Singer and actor Reneé Rapp has spoken out about how her eating disorder was exacerbated by her former co-stars while performing on Broadway’s Means Girls.
Reneé Rapp, who recently departed HBO’s Sex Lives of College Girls (SLOCG) to kickstart her solo music career, has opened up about her history with an eating disorder in a candid interview with the Guardian.
The 23-year-old stage and screen star first rose to fame in 2019 when she played Regina George in Broadway’s Tony-winning adaptation of Mean Girls. Rapp is set to reprise this role in the movie musical adaptation, written by Tina Fey and directed by Arturo Perez Jr. and Samantha Jayne.
For now, as Rapp navigates her high-profile exit as SLOCG‘s resident lesbian Leighton and launches her debut album Snow Angel, she reflected on her battle with mental health problems over the years.
Speaking to the Guardian, Rapp reminisced on having “vile f**king things [said] to me about my body” by her (unnamed) Broadway cast-mates while struggling with an eating disorder. Her mental health deteriorated to the point her parents flew to New York to convince her to pull out of the show.
However, with mounting pressure as she enters the new phases of her career, she admitted her parents are “more worried than they ever have been, because they know more now”.
“Eating disorders don’t just go away and like, you’re healed, like: ‘Sorry, I can eat again, ha ha!’ It’s a lifelong thing,” she explained.
“There are battles with addiction and whatever everywhere. I still struggle with it, but at least my parents know that I’ve been taken out of environments that were really harmful to my sickness, which is awesome and a huge win. They worry like hell, but they’re chilling, I guess.”
Rapp, who was also diagnosed with a mood disorder last, is ready to be “more outspoken and give less of a f**k” after she “suffered in silence for so many years”.
“My generation and the generation that will follow mine is much more open – especially women, non-men, queer people,” she said.
“It sucked so bad because at the time [of filming season one] I was in a heteronormative relationship and I hated going to work because I would be like, ‘I don’t think I’m good enough to be here, I don’t think I can be doing this, maybe I’m just trying too hard’, and I would come home and psych myself out,” she said on the Call Her Daddy podcast in March.
Her latest album Snow Angel, which dropped on 18 August, unapologetically embraces her sexuality. Her single “Pretty Girls” was released alongside a queer music video directed by Cara Delevingne.
Beat promotes awareness and understanding of eating disorders, also challenging inaccurate stereotypes and stigma. Find out more at Beat’s website or by calling 0345 634 1414.