It’s not that Shannon Purser minds when followers on the road name her Barb, the title of her “Stranger Issues” character. It’s simply that, effectively, perhaps it’s time to transfer on.
“I don’t know if it’s getting higher or worse, to be sincere,” she tells The Put up. “I imply, I’m hoping that after this film comes out, at the least they’ll have the ability to name me Sierra as a substitute.”
That film is “Sierra Burgess is a Loser,” and it shifts Purser from meme to main woman. The 21-year-old actress stars because the titular character within the new teen rom-com, which begins streaming Friday on Netflix. Within the movie — a retelling of the basic “Cyrano de Bergerac” — Sierra is a band geek who catfishes a hunky man (Noah Centineo) with the unlikely assist of a well-liked woman (Kristine Froseth).
Burgess all the time dreamed of a task like this.
“It simply appeared so glamorous to fall in love with some good-looking man in a film,” she says, with fun. “I don’t know if I ever anticipated it to actually occur simply because I haven’t seen quite a lot of rom-coms with ladies who appear to be me earlier than. I’m very grateful to have the ability to change that and to type of assist redefine what magnificence is and who deserves to have their story advised.”
Born and raised in Atlanta, Purser landed her first on-screen performing job whereas in highschool, enjoying the small, ill-fated function of Barb on Netflix’s immediate hit, “Stranger Issues.” The bespectacled misfit was killed off within the first season, however social-media customers latched onto the half, demanding #JusticeForBarb. When the sequence debuted in July 2016, Purser was nonetheless working at an Atlanta-area movie show, promoting concessions, gathering tickets and cleansing theaters.
“I wasn’t getting bombarded,” she says of followers of the present approaching her on the clock. “However I do bear in mind, like, one couple waited for me by my automotive when my shift was over — and that was bizarre.”
Fortunately, Barb’s virality served as a launchpad for Purser’s performing profession. She appeared on the NBC present “Rise” earlier than it was canceled after its first season final spring, however her work on the CW’s buzzy sequence “Riverdale” continues this fall.
All of the whereas, Purser has used her on-line recognition to communicate overtly about topical points for younger folks, together with her personal struggles with melancholy and obsessive compulsive dysfunction.
“I’ve been coping with my psychological diseases since I used to be . . . perhaps 10 or 11,” she says. “And as anyone who cherished superstar tradition and actors, I believe having anyone that I actually admired communicate up about these points would have made a very huge distinction.
“As a lot as I like performing,” she says, “I additionally really feel that I’ve form of a accountability to . . . assist folks. If I’ve this platform, I need to use it for one thing good.”