If you’re one of the many people who’s already seen all the episodes Hulu has released of The Act, by now, you’ve met Nick GodejohnGypsy Rose Blanchard’s boyfriend she met via the internet. In real life — and stop reading now if you want to be totally unspoiled for the outcome of the series — Godejohn was ultimately found guilty in November 2018 of first-degree murder for being a coconspirator in the death of Dee Dee Blanchard, Gypsy’s mother. The man Gypsy fell in love with is compellingly portrayed by Calum Worthy, who spoke with In Touch on March 28 about his experience stepping into the role of Godejohn. And as it turns out, he has a lot of empathy for the guy.

“The most challenging piece was making sure he came across as a real human being and not a character,” Calum explained of Godejohn. “Even though he has done some things that are criminal, he is still a human.” Calum — who told In Touch that researching and preparing for the role “took over” his life for several months — added that he “didn’t want Nick to be defined by the worst day of his life.”

“My favorite part was getting to know Nick,” Calum told In Touch. “I feel like, even though I haven’t met him in person, I feel like he’s a friend … I do feel like I know who he is. And I feel like he’s someone that I can really feel a lot of empathy towards. And as an actor that’s your whole job.”

Godejohn was sentenced to life in prison in February 2019 and he has no possibility for parole, the Springfield News-Leader reported. It’s likely that he doesn’t have a lot of champions at the moment. But to Calum, it was important to do his story justice through his character — and to respect the stories of everyone involved in Gypsy’s life and Dee Dee’s death. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that we handled the real people that are still alive and involved with respect and care at every point in the process,” he noted.

When it comes to sympathizing with Godejohn, Calum said, “Obviously my perspective is swayed by the fact that in order to play him, I had to love him … I have such a swayed perspective on him as a whole. I do believe that even though someone has done something that’s criminal, they shouldn’t be defined as just a criminal. They should be defined as a person who made a mistake or was in a really bad situation. And I think that we need to — not necessarily forgive or forget, but, empathize.” Do you agree?

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