As the comedian explained to UK’s The Times, his friends didn’t initially think anything of it. “At first everyone at the pub thought it was funny that I had an admirer,” he said. “Then she started to invade my life, following me, turning up at my gigs, waiting outside my house, sending thousands of voicemails and emails.”

In another interview with The Guardian, Gadd shared that he was far from perfect during this time of his life. “I did loads of things wrong and made the situation worse,” he said. “I wasn’t a perfect person [back then], so there’s no point saying I was. And I know as I’m doing those sections that people are thinking I’m not a nice person—which make them difficult to perform.”

Although Baby Reindeer is mostly true, Gadd revealed that he did amp up the tension and suspense for the sake of the show. “The feeling you get most of all when you’re getting harassed is relentless tediousness and frustration,” he said. “I didn’t want the audience to feel that.”

Based on this experience, Gadd said he wanted to create something to tell his story and represent stalking in a different way—particularly how it is rooted in mental illness.

“Stalking on television tends to be very sexed up. It has a mystique. It’s somebody in a dark alley way. It’s somebody who’s really sexy, who’s very normal, but then they go strange bit by bit,” Gadd said in an interview with Netflix’s Tudum. “But stalking is a mental illness. I really wanted to show the layers of stalking with a human quality I hadn’t seen on television before. It’s a stalker story turned on its head. It takes a trope and turns it on its head.”

He added that he didn’t want to write a “victim narrative” for his character. “I think art is quite interesting when you don’t know who you are on the side of. I wanted it to be layered, and I wanted it to capture the human experience. The human experience is that people are good, but they have bits of bad and they make mistakes.”


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