Dara Reneé opens up about her battle against anxiety with latest HSMTMTS episode
Dara Reneé is looking especially ~fabulous~ in the latest season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series—and we could not be happier about her moment in the spotlight as her character Kourtney Greene snags a lead role in the Camp Shallow Lake summer musical.
And as we see Kourtney get the moment she's been waiting for, we also see the anxiety that she faces with it, something Reneé is grateful to show on the screen—especially because, for her, it's deeply personal.
"I'm beyond thankful that I was able to portray conversations that my mom and I have daily in real life about my struggles with anxiety," Reneé shared in an Instagram post following the release of the fourth HSMTMTS episode.
Yep—that heartfelt FaceTime convo between Kourtney and her mom is based on Reneé's own experiences with anxiety.
In an exclusive interview with Hollywood Life, Reneé explained that she was able to use the scene as an opportunity to add her own experience with anxiety in roles she's played.
"I feel like one thing that I really appreciated, especially this season, it gives an honest perspective towards it [anxiety]," she said. "I'm really excited for people to not only see it and relate but see little ways to maybe feel better in this moment and know that it may happen right now, but if we just continue to push through it, then it's not going to be as hard next time."
And to all her followers on IG, she had this advice to give: "For all the supporters who also struggle with anxiety, please know that you are wanted, needed and loved. Your battle with not go unseen."
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression, there are resources available to help. 988 is the national hotline for mental health services and is available 24/7 for call, text and chat.