Richard Gadd reveals tears were shed on set of Baby Reindeer during filming of sexual assault scene SuperNayr

Richard Gadd has revealed there were tears shed on the set of Baby Reindeer during filming of some of the show’s most harrowing scenes.

The Netflix show, which follows Richard’s character Donny as he is stalked by a woman named Martha, played by Jessica Gunning, has become a global hit since its release.

It shows Martha’s obsession developing as she emails Donny hundreds of times a day, turning up outside his house and harassing his family and friends. It is based on Richard’s real life experience. 

Richard has opened up about filming episode four, in which his character is sexually assaulted by a male TV writer who takes struggling comedian Donny under his wing.

He told Variety: ‘We did close the set, but I was looking over and you’d see the props guys wiping tears from their eyes as they would be putting the props back how they should be.’

Richard Gadd has revealed there were tears shed on the set of Baby Reindeer during filming of some of the show's most harrowing scenes

Richard Gadd has revealed there were tears shed on the set of Baby Reindeer during filming of some of the show’s most harrowing scenes

Richard has opened up about filming episode four, in which his character is sexually assaulted

Richard has opened up about filming episode four, in which his character is sexually assaulted

‘The show was based in such a trauma that everyone on set felt at times it was a huge, weighty thing. And it’s why I think everyone had such respect for everything. I was blessed with this amazing team who kind of felt it with me in a lot of ways.’

In the same interview, Jessica told how Richard works with We Are Survivors, a non-profit organisation that supports male victims of rape and sexual abuse.

The organisation has reportedly experienced a 200% increase in people looking for support, with 60% of them citing Baby Reindeer as the reason they reached out. 

Jessica said of the show: ‘It’s not an easy, buttoned-up story. Everything doesn’t get tied up at the end. I think it’s messy, like life is. Their dynamic is complicated and he’s really honest about that. That’s so refreshing to see.’

Richard said making the show with Netflix, based on two critically acclaimed shows he wrote and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, was cathartic and helped him come to terms with what happened earlier in his life.

‘If people see it they will know almost everything about me. They might judge, they might not agree, and that innately comes with some degree of anxiety, but that’s what I signed up for,’ he told The Times.

He pitched the show to Netflix after combining two critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe shows, Baby Reindeer and Monkey See, Monkey Do, which addressed his stalking and sexual assault respectively.

Over a period of four-and-a-half years, the actor said he received 41,071 emails , 744 tweets, letters totalling 106 pages and 350 hours of voicemail messages. Richard told the Times police did not take his concerns seriously despite his worries about how far the real-life Martha might go in her twisted pursuits.

He said: 'We did close the set, but I was looking over and you'd see the props guys wiping tears from their eyes as they would be putting the props back how they should be'

He said: ‘We did close the set, but I was looking over and you’d see the props guys wiping tears from their eyes as they would be putting the props back how they should be’

The Netflix show, which follows Richard's character Donny as he is stalked by a woman named Martha, played by Jessica Gunning, has become a global hit since its release

The Netflix show, which follows Richard’s character Donny as he is stalked by a woman named Martha, played by Jessica Gunning, has become a global hit since its release

He now says he is less likely to trust people after his adverse experiences with both men and women.

Richard concluded: ‘I used to enter situations with such abandonment, never thinking ahead and throwing my trust into people, and I got burnt. Now getting close to people can be hard.’

Baby Reindeer has proven a surprise smash for Netflix, having been viewed more than 60 million times in the first month.

Richard claimed he went to great lengths to conceal the identity of the woman who stalked him in real life.

In the series, after Richard meets his stalker at the bar, things soon descend into chaos.

The chilling real-life drama was inspired by the ordeal suffered by Scottish creator and leading man Richard Gadd at the hands of 'Martha' (played by Jessica Gunning, right)

The chilling real-life drama was inspired by the ordeal suffered by Scottish creator and leading man Richard Gadd at the hands of ‘Martha’ (played by Jessica Gunning, right) 

Richard was a struggling stand-up comic working behind the bar at a pub in London

Richard was a struggling stand-up comic working behind the bar at a pub in London

It sees him being regularly followed at home and work, and tracked on Facebook using three fake accounts.

He told The Times: ‘At first everyone at the pub thought it was funny that I had an admirer. Then she started to invade my life, following me, turning up at my gigs, waiting outside my house, sending thousands of voicemails and emails.’

He said it was ‘years’ before the police eventually took his complaints seriously – and six years before they finally intervened – something which prolonged the agony for everyone involved including his relatives.

The police told him at the time that unless his stalker became physically violent, there was little they could do to resolve the issue.

He has said he still finds it hard to trust people and has had ‘every therapy going’.

He added that the years of being stalked have left him with something ‘like PTSD’. For the Netflix role, he lost weight to match his 10-and-a-half stone ‘neurotic’ self at the height of his own stalking nightmare.

Gadd has revealed he first encountered 'Martha' when he was working in a pub and offered her a cup of tea because she was crying

Gadd has revealed he first encountered ‘Martha’ when he was working in a pub and offered her a cup of tea because she was crying

Richard said he’s currently single and ‘is more cautious’ of people because of the campaign of terror that Martha inflicted, saying: ‘It takes me a long time to trust them. Before, I entered situations with such abandonment and I got burnt.’

However, performing a version of what happened to him has enabled him to have ‘ownership’ of the trauma. Gadd earned a Fringe award for his stage show, also called Baby Reindeer, in 2019.

Speaking to the Telegraph in 2019 about the one-man show that he wrote after the ordeal, which is currently on at London’s Bush theatre, he said: ‘It was debilitating beyond belief.

‘I’d listen to her voicemails and just feel my eyes welling up. They were tears of frustration. Proper brain-heavy stress.’

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