Who is Jessica Gunning? Actress who plays Martha Scott in Netflix drama Baby Reindeer

The actress fell in love with acting when she was young, often sneaking into rehearsals for school plays run by her mother
Lola Christina Alao2 minutes ago

The major Netflix drama Baby Reindeer tells the story of the Scottish comedian and writer, Richard Gadd, being stalked by Martha Scott (Jessica Gunning).

The stalking begins after Donny Dunn, a fictionalised version of Gadd (who also plays the lead), kindly serves Martha a free cup of tea at the pub where he works.

Martha becomes obsessed with Donny and, over five years, bombards him with 40,000 emails, 740 tweets, 350 hours of voicemails, 100 pages of letters, and 45 Facebook messages.

Based on a true story, the seven-part show began as a theatre production performed in London’s Bush Theatre in 2019.

The woman who claims to be the real-life inspiration behind Martha, Fiona Harvey, appeared on Piers Morgan’s show on Thursday (May 9) to tell her side of the story.

But who is Jessica Gunning, the actress who plays Martha?

Who Jessica Gunning?

Jessica Gunning, 38, is from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, and studied drama at Rose Bruford College in London.

She said she fell in love with acting when she was young, often sneaking into rehearsals for school plays, which her mother ran.

What other roles has she played?

Gunning began her stage career at the National Theatre, starring in productions including Much Ado About Nothing and Major Barbara.

She appeared in Mutual Friends followed by a recurring role as Angela in Law & Order: UK in 2009.

Gunning played Annie the babysitter in the the comedy series Life of Riley between 2009 and 2019.

She played Orla in the BBC television series White Heat in 2012, followed by a lead role as Melissa Young in the BBC drama What Remains.

She has also starred in The Scandalous Lady W on BBC Two and played Shirley Allerdyce in Sky Atlantic's series Fortitude.

What has she said about Baby Reindeer?

Gunning spoke to Glamour magazine about the popularity of the show.

“I think that it’s the emotional honesty of the show is what people are connecting with,” she said.

On what the show is about, Gunning said: “I think it's about people who've all gone through trauma. And that's what bonds them all together, in a way.”

She said the response to the show had been “amazing”.

“As soon as I read the script, I had that feeling in my gut that it was really unlike anything I've ever read before… It's the best thing I've ever read.

“I just had a feeling it was going to be something quite special just because of Richard's bravery — but the response has been immense.”