The Bridgerton actress shared that she has experienced two psychotic breaks during a candid conversation about her mental health.
“I was getting on well during the filming,” Barker said on the Oct. 28 episode of Oxford University’s The LOAF Podcast. “A lot of artists and stuff, they suffer from mental health. I think it did kind of help me get into that head space and that world.”
However, she felt she was “deteriorating” while playing Marina Thompson on season one of Netflix’s Regency-era romance.
“It was a really tormenting place for me to be,” the 26-year-old noted, “because my character was very alienated, very ostracized, on her own, under these horrible circumstances.”
Barker alleged that she didn’t have solid support on set, saying she was admitted into the hospital one week after filming the first season in 2019.
“That was really covered up and kept on the down low, because the show was going to be coming out,” she said. “Not a single person from Netflix, not a single person from Shondaland, since I have had two psychotic breaks, from that show have even contacted me or emailed me to ask me if I’m OK or ask me if I would benefit from any sort of aftercare or support.”
About a year later, the show was about to come out and she was out of the hospital, she recalled, when she suddenly found herself thrust into the spotlight.
“My Instagram following was going up. I had all of these engagements to do,” Barker said. “My life was changing drastically overnight, and yet there was still no support, and there still hasn’t been any support for that time.”
The How to Stop a Recurring Dream star said she also felt internal pressure to “sell” Bridgerton during her interviews and promo appearances.
“I was trying really hard to act like ‘This is fine, this is OK, I’m OK. I can work. It’s not a problem,” she shared. “I don’t want to come out and poo-poo on that because then I might never work again.”
In May 2022, Barker told followers that she’d recently been hospitalized and released. At the time, she thanked Netflix, show creator Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland “for saving me” amid her mental health struggles “and giving me an opportunity.”
The actress—who mourned the death of her father earlier this year—has since learned that it’s easy to become “overwhelmed” by external factors beyond her control. In addition to trying medication—which she said made her feel like a “zombie”—Barker has learned that making music, taking her dog for a walk or doing a gym session can help her feel revitalized.
“I’ve done something which is good for me and it’s good for my health,” she noted on The LOAF Podcast. “That’s enough.”
In other news – Robert De Niro testifies In gender discrimination trial brought by his ex-assistant
Robert De Niro testified Monday on day one of the trial in the gender discrimination case against him, brought by his ex-assistant, Graham Chase Robinson. In August 2019, the Killers of the Flower Moon star, 80, sued Robinson, 41, for breach of duty and conversion amongst other claims, alleging she binge-watched Friends on the job and stole millions of frequent-flyer miles from him.
In response, Robinson filed a countersuit two months later in which she claimed her former employer subjected her to gender discrimination, retaliation and toxic workplace conditions. Among the issues, she says De Niro made vulgar comments to her and assigned her to domestic duties such as buttoning his shirt and washing his sheets. Read More