Trans actress Nava Mau stars in new Netflix stalker drama Baby Reindeer

Author: Marcus Wratten

Nava Mau stars as Teri in new Netflix show Nava Mau.

New Netflix mini-series Baby Reindeer, featuring up-and-coming trans actress Nava Mau as Teri, looks set to be one of the most-talked about TV shows of the month.

Based on real events, the Netflix drama tells the chilling story of Scottish comedian Richard Gadd being harassed by a middle-aged woman he meets at the pub where he works.

The star first shared his experience in the form of a one-man play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019, which went on to win an Olivier Award. While the stage show depicted the stalker in question as a bar stool, in Baby Reindeer, she is Martha, played by Pride star, Jessica Gunning.

Gadd stars in the lead role, although he’s not exactly playing himself. He is Donny, a writer and comedian struggling to find the success he craves.

While working in the pub, he sees Martha enter in tears. One simple act of kindness, offering her a cup of tea, leads to seven episodes of harrowing viewing as she attempts to infiltrate every aspect of Donny’s life.

Despite only dropping on Netflix on Thursday (11 April), the drama is already garnering critical acclaim, with The Guardian, The Independent and the Evening Standard awarding it four out of five stars.

The cast is fairly small. Other than Gadd and Gunning, Mau has the most sizeable part. She plays trans woman and American therapist Teri.

Who is Teri in Baby Reindeer?

Teri meets Donny on a dating app, but is unimpressed by the way he treats her, unaware of what’s happening to him behind the scenes.

According to 31-year-old, San Antonio-raised actress Mau, it was Gadd’s writing which drew her to Baby Reindeer.

“When I was reading the script, it felt like the first time reading a character written by someone who actually had known and loved a trans woman,” she told Netflix’s fan event Tudum.

“It felt like an honour to even get to read the script because of Richard’s vulnerability. There’s a light that I think pulsates out of that kind of vulnerability, and so all the characters in the story are cast in that light. I felt that in that first read of Teri.”

Nava Mau grips Richard Gadd's hand in a still from Netflix show Baby Reindeer.
Nava Mau’s character Teri dates Donny (Richard Gadd) in Baby Reindeer. (Netflix)

Although Teri is almost certainly Mau’s biggest role to date, fans of HBO’s queer teen comedy drama Genera+ion may recognise her as Ana, the supportive, transgender aunt of lesbian character Greta.

Genera+ion was Mau’s first acting role, after she was contacted by a casting agent in 2019 via Instagram. Since then, she’s starred, directed and produced several short films.

She also worked behind the scenes on Laverne Cox’s documentary Disclosure, about trans lives on TV.

Initially, the actress wanted to be a pop star, never thinking acting was a possibility.

“I never considered [acting] a potential profession for me because I didn’t see anybody in the media, anybody in leadership, in school, in my own family, who I could relate to or emulate with regard to my gender identity,” she told Texas Monthly in 2021.

Is Baby Reindeer a true story?

The show is based on the real-life stalking experience of its creator and star, Richard Gadd.

Richard Gadd as Donny and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer
Donny is the focus of Martha’s obsession in Baby Reindeer. (Netflix)

In his theatre show of the same name, Gadd tells the story of him taking pity on Martha, a woman who came into the bar where he worked in the early 2010s.

Much like in the Netflix show, she then didn’t leave him alone, proceeding to bombard him with emails and voicemails, hound his loved ones, and even turning up in person to harass him. 

Baby Reindeer, as Gadd tells it, is the name Martha gave him as she began her reign of terror.

Baby Reindeer is streaming on Netflix now.

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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Marcus Wratten

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