School of Rock Child Star Says Role Resulted in 'Raging' Addiction, Bullying After Film's Success
School of Rock child star Rivkah Reyes suffered for a decade following their role in the 2003 film.
Reyes – who prefers the pronouns they/them – played the role of the bass guitarist Katie in the band of Jack Black's character, Dewey Finn, when they were 10 years old.
Although they had a great on-set experience and have enjoyed continuing friendships with their castmates, the bullying they faced after the success of the film took a huge toll.
Reyes "felt unsafe existing," they told the New York Post, because many grown men sexualized them, making remarks like they couldn't "wait 'til she's 18."
Their classmates at school were also harsh after the film was released.
"Especially after production wrapped, when I first came back to school, people were really nice or really mean," Reyes told the outlet. "There was no middle ground. I was literally followed around the school with people chanting, 'School of Rock.' "
Reyes said they suffered because they thought they'd never be considered as anything but "the girl from School of Rock" and felt pressure to land a bigger role. They recalled hoping, "they'll stop calling you Katie."
Reyes described themself to the New York Post as "a raging addict" from age 14 to 24. They eventually dealt with "a lot demons" and became sober in 2017.
"To quote Britney [Spears], I'm stronger than yesterday," they said.
Reyes previously discussed their addiction in a 2017 essay on Medium.
"I used drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and self-harm to numb all of this pain. I've survived dozens of toxic relationships and three suicide attempts," they wrote.
Despite the bullying after being in School of Rock, they told the New York Post their experience on-set was "nothing but love and support."
Reyes added that Black, 51, was in frequent communication with the stars of the film well after production ended.
"When one of the castmates was falling into some legal trouble, he reached out and asked me if [I knew if] he was okay and if I could send along his contact info," Reyes said.