lowe, TV Transformations

Getty Images; Lifetime

TV Transformations, John Travolta, Robert Shapiro, American Crime Story

George Pimentel/WireImage; Netflix

TV Transformations, Eric Dane, Tex Watson

WireImage / CBS

TV Transformations, Tania Raymonde, Jodi Arias

WireImage / Lifetime

TV Transformations, Rob Lowe, Ben Novak Jr.

FilmMagic / Lifetime

TV Transformations, Alyssa Milano, Amy Fisher

Getty Images / CBS

TV Transformations, Christina Ricci, Lizzie Borden

FilmMagic / Lifetime

The Act is now streaming on Hulu. New episodes premiere on Wednesdays. 

This story was first published on February 12, 2019.

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