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Kate Mara weighs in on the controversial ending of A Teacher

Spoilers ahead for the finale of A Teacher

Eve Crosbie

Consent drama A Teacher had fans hooked from the very beginning thanks in part to its gripping plot and sensational performances from lead actors Kate Mara and Nick Robinson.

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And now Kate, who plays high school teacher Claire in the show, has spoken out about the show's controversial ending which divided viewers. 

"We talked a lot about slightly different versions of things that could be said," she told Entertainment Weekly, explaining that creator Hannah Fiddell came up with a few different finales before settling on the ending which sees a now-adult Eric confront his former teacher ten years after their affair ends.

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WATCH: A Teacher tells the story of an illicit student-teacher affair

"It's interesting because obviously the subject matter is so risqué and intense and it's very controversial, so people's reactions are either: people love the ending and think it makes total sense and then there's the other side of it where people are like, "I know this is horrible but there's a version where I wanted them to end up together or to leave it open-ended where you think they might." 

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Mara added that she felt that the ending was "optimistic" despite the reaction it received from audiences. "I do see it as optimistic. Eric, the survivor, is finding his voice and he stands up to her and speaks the truth. I think that's why it's hard to watch because hopefully, when watching the show, you have at some point or another felt some sort of empathy or compassion for Claire as well."

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What did you make of the ending of A Teacher?

Plenty of viewers took to social media to give their verdict on the show's ending, with many praising it as realistic and powerful. One viewer tweeted: "The ending to A Teacher is so emotional and well done."

"I liked the ending for A Teacher," someone else wrote. "I appreciate the show not having Eric and Claire end up together and he was right, as the minor he didn't/couldn't have asked for any of that. Claire was completely in the wrong."

Another added: "The ending of A Teacher on Hulu *chefs kiss* brilliant."

Meanwhile, others were less impressed with how the miniseries concluded, with one viewer calling it "anticlimactic". 

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Kate Mara praised the finale which saw Eric finally "stand up" to his abuser

"The ending of A Teacher was like a cheesy after school PSA," one person wrote while another said: "Ummm I expected more from the finale. It was sort of abrupt."

While the series was not based on a true story, the creators behind the series admitted that they took inspiration from a number of high-profile real-life examples of student-teacher affairs and worked extensively with a team of therapists to ensure that the series was both accurate and sensitive to victims of sexual abuse.

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