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The Sandman Star Opens Up About Responding to Hostile Fan Reaction

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After years of being in the works, the live-action adaptation of The Sandman finally arrived on Netflix last year. The first season of episode adapted the beloved DC Vertigo comic for a new era, which also meant having a more diverse cast than was depicted in the source material. Rose Walker was among the characters who were updated for The Sandman series, being played by Black actress Vanesu Samunyai, who is now speaking out about the backlash she endured when the series was released.

“Initially I was going to watch the show after the premiere, but I made the mistake of going online and reading everyone’s opinions of me,” Samunyai explained in a recent interview with swirlywords. “I clamped up and numbed out after that. I mentally blocked out the whole experience as if it never happened – to protect myself. I didn’t watch myself back.” She went on to explain, “As a ‘people pleaser’ seeing that disapproval made me feel like I’d done something wrong, and I felt so shameful. I was in a dark hole for months, just feeling like I’d failed, and feeling guilty for failing.”

“I became really quiet online, I didn’t want anyone to see me living my life as if I’d done nothing wrong. All of the good comments couldn’t get through to me because I was inclined to trust the negative ones… I’ve been in a state of dissociation, to separate myself from the experience, like ‘that didn’t happen to me, that wasn’t me.’” However, since then she has seen some of the better side of the audience and recovering her self-esteem. “I’m getting to a place where I’m starting to like myself again… And negatives aside, I know I meant something to a few people. I can only be thankful for that. I’ve enjoyed the fan art and the fanfics and my 8,000 Instagram followers. If you’re a fan reading this, thank you so so much.”

What is The Sandman about?

The Sandman is based on the iconic comic from Neil Gaiman and artists Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Bryan Talbot, and Michael Zulli. A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic – and human – mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.

Season 1 of the series stars Tom Sturridge as Dream, Kirby Howell-Baptise as Death, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, Asim Chaudhry as Abel, Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain, Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, Joely Richardson as Ethel Cripps, David Thewlis as John Dee, Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian, Stephen Fry as Gilbert, Patton Oswalt as the voice of Dream’s raven Matthew, and Mason Alexander Park as Desire.

Are you excited that The Sandman is getting more episodes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

The first season of The Sandman is now available to stream exclusively on Netflix.

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