The Horrific Way Beanie Feldstein Had to Re-Learn How to Speak and Sing Before Her Acting Career

Beanie Feldstein has been growing more and more prominent in the comedy world. Her older brother, Jonah Hill, has been a major player in comedy since the early 2000s. Feldstein’s start in acting came at a similar time, however, her own rise to prominence has been a lot more recent. That being said, while Beanie Feldstein is experiencing a great moment in her acting career, she has faced hardships in her past and had to overcome a significant difficulty before she could enter her chosen field. So what did happen to Beanie Feldstein? And how did she overcome this struggle to reach her current success?

Beanie Feldstein smiling in front of a white and blue background
Beanie Feldstein | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Beanie Feldstein’s Career

Beanie Feldstein’s first role came when she was only nine years old. She appeared on the sitcom My Wife and Kids in one episode, though she didn’t return to the screen for another decade. However, she was still acting between this appearance and her future film roles. Feldstein was deeply interested in musical theater all through her childhood and participated in tons of different shows in school and community theater. This gave her the experience that would help her grow her career in the future, and was and still is a great love for her.

She became prominent starting in 2016 with her role in Neighbors 2, after a few smaller roles in various television shows. Following that, she worked under director Greta Gerwig in Gerwig’s major debut, Lady Bird. Her first major role was in the 2019 comedy Booksmart, directed by Olivia Wilde. Later that same year, she had the lead role in How to Build a Girl, where she portrays a music reviewer struggling to find a writing career where she feels fulfilled. In 2017, she was also able to use her musical theater chops to portray Minnie Fay in a Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! She also has some major television roles coming up: Monica Lewinsky in 2021’s American Crime Story: Impeachment, and the voice of the eponymous Harriet M. Welsch in an animated adaptation of Harriet the Spy.

Medical Problems

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Despite Feldstein’s lifelong interest in musical theater and acting, she had a very rough start. In early childhood, Beanie Feldstein had nodules on her throat that affected her voice. Feldstein could speak and sing in her childhood, however, her voice was incredibly raspy. On the podcast Life is Short with Justin Long, she described her childhood voice as sounding similar to Carole King and joked that it made her sound like she was a smoker. Nonetheless, she still did musical theater in these early years and worked around the nodules in her throat.

This changed when she was only nine years old. One day, she woke up and found that she could not speak whatsoever. She described the fear she felt, and going to the doctor and being told that the nodules were incredibly severe. She described her response as “hysterical,” and wanted to do anything to fix her throat so that she could sing and act again. We know now that Feldstein was able to recover her voice and return to acting, but what did it take?

Feldstein’s Recovery

Feldstein was determined to recover. She went to speech therapy, and according to Feldstein, “relearned completely how to speak.” Her voice now is a lot higher than it was, as speaking in a higher voice was better on her throat. First she had to relearn how to speak, and she followed that with learning how to sing. Her passion for musical theater was what pushed her to fight to reclaim her voice, and she describes her passion as “a real gift,” and says that she’s “real grateful for that.”

Knowing the difficulties that Feldstein faced in her childhood and how they made her passion so difficult makes her current success much more inspiring. She was even able to achieve her dream of performing on Broadway, and she received help and inspiration from her older brother. Despite serious medical issues in her childhood, Beanie Feldstein managed to find success in her passion.