Lily Gladstone Was Drawn to Under the Bridge for Very Personal Reasons

High school was great; middle school sucked. I definitely had moments in adolescence where I was bullied for any number of reasons. My mom’s degree is in childhood development, so she did a lot of “behavior management” [with young kids]. She calls herself a behaviorist. So when I would be bullied by other kids, she always helped me find this seed of compassion for whoever it was that was being mean to me. I’m really grateful for that because she taught me to not carry grudges and to have compassion. I think I developed a resilience through humor with all of it, so when I’d be getting made fun of, I would lean into it. It takes the edge off being bullied if your bullies laugh and then they just kind of leave you alone.

That’s how I learned to deal with it—in kind of a self-deprecating way. I was claiming my power because what my mom helped me understand when I would get bullied was that they’re doing it because they don’t feel like they have power. Bullies are created by circumstance. Where I grew up, you get bullied by your cousins…it wears differently on the res. It’s like Indians just tease each other, and if you’re not getting teased, then it just means people don’t like you. So there’s a big difference between getting teased and getting bullied.

Exactly. And bullying can be so vicious.

One girl in particular could be very, very mean to me, and I remember watching her spend time by herself on the playground, watching her withdraw. I never really learned exactly what was up, but some of her friends were friends of mine. I got a sense that things at home weren’t particularly great that week.

People who commit such heinous things…it certainly doesn’t excuse it, but those things keep happening if you don’t realize, like I said, that bullies are created. It comes from feeling powerless. It comes from being disenfranchised, and that’s a societal issue.

There’s a scene in episode two between Cam and Dusty when Cam tells the teenager that Reena is dead. It’s so chilling and heavy. What was that scene like to film?

Yeah, it was really, really hard for me. There were moments where it was really difficult to not let Lily poke in too much and be too compassionate, but I also knew that whatever I could do as Cam, that was very much just not believing that this girl was being sincere, doing the cop thing. That only served Aiyana [Goodfellow]’s beautiful performance. That kid blows me away. I told them that there aren’t many people that are much younger than me that I look up to, but they’re one of them.

Aiyana Goodfellow Chloe Guidry Izzy G. Vritika Gupta

Chloe Guidry, Izzy G., Vritika Gupta, Aiyana Goodfellow in Hulu’s Under the Bridge.

Disney/Hulu

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