Christina Hendricks hated her high school. When she was 13, her parents moved from the small town of Twin Falls, Idaho, to Fairfax in Virginia because of her father’s job with the United States Forest Service. Hendricks felt “uprooted” and resentful. Then she had to start at a new school: Fairfax High.
She stood out from the beginning. In Twin Falls she had been part of a children’s theatre group. She wore Birkenstocks and “hippy dresses”. She was surprised when she saw the other girls her age in Fairfax “carrying purses [handbags]. I was like, ‘Ooh, purses!’ To me, only moms had purses. They were much more sophisticated and they were having sex and wearing makeup – all these things that had not happened for me.”
From the start, Hendricks was bullied. “We had a locker bay, and every time I went down there to get books out of my locker people would sit on top and spit at me. So I had to have my locker moved because I couldn’t go in there… I felt scared in high school. It was like Lord of the Flies. There was always some kid getting pummelled and people cheering.”
Hendricks found refuge in the drama department. Acting provided an outlet for a feeling of impotent rage. She became a goth, dying her hair black and purple, shaving it at the back and wearing leather jackets and knee-high Doc Marten boots. Were her clothes a type of armour against what she was experiencing?
“Yeah, exactly,” she says, nodding. “My parents would say, ‘You’re just alienating everyone. You’ll never make any friends looking like that.’ And I would say, ‘I don’t want those people to be my friends. I’m never going to be friends with the people who beat up a kid while everyone is cheering them on. I hate them.'”