'School of Rock' Star Became 'Raging Addict' After Years of Sexualization, Bullying

The release of Framing Britney Spears has caused a cultural conversation around the treatment of young women in Hollywood and the culture at large, criticizing how the media portrays them and how they are sexualized at a young age. Joining voices including Matilda actress Mara Wilson the latest former child star to speak out about their experiences in Hollywood is Rivkah Reyes, who people will recognize as one of the stars of School of Rock.

Reyes was 10 years old when the cult classic film came out, and they revealed to the New York Post that their experiences in Hollywood "kind of parallel with Britney’s." The actor, who uses they/them pronouns, explained that they "felt unsafe existing" due to the behavior of obsessive fans, leading to issues with addiction. These stalkers sexualized Reyes as a minor, attempted to take photos of them at school when they were in 6th grade, and wrote that they couldn't "wait ’til she’s 18” on message boards when they were still a child.

Reyes's classmates also bullied them after the film was released. "Especially after production wrapped, when I first came back to school, people were really nice or really mean," they explained. "There was no middle ground. was literally followed around the school with people chanting 'School of Rock.'" Reyes soon became convinced that they would only be "the girl from School of Rock."

"I used drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and self-harm to numb all of this pain," they explained in a Medium essay. "I’ve survived dozens of toxic relationships and three suicide attempts. I’m not saying all of this is because I played bass in a movie when I was a kid but because I spent over a decade terrified that I’d peaked at 10 years old."

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Despite these difficulties, Reyes is still grateful for her experience in School of Rock. "It was nothing but love and support,” Reyes told The New York Post. “I have never lost gratitude for that, or wish that I wasn’t part of it. Over the years, the cast has kept in touch through a group chat and regular reunions.

Reyes also had great things to say about co-star Jack Black. "When one of the castmates was falling into some legal trouble, [Black] reached out and asked me if [I knew if] he was OK and if I could send along his contact info," Reyes explained. Reyes got sober in 2017 and is currently working on a podcast about child actors called Where Are We Now that is set to come out in the spring. "To quote Britney,” they said, “I’m stronger than yesterday."