“Bridgerton” season 1 star Ruby Barker is speaking out about the absence of support from Netflix and Shondaland during two psychotic breaks that occurred after shooting the series and following the show’s success.
Barker, who portrayed Marina, a character facing social ostracism due to a scandalous pregnancy in Regency-era London, detailed her experiences in an interview on Oxford University’s LOAF Podcast. Her first psychotic break took place after the conclusion of “Bridgerton” Season 1 in 2019, and the second occurred in 2022. Throughout this ordeal, Barker asserted that she received no support from Netflix.
“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 even emailed me to ask if I’m OK or if I would benefit from any sort of aftercare or support,” shared Barker during the podcast.
In May 2022, Barker had previously hinted at her struggles on Instagram, thanking Netflix for her role in “Bridgerton” for “saving her.” However, her recent revelations have brought to light her distress, particularly during the sudden surge in fame and promotional obligations caused by the show’s success.
“It’s almost like I had this metaphorical invisible gun to my head to sell this show because this show is bubbly and fun,” Barker expressed, highlighting the challenges she faced in maintaining a positive public image while dealing with her mental health struggles.
Moreover, Barker detailed how her character’s isolation and the turbulent narrative of Marina’s life within the show contributed to her deteriorating mental health.
“During filming, I was deteriorating,” she revealed. “It was a really tormenting place for me to be because my character was very alienated, very ostracized, on her own under these horrible circumstances.”
On the show, Marina, an outsider in high society, grapples with the shame of her pregnancy, concealed love affair, and the intrusive gossip column that reveals her secrets. The character’s story is marked by a failed abortion attempt and an emotionless marriage to her deceased lover’s brother.
Barker also shared that her first psychotic break, occurring a week after completing “Bridgerton” Season 1, was kept discreet due to the impending release of the show. Despite the significant changes in her life, including a growing Instagram following and increased public engagements, she continued to receive no support from the production team.
For more information
The absence of support from the studios behind “Bridgerton” during a challenging period in Barker’s life has come under scrutiny, with Variety reaching out to Netflix and The Daily Beast and Shondaland for comment. No commment heard back yet.