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Joy Sunday
Wellness > Mental Health

Joy Sunday’s Rise To Fame Wasn’t All It Was Cracked Up To Be

Wednesday, a spin-off of The Addams Family, is a coming-of-age comedy horror show about Wednesday Addams and friends at Nevermore Academy. Whether it was the viral Wednesday TikTok dance or fans thirsting over young Gomez, Wednesday took the world by storm. It’s Netflix’s No. 3 most popular show of all time (currently) and has been watched for over a billion hours, which is actually insane. 

If you’ve seen the show, you’re no stranger to Joy Sunday, who plays Bianca Barclay, the popular queen bee siren at Nevermore Academy. When she walked onto the screen, I think everyone audibly gasped — her silver eyes and shaved head reflected a sort of magnetism about Bianca that certainly matched her charm. Her beauty was just illuminating through the screen. 

With Wednesday being Joy Sunday’s breakout role, it’s expected to come with a rise of challenges and new experiences from being thrown so abruptly into the spotlight. “It’s been a rollercoaster, and it wasn’t something I could’ve anticipated,” Joy told Her Campus during Her Conference 2023. “I come from an immigrant family. I have no basis for fame and no idea how to approach it.” 

The unfamiliarity of fame is something that makes sense totally sense, but with Joy being a type A person, she began to do her research, obviously. “Even though I braced myself, I don’t think I was ready for how much it would challenge my own sense of identity,” she shared. “It all happened so quickly.” 

Through this experience and understanding of her own identity, she has had a special recognition of her background. “I’ve always had so much pride in how I grew up, and it took me a while to realize I had this pride, but once I did, it’s something that can’t be taken away from me. It’s stayed with me throughout this process,” Sunday said.

To Sunday, self-expression and personal boundaries go hand-in-hand.

Through a transformative period, it’s vital to find ways to express yourself, and self-expression is dire to Sunday. “It feels like the world is closing in on all of us,” Sunday said. “It’s so important for me to feel like I’m saying something every time I show up.” 

When the world feels like it’s closing in, Sunday recognizes the importance of having practices that ground her, her favorite — disappearance. “I love to go ghost, not from my friends, but in my awareness and space,” Sunday shared. “I’ve been on an anti-social media kick recently. I try to take a step back to get in touch with myself.”

There is certainly a power in disconnection, which is why Sunday loves to travel. She feels she gets to explore the world without any preconceived notions either way, which has helped her find herself, “no matter how cliche it sounds,” she said. 

Sunday wished she saw an actress like her on-screen while growing up, so she became one. 

Sunday has had her head shaved since she was sixteen, and it has become so ingrained in her life that she often forgets she doesn’t have hair. Upon landing her role on Wednesday, she expected the producers to give her braids immediately, but Tim Burton liked her look and wanted to keep it authentic. “It’s awesome to think the most beautiful siren at school has a shaved head. I’m really grateful he made that decision,” said Sunday. 

The most rewarding part of Sunday is being that person that little girls see on screen. “The excitement little Black girls have that I exist has been amazing — it matters so deeply,” she said. “That’s what I was looking for when I was younger.” 

Validating her own dreams is what kept Sunday going. 

Understanding what you want your life to look like is vital when taking steps toward the future. Sunday didn’t have another life plan and was relying on residuals to pay the rent.“I kept this love for the vision I had for myself and surrounded myself with an amazing community,” Sunday said. “I just needed it to be acting. I didn’t know what else I would do. I was OK with scraping by.” 

Sunday recognizes the importance of believing in your dreams but also understands where it can be rough out here. She credits her path forward with truly believing and relying solely on herself. She didn’t need other people to validate her dream. “At the point when I auditioned for Wednesday, I was almost giving up,” Sunday said. “You just have to find it within yourself: I wouldn’t be here if I had to depend on someone else to make me feel good.”

Avery Worley is a national writer for Her Campus. She has written across all verticals but takes a special interest in the wellness section, especially mental health, sex and relationships, and all things astrology. Beyond Her Campus, Avery attended New York University's Publishing Institute and is getting her Masters in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. When she isn't writing, you can find her exploring NYC with her latest romance novel in hand and relating way too much to "mirrorball" by Taylor Swift. If it's the fall, she's definitely rewatching Gilmore Girls.