Meet Nava Mau, the Mexican Trans Actress on Netflix’s Hit Show ‘Baby Reindeer’

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In Netflix‘s hit show Baby Reindeer, Mexican trans actress Nava Mau plays Teri, a woman who catches the attention of a bartender and struggling comedian named Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd). Teri knows little about him, including the fact that he is being stalked by a woman (Jessica Gunning) who walked into his bar one evening. But they fall into a relationship. And while women are often used to prop up the male lead, Teri doesn’t disappear behind Donny’s shadow. 

For Mau, she hopes her role in the Netflix miniseries Baby Reindeer proves to audiences that queer characters don’t have to rely on stereotypes to exist on screen.

“I hope that people who may have been ignorant, judgmental, or hateful when it comes to trans people … realize that we’re just human, first and foremost,” Mau, who is also a filmmaker and director, told Vogue in a recent interview. “We want love, we have friends, we have careers, we have dreams, we have fully developed personalities, and we are not just a headline, we’re not just a punchline.”

Originally from Mexico City, Mau was raised in San Antonio, Texas, and Oakland, California. After ​earning a degree in linguistics and cognitive sciences from Pomona College, she worked as a paralegal for immigrants and a human rights consultant for members of the LGBTQ community.

Mau got her break in the entertainment industry when she was cast in the 2021 Max original series Generation, about teens exploring their sexuality. For Mau, the power her character possesses in Baby Reindeer is something that draws her to these trans-specific roles.

“I only ever want to perform a character that I feel connected to in my heart,” she said. “I have to let that lead me.”

Baby Reindeer is currently streaming on Netflix.