Tragic Details About Renee Rapp

Actor and singer Renee Rapp has become one of Gen Z's biggest stars since her Broadway debut in the musical adaptation of "Mean Girls" in 2019. Since then, she's successfully transitioned into an onscreen career, appearing in the HBO Max series "The Sex Lives of College Girls." Rapp also established herself as a pop icon after she released her first album "Snow Angel" in August 2023.

However, her rise to fame hasn't been the easiest road to navigate. Rapp has been open about the struggles with her sexuality and coming out despite fear of being judged. She's also discussed how starring as Leighton Murray, a closeted lesbian coming to terms with her own identity in "The Sex Lives of College Girls" exacerbated Rapp's anxiety over coming out, resulting in Rapp keeping a pretty low-key dating life.

While this was a big struggle in Rapp's life at the time of filming, the "Not My Fault" singer has overcome many other challenges on her climb to the top.

Rapp experienced anxiety while filming Sex Lives of College Girls

While it seemed that Renee Rapp had it made when she landed a main role on "The Sex Lives of College Girls," the HBO Max series following a group of friends on campus as they navigate the early years of adulthood, the experience came with a lot of unprecedent challenges. While filming the first season of the show, Rapp discovered that Leighton Murray's struggle with her identity hit a little too close to home, as the actor was also figuring out her sexuality behind-the-scenes.

"The first year doing 'College Girls' was terrible. It was terrible," she recounted in a March 2023 episode of the "Call Her Daddy" podcast. "It sucked so bad, because at the time, I was in a heteronormative relationship. I hated going to work because I was like, 'I don't think I'm like good enough to be here ... I don't think I can be doing this.' I was like, 'Maybe I'm just trying too hard.' And then I would come home and I would psych myself out, literally."

Rapp spoke in an exclusive interview with The Cut that she felt out-of-place while filming the first season of the show, as she was trying to figure out her sexuality while questioning if she was "gay enough" to play Leighton Murray. However, it turned out for the better, as Rapp came out as bisexual in 2022 and seemed to drop a few hints while hosting SNL in January 2024 that she now identifies as a lesbian.

Rapp was body-shamed on Broadway

While Renee Rapp has become iconic for her portrayal of Regina George in the 2024 movie-musical "Mean Girls," Rapp gained notoriety for replacing "Mean Girls the Musical" cast member Taylor Louderman on Broadway in the hit show in 2019. The casting was a big step forward in Rapp's career after winning big at the 2018 Jimmy Awards, but it wasn't the glowing experience that she might have been expecting. As Regina George herself claims in the musical, "I never weigh more than 115 [pounds]," which creates a lot of expectations about what the actor portraying her is supposed to look like. Apparently, Rapp didn't fit the profile of Regina George for some of the people working on the show, which resulted in her being body-shamed while she was on Broadway.

Rapp is open about the fact that she struggles with an eating disorder, and the comments about her body exacerbated the situation. Rapp's eating disorder worsened to the point where her parents tried to convince her to leave the show, but she stuck it out. Rapp explained her journey and the state of her mental health in an interview with The Guardian.

"It's a lifelong thing," she said. "There are battles with addiction and whatever everywhere. I still struggle with it, but at least my parents know that I've been taken out of environments that were really harmful to my sickness, which is awesome and a huge win. They worry like hell, but they're chilling, I guess."

Rapp was drugged on a night out with friends

Renee Rapp secured her spot as the next up-and-coming pop artist when she released the song "Snow Angel." The way Rapp seemed to encompass so many emotions in her music fascinated fans, and while the song was a bit hit, the inspiration for it came from a traumatic situation. Rapp revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that she wrote "Snow Angel" after being drugged and blacking out on a night out with her friends. She detailed that she woke up seven hours later in a hotel bathroom, with no recollection of how she had gotten there. The experience was jarring, but with so much emotion related to the incident, Rapp felt like she had to put it into words.

"We started writing it, and it was just the two of us [Alexander 23, her writing partner]," she said. "And the entire time I was writing it, I felt nothing ... Until we recorded the song and the whole thing was done and I played it for my friends and my manager and everybody was like, 'This is insane.' But for me, that whole year of my life was inherent resilience."

Rapp admitted that she still doesn't know exactly how to feel about the whole situation. She continued in the same interview, "I just know that I feel weird ... and very resilient."

Rapp was diagnosed with a mood disorder

There seems to be a new generation of singer/songwriters among Gen Z that have a unique ability to be particularly good at expressing their emotions through music, and Renee Rapp certainly fits into that category. Her hard-hitting lyrics and relatable songs are a hit with listeners, but there was a time when Rapp's usually strong emotions were upsetting for the artist. After years of confusion, Rapp was diagnosed with a mood disorder in 2022, and the pieces of her life that didn't quite fit started falling into place. Rapp spoke with The Guardian about how the diagnosis helped her immensely.

"Getting diagnosed made me feel — and this is a derogatory term, if you want to talk about mental health — like I wasn't just stupid, like I felt for so long. I used to beat myself up asking like: 'Why can't I do this?' and, as a kid, hearing people say: 'Suck it up and stop.'"

Rapp also understands the following that she has and how her discussions of mental health can help others on their journey. The "Pretty Girls" singer told Haste, "There's definitely a way to talk about mental health to make people feel comfortable and safe. I know I have to be responsible, but I also have to be myself." If there's one thing Renee Rapp knows how to be, it's bold and honest; and we love her for it.