Ruby Barker, who plays Marina in the popular Netflix period drama Bridgerton, posted a video to her Instagram page on Thursday with the aim of being “transparent” with her fans. The 25-year-old London actress revealed that she was getting help at an undisclosed hospital after being “rage-filled” and dealing with “intergenerational trauma bundled up inside me.”
“I have been really unwell for a really long time. I want to be honest with everyone. I have been struggling,” Barker said in the six-minute clip. Barker kept the details of any particular diagnosis vague but added that she is “going to be discharged soon and hopefully get to continue with my life.”
“I am going to take a little bit of a break for myself, and I would encourage others, if you are struggling, do yourself a favor and take a break,” she added. “Stop being so hard on yourself… I can’t carry on the way that I was. I need to change, so that is what I am trying to do. I want to survive, and I will survive. I am going to.”
Finally, Barker said she was “relinquishing myself and forgiving myself and drawing a line in the sand.” She thanked Netflix and Bridgeton creator Shonda Rhimes for their support and assuring her that she would eventually be able to return to the show.
Barker’s statement happens to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week in the U.K. (and the final week of Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S.). And her remark about “intergenerational trauma bundled up inside” may be a glimpse into how her own heritage and how that has informed her career through today.
‘It literally means everything you know I never thought I’d be in a period drama, in a role like Marina,” she told the UK’s MailOnline this past February. “I’d seen Belle, the film about Dido Elizabeth Belle, who was a mixed-race aristocrat in the Georgian period of time. I saw that film and was like, ‘Wow, it would be so amazing to play that character, but it’s already been made, I’m probably not gonna be in a period drama simply because of my race.’”
Barker may claim the London Borough of Islington as her birthplace, but the actress actually knows little of her actual birth parents. Her natural mother and father were from Ireland and Montserrat, respectively. A young Ruby and her older sister were later adopted by another couple and raised in England before spending their teen years in Glasgow, Scotland. In fact, Ruby once shared that her real first name is not Ruby, and she never believed she would be in a period piece unless she was playing “the help.”
“Then obviously, getting the casting [information] through from Bridgerton and seeing it’s a Shonda Rhimes thing,” she told MailOnline, “you know, and that diversity is the main objective of the show — it was just amazing to be a part of it.”