Alison Brie used her grandmother’s battle with schizophrenia and her own experience with depression for her new role in drama Horse Girl.
The GLOW star, who also co-wrote the script with director Jeff Baena, revealed to Vulture that she had been looking to develop a story inspired by her family’s mental health struggles for years.
“My whole life I’ve wanted to make something about my mother and my grandmother,” she told. “My mother’s mother lived with paranoid schizophrenia, and my mother grew up in a really traumatic situation. And I grew up with the mythology of my grandmother’s mental illness, hearing a lot of stories about my mother’s childhood and how the mental illness affected her.
“How it trickled down, affected my aunt and uncle and their kids – also how it didn’t affect them. It had different effects on everybody,” the 37-year-old shared, adding that her mother would even joke that Brie would “make a movie” about it one day.
The actress was also influenced by her own experience with mental illness, which she called the “deepest bout of depression in my life”, while developing the thrilling psychological drama.
“In my own personal struggles with depression, I know the feeling of being helpless, feeling powerless, feeling alone,” she explained. “And then I realised, ‘OK, the movie I want to make is about this woman who has this history of mental illness, and what if something real started happening to her? What is something really wild, really scary, started happening and she didn’t have the ability to know whether it was real or not? If she didn’t have the ability to even trust herself or her own grip on reality?'”
Horse Girl, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will be released on Netflix on 7 February.
© Cover Media