Actress playing Gabby Petito in new Lifetime movie opens up about the role

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By Asiya Ali

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The actress who will portray the late Gabby Petito in the new Lifetime movie titled The Gabby Petito Story has opened up about the role.

The forthcoming movie on the 22-year-old vlogger who was found beaten and strangled to death in Grand Teton National Park will premiere on Saturday (October 1) with Skyler Samuels playing Petito, and Evan Hall as her boyfriend Brain Laundrie.

The new flick will explore Petitio and Laundrie's "complicated relationship" and "what may have gone wrong during their cross-country trip," according to Lifetime's teaser.

In an interview with ET, the 28-year-old revealed how she felt when she was asked to take on the role: "When I was presented with the opportunity to portray Gabby I was admittedly quite overwhelmed and it was a hard decision to make. It’s a big responsibility to play someone who was alive."

Watch the movie trailer below:

After failing to return home following a cross-country trip, Petito was reported missing by her parents in September 2021. After that, the nationwide search eventually led the police to Wyoming, where she was last seen alive.

The travel influencer's body was eventually discovered in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area, with evidence indicating that her death was a homicide.

Speaking about Petito in the forthcoming film, the actress said the world should know that she was a "fighter" and "fierce" and that "there’s a lot more to her than initially displayed".

After Petito's disappearance, her 23-year-old partner returned home to Florida and then went missing, with Laundrie becoming the subject of a nation-wide manhunt. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a remote part of Carlton Reserve. The FBI also found a notebook with his remains, in which he confessed to killing his girlfriend.

"It’s important to note that this story is not about what happened. It’s about how it happened," Samuels says. "This story really aims to look at Gabby and Brian’s relationship to the point that they got to. Like, 'How did they end up alone in the woods that tragic evening? How did all of that happen?"

"Because that’s the part that wasn’t talked about in all this media coverage of their disappearances and their deaths, and that’s really what we’re focused on," she added.

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Credit: Instagram/Gabspetito

According to the outlet, director Thora Birch - who also plays Nichole Schmidt, Petito's mom -  said that the movie is set within "their time frame", explained that "it’s largely focused on their journey. It’s a road trip romance that goes horribly wrong".

Birch said "there are many, many, many Gabby Petitos out there" that didn’t get the same media frenzy the vlogger's case got as social media users also got involved with the high-profile investigation.

"[They] tracked Gabby’s locations, and where they visited and found those Easter eggs," the director said, explaining that she "was always fascinated by the role social media played in discovering and learning about the truth" of what happened to Petito.

"I also felt it was a chance to give Gabby a voice in her own story that I don’t think the media did justice with," Samuels remarked.

"I think we, as a consumer media culture, came in at the tail end of a much more complicated story and so Gabby’s life is much more than the headlines that we read when all of these tragedies started to occur and I just think she deserves better," she added.

The Gabby Petito Story premieres this Saturday (October 1) on Lifetime.

Featured image credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy

Actress playing Gabby Petito in new Lifetime movie opens up about the role

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

The actress who will portray the late Gabby Petito in the new Lifetime movie titled The Gabby Petito Story has opened up about the role.

The forthcoming movie on the 22-year-old vlogger who was found beaten and strangled to death in Grand Teton National Park will premiere on Saturday (October 1) with Skyler Samuels playing Petito, and Evan Hall as her boyfriend Brain Laundrie.

The new flick will explore Petitio and Laundrie's "complicated relationship" and "what may have gone wrong during their cross-country trip," according to Lifetime's teaser.

In an interview with ET, the 28-year-old revealed how she felt when she was asked to take on the role: "When I was presented with the opportunity to portray Gabby I was admittedly quite overwhelmed and it was a hard decision to make. It’s a big responsibility to play someone who was alive."

Watch the movie trailer below:

After failing to return home following a cross-country trip, Petito was reported missing by her parents in September 2021. After that, the nationwide search eventually led the police to Wyoming, where she was last seen alive.

The travel influencer's body was eventually discovered in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area, with evidence indicating that her death was a homicide.

Speaking about Petito in the forthcoming film, the actress said the world should know that she was a "fighter" and "fierce" and that "there’s a lot more to her than initially displayed".

After Petito's disappearance, her 23-year-old partner returned home to Florida and then went missing, with Laundrie becoming the subject of a nation-wide manhunt. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a remote part of Carlton Reserve. The FBI also found a notebook with his remains, in which he confessed to killing his girlfriend.

"It’s important to note that this story is not about what happened. It’s about how it happened," Samuels says. "This story really aims to look at Gabby and Brian’s relationship to the point that they got to. Like, 'How did they end up alone in the woods that tragic evening? How did all of that happen?"

"Because that’s the part that wasn’t talked about in all this media coverage of their disappearances and their deaths, and that’s really what we’re focused on," she added.

wp-image-1263126647 size-full
Credit: Instagram/Gabspetito

According to the outlet, director Thora Birch - who also plays Nichole Schmidt, Petito's mom -  said that the movie is set within "their time frame", explained that "it’s largely focused on their journey. It’s a road trip romance that goes horribly wrong".

Birch said "there are many, many, many Gabby Petitos out there" that didn’t get the same media frenzy the vlogger's case got as social media users also got involved with the high-profile investigation.

"[They] tracked Gabby’s locations, and where they visited and found those Easter eggs," the director said, explaining that she "was always fascinated by the role social media played in discovering and learning about the truth" of what happened to Petito.

"I also felt it was a chance to give Gabby a voice in her own story that I don’t think the media did justice with," Samuels remarked.

"I think we, as a consumer media culture, came in at the tail end of a much more complicated story and so Gabby’s life is much more than the headlines that we read when all of these tragedies started to occur and I just think she deserves better," she added.

The Gabby Petito Story premieres this Saturday (October 1) on Lifetime.

Featured image credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy