Australian singer-songwriter reveals to New York Times that she was suicidal after facing a backlash for her debut directorial movie “Music” for the portrayal of autism in the film.
She opened up about the mental struggles and criticism she had received for her debut film and cast Maddie Ziegler (who doesn’t have autism in real life) as a child with autism. Ziegler is a long-time collaborator with the singer for music videos like ‘Chandelier’, ‘Cheap Thrills’ and ‘The Greatest’. While talking to the New York Times, She said “I was suicidal and relapsed and went to rehab.”
The Unstoppable singer also spoke on how the comedian Kathy Griffin helped her after she was encountered to a similar wave of scrutiny for her infamous photo of holding a bloody mask resembling the former president Donald Trump’s severed head. She added to the comedian that she “saved her life.”
This is in not the first time that the 46-year old has spoken publicly about her mental health struggles. Back in 2013, she told Billboard about her serious addiction to Vicodin and Oxycodone. In September 2018, Sia publicly celebrated 8 years of her sobriety.
The 2021 musical drama film stars Maddie as a neurotypical, Music gamble, an autistic 15-year-old. The singer defended her decision to cast Ziegler saying that the film wasn’t a documentary, but rather a work of fiction.
“There is no way I could have used someone of level of functioning to play her, I also needed a dancer, for the character’s imaginary life.” “the character is based completely on my neuro-atypical friend, he found it too stressful being nonverbal, and I made this movie with nothing but love for him and his mother.”
Following the critical reviews the singer announced that a warning would appear at the beginning of the film, “I promise I have been listening, the motion picture “Music” will, moving forward have this warning at the head of the movie – ‘Music is no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help with meltdown safety.”
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