‘Gaslit By My Husband’: Jana Kramer Felt ‘Very Safe’ With Austin Nichols During ‘Triggering Moments’ on Set (VIDEO)

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Warning: The following post contains discussions of domestic abuse.

Jana Kramer related to her role in Gaslit By My Husband: The Morgan Metzer Story on a deeply personal level. As a survivor of domestic abuse, Kramer knew how important it was for this real-life story to be told in her latest Lifetime movie, premiering June 9. “There’s so many people out there that need their voices to be heard. I wanted to be a conduit of freedom for those voices,” she told TV Insider.

Kramer, who also executive produced the film, was able to speak to Morgan Metzer, whose relationship with ex-husband Rodney Metzer inspired the film. Morgan was beaten and sexually assaulted by a masked man in 2021. That man turned out to be her former husband, who initially pretended to come to her rescue after the attack. Rodney pled guilty to kidnapping and aggravated assault charges. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

“What I appreciated about the call [with Morgan] is that she wanted to do this for other women, which is exactly what I wanted, why I wanted to play her and tell the story. Though our stories are not the same, we still have the same thread of the domestic abuse,” Kramer said. Kramer’s first husband, Michael Gambino, was convicted of attempting to murder her. He was sentenced to six years in prison. He died in 2012.

Jana Kramer and Austin Nichols in 'Gaslit By My Husband'

Lifetime

Given what happened to Morgan and Kramer’s own past with domestic abuse, the actress experienced “triggering moments” while shooting the film. “The attack scene, him [Austin Nichols as Rodney] being on top of me, not being able to breathe, was very similar to my domestic abuse story,” Kramer recalled. “It was challenging. It was very triggering because the body remembers; even though I’ve moved on and done the healing work myself, it still felt very triggering.”

Finding the right scene partner for this project was important for Kramer, so she turned to her former One Tree Hill co-star.

“Austin was my very first pick for this movie because him and I had a close relationship on One Tree Hill,” she said. “He’s my favorite acting partner to work with. I feel very safe with him.” She “needed a safe person” by her side while filming because “we wanted to bring so much life to it and the reality of it, so to know that he was there not only made this safe, but also we were able to really get into our characters and find pieces to change and make this as close to what it was.”

Looking back on her experience filming Gaslit By My Husband, Kramer realized that she “still needed closure even after 20-plus years.” She noted her courtroom scene in the film allowed her to “find freedom and closure” years after “the doors are closed.”

Kramer continued, “I was lucky I was able to get away from my abusive relationship. Now he tried to kill me, but yet I was able to get out, and not many people can get out or feel safe enough to get out. It takes a lot of strength to get out, but the thing I just want people to know is that people will believe you, and they will listen to you, and there is help out there.”

The Whine Down with Jana Kramer podcast host’s daughter, Jolie Rae Caussin, appears in the film as Morgan and Rodney’s daughter. For Kramer, filming this movie was a “great teaching moment” between mom and daughter. “I want her to know what is right, what is wrong, what is acceptable, what’s not acceptable in a relationship or in any kind of friendship,” she explained. “Not putting hands on someone, not speaking to someone like that. It was a very age-appropriate conversation, but also what was right versus what was wrong. I hope she knows her worth so that she would never allow that to happen when she gets older.”

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.

Gaslit By My Husband: The Morgan Metzer Story, Movie Premiere, June 9, 8/7c, Lifetime

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