School Of Rock's Rivkah Reyes says movie role led to bullying and addiction

4 March 2021, 14:54

By Katie Louise Smith

Rivkah Reyes previously wrote about how they used "drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and self-harm" from the age of 14 to numb their pain following their role in the 2003 film.

School Of Rock is an absolute classic for anyone who grew up in the early '00s. Now, one of its cast members, Rivkah Reyes, is opening up about how they had to deal with bullying at a young age following the film's release, and how that later led to addiction.

Reyes played bass player Katie in the 2003 Jack Black film, and while the experience itself was enjoyable, it was what came after that really affected their life and mental health.

In the wake of the Framing Britney Spears documentary, Reyes (along with a few other child stars like Matilda's Mara Wilson) has now spoken about their own experiences in the spotlight and how it's affected them, saying their story is "kind of parallel with Britney's".

READ MORE: The kid actors from 'School of Rock' had a reunion and everyone is grown af

School of Rock's Rivkah Reyes opens up about bullying and addiction after the movie
School of Rock's Rivkah Reyes opens up about bullying and addiction after the movie. Picture: @rivkah.reyes via Instagram, Paramount Pictures via YouTube

In a new interview with The New York Post, Reyes spoke about how they were bullied by schoolmates after appearing in the film.

“Especially after production wrapped, when I first came back to school, people were really nice or really mean. There was no middle ground,” they said. “I was literally followed around the school with people chanting ‘School of Rock.’ ” 

Back in March 2020, Reyes also opened up in a personal Medium essay about how their experience had an effect on their life, and how they began using food, drugs and sex as a way of coping.

"From the age of 14, I used drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and self-harm to numb all of this pain," Reyes wrote. "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."

Reyes also spoke about how they were sexualised on message boards by grown men, and how they "felt unsafe existing" following an encounter with a man in a trench coat who tried to take photos of them at school.

Despite what they had been through, Reyes told The Post that they never regretted starring in the film, saying: “It was nothing but love and support. I have never lost gratitude for that, or wish that I wasn’t part of it.” 

Reyes also revealed that they are still in contact with their cast mates from the film, including Jack Black, and was “met with nothing but love and support” after sharing the Medium essay last year.

As for where Reyes is now? They've been in recovery from alcoholism and addiction for two years, and are now working for a skincare company as well as working on a podcast called "Where Are We Now", which will give other child stars a platform.