Ginny and Georgia star Antonia Gentry has opened up about how landing the role in the Netflix coming-of-age series was cathartic for her, after facing many of the same racial issues her character on the show does.
The 23-year-old actress spoke candidly about her own experiences of growing up biracial as she made a virtual appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and explained how some of the microaggressions she experienced were written into the show.
"There are moments where Ginny's friends, they have microaggressions that they put on her. Some of it comes from my own experiences," she shared.
WATCH: You can stream all of season one of Ginny and Georgia on Netflix
Several snippets of dialogue where her character's fellow high schoolers ask "insensitive questions" about her ethnicity were based on real interactions the actress had with friends when she was a teenager.
"Those are things that were said to me by some of my peers growing up. They didn't really realize how hurtful those comments were," she told Stephen "tWitch" Boss, who hosted Friday's show. "To include them in the show I think is really important to bring up discussions about that."
She continued: "Playing Ginny and playing those moments was very cathartic for me. I forgave myself, essentially, for not sticking up for myself. I forgave my friends for not being aware of what they were doing. It definitely brought me closure as an adult."
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Last month, the actress shared a heartfelt post on Instagram as she revealed she had received "hundreds of messages from fans" who had gotten in touch to say that they had felt "seen, heard and understood because of the show and its characters".
Her post came shortly after Taylor Swift called out the Netflix series for including a jab at her love life, which led to many fans of the global pop star boycotting the show. Antonia's post did not address the controversy directly.
Instead, she emphasized that her character was "imperfect" but explained that she "fell in love" with the role because Ginny "shows us our own biases, prejudices and injustices," adding: "She loves, she lies and she stands up for what she believes in even though she may not have all of her facts straight."
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