Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Baby Reindeer star Nava Mau shares insight into Richard Gadd's real-life relationship with Teri

Nava plays therapist Teri in the Netflix drama

Richard Gadd and Nava Mau in Baby Reindeer
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
16 April 2024
Share this:

Netflix's new comedy-drama Baby Reindeer dramatises the true story of creator Richard Gadd's stalking ordeal. While the show primarily focuses on the relationship between protagonist Donny (played by Richard) and his stalker Martha (Jessica Gunning), it also delves into his past traumas, as well as his budding romance with a trans woman named Teri, played by Nava Mau. 

Donny meets Teri, an American therapist, on a dating app but initially conceals his true identity by using a fake name and job on his profile. 

WATCH: Baby Reindeer is based on a terrifying true story

Like Donny and Martha, Teri is also based on a real person, and ahead of the show's premiere, Nava shared an insight into Richard's relationship with her real-life counterpart. 

"When I read [the script], I could tell that Richard really loved her, whoever inspired this character," Nava told HELLO! and other press. "I think I knew that it was based on real life and it seemed really important to show people that trans women exist in real life and in relationships with real people.

Nava Mau as Teri in Baby Reindeer© Netflix
Nava Mau plays Teri in Baby Reindeer

"I could see Richard's heart in the writing and I hope that people will see it too," she added.

When asked if knowing that Teri was based on a real person changed her approach to the role, Nava replied: "Of course. I felt a great sense of responsibility and I cared a lot about telling the story in the best way possible."

Nava Mau as Teri in Baby Reindeer© Netflix
Teri is based on a real person

Nava also revealed that she was drawn to the project as she felt it had been written by "someone who had actually known and loved a trans woman and wasn't writing from a place of imagination". 

Richard also opened up about his relationship with the person who inspired Teri while speaking to Netflix in a behind-the-scenes video about the true story behind the drama. 

Richard Gadd as Donny, Nava Mau as Teri in Baby Reindeer© Netflix
Richard opened up about his relationship with the real Teri

"Teri is like the voice of reason," he said. "The real-life person always used to call me out on my [expletive] and I always used to find it confronting. My behaviour was irrational and so it was very important to have Teri be the voice of reason in the show. 

"I mean, she was the voice of reason in my life at that point as well, not that I listened to her as much as I should have," he added. 

Richard Gadd in Baby Reindeer© Ed Miller/Netflix
Baby Reindeer tells the true story of Richard's stalking ordeal

For those yet to watch the series, it follows struggling comedian Donny Dunn, who gives a troubled woman a cup of tea on the house during a pub shift. But what starts out as a kind gesture quickly transforms into a nightmare as the woman, named Martha, begins to relentlessly stalk Donny. 

The series follows their strange and complicated relationship as Martha's obsession threatens to ruin both their lives. 

Baby Reindeer: Martha's obsession in numbers

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer© Ed Miller/Netflix
Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer

Richard Gadd has been vocal about his stalker, named 'Martha' in the show, and just how many messages, voicemails,  tweets and emails he received from her before contact was cut off. It included: 

  • 41,000 emails 
  • 744 tweets
  • 100 pages of letters
  • 350 hours of voicemails 

Baby Reindeer is available to stream on Netflix. 

Anyone affected by Richard's story or themes mentioned in this article can find support by contacting Victim Support or the National Stalking Helpline.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.