Ted Gunn Mindhunter actor on Netflix: Is character based on someone real?

Michael Cerveris as Ted Gunn on Mindhunter
Is Ted Gunn on Mindhunter a real person? Pic credit: Netflix

Mindhunter Season 2 brought some major changes for Detectives Ford and Tench this week in the form of management.

Minor Spoilers ahead.

When Mindhunter Season 2 begins, we find out FBI Chief Shepard (Cotter Smith)is retiring from his post and a new person is stepping into his place. That character is Ted Gunn–who is said to be sent from Washington D.C. to embrace the innovative and unorthodox methods of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI.

Gunn is also rather enthusiastic about the unusual methodology of Holden’s instincts but insists on having Tench keep him from going off the rails as he does his job.

But is Ted Gunn based on a real person? Here is what is known about Tedd Gunn on Mindhunter Season 2 and the actor who plays him.

Who plays Ted Gunn on Mindhunter Season 2?

The performer who portrays Ted Gunn in Season 2 is Michael Cerveris, who actually is well known for playing villainous roles. He has performed on stage as Sweeney Todd and had an antagonistic role in Fox’s Gotham as Professor Pyg.

So, when word hit the streets that he had a role in a series that focuses on serial killers, naturally everyone thought he would be one of them. Talking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he describes the confusion saying:

“People just assumed I would be playing one of the killers. Someone on the internet even put my face side by side with a picture of David Berkowitz, speculating I would play him.”

Even more impressive, Michael Cerveris is a country singer as well as a two-time Tony Award winner. Not to mention his acting resume dates all the way back to 1963 on the television soap opera General Hospital. So if he seems familiar, it’s because he has been a screen performer for the better part of several decades.

Is Ted Gunn on Mindhunter a real person?

While many of the characters on Mindhunter are based around real people, others just represent an entire group, ideology, or simply a turning point of the timeline. As noted by other sites like ScreenRant, characters like Jim Barney symbolically represented local officers who investigated the Atlanta Child Murders.

The same is true for the new acting Chief of the FBI Ted Gunn. The character reflects the evolution and changing ideology of the FBI as it moved to a progressive edge towards battling homicides with behavior studies.

And while the character may not be real, Gunn’s role acts as a cheerleader of sorts for Ford and Tench throughout season 2. He even provides Ford the dream opportunity to interview Charles Manson.

It will be fascinating to see how the character evolves in future seasons of the show but for now, it’s great to see the main characters of the BSU get a team player–at least for the moment.

Mindhunter Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

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