‘Spinning Out’ Star Kaya Scodelario On How the Netflix Series Addresses Mental Illness

With the arrival of 2020 comes a brand new series: Spinning Out. The Netflix drama has a fair amount of excitement surrounding it, and now, it’s finally here. In addition to the world of competitive figure skating, there’s also a focus that might be a bit more relatable to some. Here’s what the show’s star has to say about it.

Kaya Scodelario is in a new series

Kaya Scodelario
Kaya Scodelario | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

You may be familiar with Scodelario from a number of different projects. She began in her native England in the popular teen series Skins, in which she was the longest-running cast member. The series also produced well-known actors like Nicholas Hoult (the X-Men films) and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out).

Since Skins, Scodelario’s career has grown immensely. She starred in big-budget films like The Maze Runner franchise and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. However, she’s now returned to where it all began: Young adult drama.

Here’s what ‘Spinning Out’ is all about

Scodelario’s latest project is Spinning Out. The Netflix drama series stars the actress as Kat Baker, a singles skater who was sure to be Olympics bound. But after suffering from a fall, she is hesitant to get back into it. Her solution? Working with Justin Davis as a pairs skater.

The title clearly doesn’t just refer to the way Kat moves on the ice. As you can see from the trailer above, Kat is struggling — there are drugs involved, as well as a lot of pressure from her mother, her coach, and those around her. How will she deal with it all? You’ll have to watch and see.

Scodelario addresses her character’s mental illness

Ahead of the series’ Jan. 1, 2020, release, Scodelario took to social media to promote it. After seeing an ad on a screen in Times Square, she wrote on Instagram about “how excited” she is, while also delving into the important ways the series highlights depression and mental illness, offering a warning to some fans.

“I’ve learned so much about Bipolar disorder from playing Kat and just wanna take a second to make you aware that we do show some scenes of self-harm and extreme mania,” she wrote. “We’re done out best to highlight the difficulties of living with mental illness whilst still showing the beautiful, passionate and typically complex sides to being a young person.”

Scodelario elaborated on her character a bit, calling her “brave and afraid, tough and vulnerable, scared and empowered.” “I hope you enjoy seeing her journey,” she added. For those who loved her as Effy, it seems as though the actress is tapping into many of the same attributes here.

Who else is in ‘Spinning Out’?

Though Scodelario is undoubtedly the main character in Spinning Out, she has a great supporting cast, with a mix of well-known stars and up-and-coming actors. The Baker family is rounded out by Kat’s mother, Carol (January Jones) and younger sister, Serena (Willow Shields).

Justin is played by Evan Roderick, while Sarah Wright Olsen, Will Kemp, and several others have smaller roles. Additionally, former figure skater Johnny Weir makes his acting debut as Gabe, another member of a pairs team.