Miley Cyrus Said Filming This Black Mirror Scene Gave Her Anxiety Attacks

“I would have these dreams anytime I would go to perform, and I thought that was just an anxious vision that made no sense.”

Miley Cyrus Said Filming 'Black Mirror' Gave Her Anxiety Attacks

Miley Cyrus played her second most iconic popstar alter-ego, Ashley O, on the fifth season of Netflix’s Black Mirror, but the experience brought her some unexpected struggles. In a new TikTok interview clip to promote her new single “Used To Be Young,” the Grammy nominee opened up about filming her episode of Black Mirror, explaining that it caused anxiety attacks later in life because of the tragic events that were unfolding back home.

Cyrus filmed the series in South Africa in 2018 at the same time as the Woolsey Fire in Malibu broke out, in which she lost her home. “I was in South Africa, but [the episode] was taking place in Malibu, so it was just a real trip,” she said. In her episode, “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too,” her character wakes up from a coma and finds herself in a gurney, not knowing what had just happened to her. This scene would find its way into Cyrus’ anxiety attacks, but she didn’t make the connection until years later.

“Probably two or three years later after this happened, I didn’t understand, but I would have this anxiety attack with a vision attached that I would be strapped down to a gurney,” she recalled. “So I would have these dreams anytime I would go to perform, and I thought that was just an anxious vision that made no sense. But actually, as my house was burning down, I was strapped in a gurney with my hands locked down in handcuffs, strapped to a bed.”

Cyrus then showed the camera a clip from the music video for Ashley O’s bop “On A Roll,” revealing that she filmed the performance only the day after her real-life Malibu house burned down. “The show must go on,” she exhaustedly noted.

Nevertheless, Cyrus doesn’t seem to have any regrets about appearing on Black Mirror. She donned a purple wig to perform “On A Roll” at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival, and in a previous interview with The Guardian that year, she called the Netflix show her favorite sci-fi series. “I think it’s an important story that needs to be told, such a realistic take on what it’s like working in the music industry,” she said of her episode. “It really portrays the overt exploitation of artists and that numbers usually eclipse the creative most of the time.”

If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911.