Jenna Ortega became visibly emotional as she recounted her experience with online trolls during a heartfelt conversation as part of Variety’s Actors-on-Actors series with Elle Fanning.
The actor openly discussed the toxic nature of social media trolling and its impact on her well-being.
Ortega began by reflecting on the detrimental effects of social media, particularly for individuals of their age.
She described it as a never-ending comparison game that breeds a bandwagon mentality, ultimately manipulating users.
While Ortega possesses a naturally deadpan sense of humor, she expressed caution in sharing her comedic side on social media out of fear that her intentions might be misinterpreted.
As her fame skyrocketed following the release of Netflix’s Wednesday, Ortega found herself increasingly subjected to trolling. She revealed that trolls often exploit her vulnerability, twisting her words and actions in unexpected ways. Overwhelmed by the emotions, she broke down in tears, apologizing for the sudden outpouring. Ortega acknowledged the difficulty of maintaining a balance on social media, questioning how to be honest without jeopardizing her own mental and physical well-being. The feeling of being almost out of control in the face of online toxicity is a constant struggle.
Fanning empathized with Ortega’s experiences, affirming her agreement with the challenges they both face. Fanning admitted to wishing she could be funnier online but acknowledged the potential backlash that may follow any attempt at humor. The actress also shared a personal anecdote about being rejected for a major Hollywood role due, in part, to her perceived lack of Instagram followers. Although Fanning now boasts an impressive six million followers on the platform, the incident occurred in the past and serves as an ironic reminder of the industry’s emphasis on social media metrics.
In a separate interview with Ortega for The Hollywood Reporter’s Roundtable, Fanning divulged another distressing incident from her own career. At just 16 years old, she faced rejection for a role after being labeled as “unf*ckable.” Fanning recounted how she wasn’t informed of the specific reasons behind the decision, as her agents shielded her from hurtful comments. However, this particular comment managed to reach her, leaving a lasting impact. The rejection came for a father-daughter road trip comedy, a project that never came to fruition.
The revelations shared by Ortega and Fanning shed light on the harsh realities of the entertainment industry and the toxic environment that can exist on social media platforms. Their stories serve as reminders of the importance of filtering hurtful comments and maintaining a strong sense of self-worth in the face of adversity. The fact that these talented actors, known for their exceptional performances, have encountered such negativity at young ages is a stark reminder of the need for kindness and empathy in the online world.