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School of Rock child actors were brutally bullied and ‘assaulted’ after the film’s release

Katherine Sidnell

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School of Rock child actors were brutally bullied and ‘assaulted’ after the film’s release

Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

If you thought being a child star would make you popular in the playground, think again.

It’s been 20 years since School of Rock first hit the big screens, with Jack Black playing the lazy but loveable teacher Dewey Finn.

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But who could forget the School of Rock themselves? Joining Black, were the cast of students that he mentors, all of who were still in school themselves at the time.

Unfortunately, fame wasn't all it was cracked up to be for some of them.

In an interview with Rolling Stone to commemorate the film's 20th anniversary, some of the young cast members revealed that they had faced severe bulling by kids at their schools after filming the iconic 2003 film.

The School of Rock cast revealed how badly they were bullied after filming wrapped. Credit: Paramount Pictures
The School of Rock cast revealed how badly they were bullied after filming wrapped. Credit: Paramount Pictures
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After the film's release, they struggled after leaving the School of Rock for the real world.

In fact, returning to school was rough for them, including Joey Gaydos Jr, who was hit in the face just for starring in the classic kids’ film.

Having played lead guitarist Zack ‘Zack-Attack’ Mooneyham, he returned to his small town outside of Detroit, where he was made to feel like a ‘three-headed freak’.

He told the outlet: “…I was looked at like a complete weirdo, and that was hard.

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“I remember going to a football game in high school, and some older girl coming up and smacking me in the face because, ‘Look at that weird guy from the movie.’

"People thought I had it all going on. I couldn’t believe it.”

And Brian Fauldato, who uttered the most iconic line of the film 'you're tacky and I hate you' as the band's stylist Billy, said that people tried to 'box him into the title of the gay kid' when he was 'just being myself and having a great time'.

"To have this experience where we were all made to feel special because of our differences was really cool, but then it also made it all the more difficult when we went back to school.” he added.

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Joey Gaydos Jr played 'Zack-Attack' in the classic film. Credit: Paramount Pictures
Joey Gaydos Jr played 'Zack-Attack' in the classic film. Credit: Paramount Pictures

And things weren't any better for the girls, with Veronica Afflerbach vowing to leave Hollywood behind her at just 11-years-old, deciding that she would 'never do this again' after returning home from filming the movie.

Despite landing the role of ‘groupie’ Eleni, she only had a few lines in the movie and her bullies used this against her.

Recalling this, she said: “And kids said really horrible things. ‘What else did you do to make that much money? Because it’s not from just a couple lines in a movie. You’re an extra.’”

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Having turned her back on fame, Afflerbach admits that she regrets letting her tormentors win.

Veronica Afflerbach played Eleni in the musical movie. Credit: Paramount Pictures
Veronica Afflerbach played Eleni in the musical movie. Credit: Paramount Pictures

Not all of the cast have left the film industry though, with Rivkah Reyes returning as writer and comic.

It wasn’t easy though, with Reyes being bullied so heavily after playing bassist Katie that she became ‘being really, really sick and really, really mentally unwell and using anything I could to feel nothing’ for years.

Since then, she has begun writing and found she’s enjoying the industry more as an adult.

“[For]…the last five years, I’ve been sober and re-navigating the film industry and comedy and writing and all of it,” she told Rolling Stone.

Adding: “It’s just so much easier when there’s not all that extra stuff in the way of me, my actual self.”

If you’ve been affected by bullying and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Bullying UK (part of Family Lives) on 0808 800 2222. The helpline service is open 9am–9pm Monday to Friday and 10am–3pm Saturday and Sunday

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, US News, Jack Black, Celebrity

Katherine Sidnell
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