Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart Opens Up About Anxiety

Our society puts actors and actresses up on a pedestal. People are so fascinated with these actors and actresses’ lives and tend to live vicariously through them; as a way to escape from their lives, which they view as ordinary. Deep down, people wish they could have the fame and popularity of their favorite celebrity…Maybe people would reconsider if they knew all the stress and anxiety a life in the limelight can cause or even just the journey it takes, for some, to get there. For Lili Reinhart of the hit show Riverdale the path to fame was no easy feat. Even before being cast for her lead role as Betty Cooper, Reinhart dealt with anxiety, and pursuing a career in such a competitive industry didn’t help.

In a recent interview with W Magazine, Lili stated: “I had so much anxiety booking work, and I spent almost five months holed up in this bedroom in this house just feeling anxious, waiting for my next audition, and not doing anything else. It was the most miserable time of my life… I had had to quit a few jobs in North Carolina because of how anxious they made me. My anxiety was so bad that I had to keep quitting jobs because I physically could not work… I threw up in my Uber because, one, I was carsick, and two, I was having a panic attack. I get home, lock the door in my room, immediately Skype my mom and said, ‘Mom, I’m not okay.’ I had to get a brown paper bag and breathe into it, which felt so dramatic, but I really could not breathe. I felt like my world was crashing. I didn’t want to admit defeat, but I was like, ‘I need to come home. My mental health is suffering, and it is making me physically ill.”

When Riverdale premiered in January of this year, it became an instant hit and Reinhart became famous overnight. She had achieved her dream but she found her fame to be sudden, and incredibly overwhelming. Something she was not mentally prepared for.

“The show took off in such a way that fame followed very quickly after, and it wasn’t really a smooth transition. It was just kind of like, ‘Bam.’ It wasn’t a bad thing, but all a sudden, I’m doing all these things and a year ago, I was just starting to film season one, and two years ago, I was living in North Carolina with my parents.”

Reinhart likes to share with people that anything is possible, that she understands what continued failures can have on one’s psyche…..but no matter how bad things appear to be persistence and hard work is what it takes to succeed.

Reinhart says she owes everything to her parents. They were her support system and have been there for her through all the highs and lows before and after her sudden fame. For her, the only way to deal with the anxiety that comes with living in the limelight, is to remember where she came from and knowing that she always has a support system behind her.

“My mom would drive me from Cleveland to New York City and use my dad’s hotel points for auditions. They were the most supportive parents that I could have. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. My mom would take off work to take me to auditions, because they believed in me, which is a very big leap of faith. Seeing it from their point of view, they must have been like, ‘Is my child even good at this?’ But they knew it brought me so much happiness.”

Reinhart likes to share with people that anything is possible, that she understands what continued failures can have on one’s psyche…..but no matter how bad things appear to be persistence and hard work is what it takes to succeed.

“I auditioned in person with a fresh take, and a fire under my ass that I hadn’t had before. I felt so close, and I had been so close to so many things before, that I didn’t want to let this one slip through. And I remember leaving the final audition and calling my manager, as I was driving towards the sunset, and saying, ‘I feel proud of myself for what I’ve done. Regardless of what happens, I feel happy and really at peace.’ And I truly felt that.”

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This piece is based on an article by Lauren McCarthy for W Magazine, which can be seen here.

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Bret Segall-Abrams graduated from North Carolina State University in 2015 where he studied Sport Management and Business Administration. He is currently pursuing a career in sports marketing and management. Along with assisting the Different Brains team with marketing and media content he is also a tour guide for Vermont Biking Tours where he leads week long bicycle tours from Charleston, South Carolina to Savannah, Georgia during the Fall and Spring months.
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Bret Segall-Abrams

Bret Segall-Abrams graduated from North Carolina State University in 2015 where he studied Sport Management and Business Administration. He is currently pursuing a career in sports marketing and management. Along with assisting the Different Brains team with marketing and media content he is also a tour guide for Vermont Biking Tours where he leads week long bicycle tours from Charleston, South Carolina to Savannah, Georgia during the Fall and Spring months.

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