Ruby Barker, known for her role in the hit Netflix series “Bridgerton,” has publicly criticized the streaming giant and Shondaland for their lack of support during two significant mental health crises she experienced following the show’s immense success.
- Ruby Barker, who portrayed Marina in “Bridgerton,” experienced two psychotic breaks post the show’s success.
- Barker claims she received no support from Netflix or Shondaland during these challenging times.
- Her mental health began to decline during the filming of “Bridgerton,” with her character’s isolation playing a role.
- Barker had to promote the show during a distressing period, feeling pressured to maintain a positive image.
A Rising Star’s Struggle
Barker played the character Marina, a Featherington cousin in Regency-era London, whose scandalous pregnancy storyline made her a central figure in the show’s first season. However, behind the scenes, Barker’s mental health was deteriorating. She revealed that her first psychotic break occurred in 2019, shortly after wrapping up the filming for the first season of “Bridgerton.” A subsequent episode took place in 2022.
A Cry for Support
In a candid interview on Oxford University’s LOAF Podcast, Barker expressed her disappointment with the lack of outreach from both Netflix and Shondaland. “Not a single person… since I have had two psychotic breaks from that show, have even contacted me or even emailed me to ask me if I’m okay or if I would benefit from any sort of aftercare or support,” she stated.
Barker’s struggles were not just limited to the aftermath of the show. She shared that her character’s isolated and challenging storyline negatively impacted her mental well-being during the filming process itself. “During filming, I was deteriorating,” she admitted.
The Pressure of Stardom
The actor also touched upon the immense pressure she felt to promote the show, especially as she was grappling with her mental health issues. Barker felt as though she had a “metaphorical invisible gun” to her head, pushing her to sell the show’s bubbly and fun image, even as she was personally struggling.
In May 2022, Barker hinted at her mental health challenges in an Instagram post, thanking Netflix for the opportunity but also highlighting her struggles since the show. Now, she’s taking a more direct approach, calling out the streaming service and production company for their lack of support.
The Industry’s Responsibility
Barker’s revelations shed light on the immense pressures actors face, especially when they are part of globally successful projects. It underscores the importance of mental health support within the entertainment industry, especially for actors who might be dealing with challenging storylines or sudden fame.
The entertainment industry, with its glitz and glamour, often hides the struggles of its stars. As more actors come forward with their stories, it’s crucial for production houses and streaming platforms to prioritize the well-being of their talent. Platforms like Netflix, with their global reach and influence, have a responsibility to ensure the holistic well-being of their actors, both on and off the screen.
Source: Project Casting