Bridgerton Star Ruby Barker Opens Up About Her Glasgow Roots and Mental Health Struggles

The actress, who plays Marina in the hit Netflix show, reveals how growing up in Glasgow shaped her career and how she coped with the challenges of fame and personal loss.

From Glasgow to Bridgerton

Ruby Barker is one of the breakout stars of Bridgerton, the Netflix period drama that has captivated millions of viewers around the world. The 27-year-old actress plays Marina, a young woman who arrives in London with a scandalous secret and a complicated love life.

But before she became part of the Bridgerton phenomenon, Barker had a humble upbringing in Glasgow, where she spent most of her childhood and teenage years. She was born in Islington, London, to parents from Ireland and Montserrat, and was adopted by a foster family along with her sister Harriet. She moved to Glasgow when she was four years old, and attended the Elizabeth Murray School of Dance, where she developed her passion for performance.

She told the Daily Record: “I loved Glasgow. It was such a great place to grow up. I have so many fond memories of the city and the people. I think Glasgow has a lot of character and culture, and it really influenced me as a person and as an artist.”

Barker made her first TV appearance in an RBS advertisement when she was 11, and later moved to Yorkshire with her mother and stepmother. She studied drama and theatre at Tadcaster Grammar School, and planned to pursue international relations at the London School of Economics, but changed her mind and decided to focus on acting.

A Rising Star

Barker’s acting career took off when she was discovered by Royal Shakespeare Company director Phillip Breen, who cast her as Mary in the 2016 York Mystery Plays. She then landed a recurring role as Daisie in the CBBC fantasy series Wolfblood, and guest starred in two episodes of BBC’s Doctors.

Bridgerton Star Ruby Barker

In 2020, she got her big break when she was cast as Marina in Bridgerton, the lavish adaptation of Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels, produced by Shonda Rhimes. She said: “It was such an amazing opportunity to be part of Bridgerton. I was a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes and her shows, and I loved the scripts and the characters. Marina was such a complex and intriguing role, and I really enjoyed playing her.”

Barker received critical acclaim and fan admiration for her portrayal of Marina, who faces the challenges of being a pregnant and unwed woman in Regency-era London. She said: “I think Marina is a very relatable and sympathetic character, because she goes through a lot of struggles and emotions that many women can identify with. She is also very strong and resilient, and she tries to make the best of her situation.”

Barker also made her feature film debut in 2020, starring as Yakira in the thriller How to Stop a Recurring Dream, for which she won the Best Actress award at the British Urban Film Festival. She said: “It was a very intense and challenging film to make, but I’m very proud of it. It’s a story about a dysfunctional family and a kidnapping gone wrong, and it explores the themes of identity, trauma, and sibling rivalry.”

Facing the Challenges

Despite her success and popularity, Barker has also faced some difficulties and hardships in her personal and professional life. She revealed that she was hospitalized in 2022 for mental health reasons, and that she had been struggling with intergenerational trauma and depression for a long time. She said: “I was really unwell for a really long time, and I didn’t know how to cope. I had all this intergenerational trauma bundled up inside me, and I didn’t have the proper support or guidance. I’m very grateful that I was able to get the help I needed, and that I’m recovering now.”

She also shared that her father passed away in January 2023, and that it was a devastating loss for her. She said: “My father was a very important person in my life, and I loved him very much. He was always supportive and encouraging of me and my dreams. He was also very proud of me and my achievements. I miss him every day, and I hope he’s watching over me.”

Barker said that she has learned to cope with the challenges of fame and grief by focusing on her work and her well-being. She said: “I think acting is a very therapeutic and healing process for me, because it allows me to express myself and to connect with other people. It also gives me a sense of purpose and joy. I also try to take care of myself and my mental health, by doing things that make me happy and calm, like reading, meditating, and spending time with my friends and family.”

What’s Next

Barker is currently working on her next projects, which include a horror film called Baghead, and a London stage debut in Running with Lions, a play about a gay footballer. She said: “I’m very excited about these projects, because they are very different from what I’ve done before, and they challenge me as an actor. I’m always looking for new and diverse roles, and I want to explore different genres and stories.”

Barker said that she hopes to continue her acting career and to pursue her dreams. She said: “I’m very grateful for all the opportunities and experiences that I’ve had so far, and I hope to have more in the future. I love acting, and I want to do it for as long as I can. I also want to inspire and entertain people with my work, and to make a positive impact on the world.”

By Zane Lee

Zane Lee is a talented content writer at Cumbernauld Media, specializing in the finance and business niche. With a keen interest in the ever-evolving world of finance, Zane brings a unique perspective to his articles and blog posts. His in-depth knowledge and research skills allow him to provide valuable insights and analysis on various financial topics. Zane's passion for writing and his ability to simplify complex concepts make his content engaging and accessible to readers of all levels.

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