“Baby Reindeer” star Nava Mau on Teri's 'fire' — and the 'tiny panic attack' she had filming that Martha assault scene

“Baby Reindeer” star Nava Mau on Teri's 'fire' — and the 'tiny panic attack' she had filming that Martha assault scene

The actress reflects on the pivotal scene, in which she comes face-to-face with her boyfriend's stalker.

Nava Mau thought she had a great audition for Baby Reindeer. Then, she didn't hear back for six weeks.

"It was a long, painstaking process because I knew I wanted it from the beginning," she says during an Emmys FYC panel moderated by Entertainment Weekly. "I just had to be patient and I had to hope that it would come back to me."

And it did. Mau has received rave reviews for her performance as Teri, a transgender woman datingRichard Gadd's Donny Dunn in the autobiographical limited series about Dunn's stalker, Martha Scott (Jessica Gadd), and sexual assault by a professional mentor. As his own experiences weigh on him, it impacts his relationship with Teri.

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Richard Gadd and Nava Mau in 'Baby Reindeer'

Courtesy of Netflix

Richard Gadd and Nava Mau in 'Baby Reindeer'

Related: Baby Reindeer stars Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning open up about the 'complicated' stalker series

"The dynamic between Donny and Teri was very familiar to me. Unfortunately, for a lot of trans women, dating cis men entails trauma and betrayal and confusion and lies. So that part felt very intuitive," she explains. "What I had to then figure out, once I got to be Teri, is figuring out the stretch between us. And that was my favorite part, figuring out how she harnesses her anger so freely and so fearlessly. She’s not afraid to ask for what she wants, for what she needs. She not afraid of losing him."

While she could relate, she was also inspired by Teri's demeanor and assertiveness with Donny. "I tend to be kind of soft, and Teri is not," she says, laughing. "Teri has that fire. So I had to keep thinking: Teri is going to get him to level up, she’s not going down to his level. She’s just begging, trying, pleading for him to level up. That was very empowering to learn that physicality, that state of mind, that level of expectation. And I think I carry that with me now forever."

The Mexico City-born, San Antonio-raised actress, who also starred on Max's Generation, also got to share a pivotal and unforgettable scene with Gunning, whose Martha confronts Teri at the bar where Donny works, eventually attacking her.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best in TV.

Mau says she and Gunning provided vital support to each other through rehearsal and then filming of that sequence, which took three days.

"Jess and I didn’t meet until the stunt training. That was the first time that we met, and I think that was the perfect way to meet. It was mediated but also low stakes and focused on the work. So it was great to meet as ourselves and immediately have to start practicing consent, developing trust," she recalls. "We had to figure out what the violence was going to be, so we had to try different things. She had to smash my head into the table, she had to knock me over, I had to fight back at one point — we had to really craft the stunt."

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Nava Mau in 'Baby Reindeer'

Courtesy of Netflix

Nava Mau in 'Baby Reindeer'

Related: The 25 best shows to watch on Netflix right now

Surprisingly, Mau calls it a "great day with her," laughing. "I had a great time. A lot of laughter. Jess is the most hilarious person, the kindest spirit, and so it was genuinely a great day. Having that shared experience, on top of the physical preparation, we had this bond after that. It allowed us to go as far as we needed to go when we were filming that scene."

Even still, Mau recalls having a "tiny panic attack" in between takes due to getting "stuck" in the emotional headspace of the violence more so than the physical nature of the scene.

"That attack specifically was such a surprise to Teri that it wasn’t just having to go through the violence, it was having to be in shock and stay in shock," Mau says. "I had to go outside and bring myself back down and actually take a break and come out so that I could go back in because if I had stayed [on the set] then I don't think I would actually be able to ride the wave."

You can watch EW's full conversation with Mau, at Netflix's FYSEE: Your Favorite Obsession event, below.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.