As far as scares go, Netflix delivers once again with The Midnight Club. Based on a young adult novel of the same name by Christopher Pike, the series tells the story of a group of eight terminally ill patients staying at Brightcliffe Hospice who come together at midnight to share scary tales (cue the multiple jump scares).
One of these patients is an amputee named Anya who is played by former TikTok star Ruth Codd who is also an amputee in real life. And while she didn’t have any acting experience prior to doing the show, Codd has proven that she was born to act, so much so that she is considered Netflix’s newest breakout star.
Who Is Ruth Codd?
Before Codd came to Netflix, she had been a TikTok star. And before that, she was working as a barber when COVID-19 struck. Just like many others, Codd also lost her job. But she just took things in stride. After, Codd had been through worse.
When she was just 15, odd suffered a serious injury and for years, she had to through “operation after operation” on her leg, only to “end back up on crutches.” Finally, when she was 23, Codd had enough and had her leg amputated. She hasn’t looked back since.
“At that age, you think you’re unstoppable, and it was a lot of having to learn a bit too young that sometimes life doesn’t really work out the way you thought it would, Codd said. “But I wouldn’t change it. It made me a really resilient person.”
That said, Codd still had to figure out how to make a living when the pandemic cost her her job. That’s how she ended up on TikTok where became an instant hit.
“Well, [my popularity] kind of happened by accident, and it did pretty much happen overnight,” the newcomer admitted. Little did she know that her TikTok fame would just be the beginning.
TikToker Ruth Codd ‘Eclipsed Everybody Else’ To Land The Part Of Anya
When it came to casting for Anya, creator Mike Flanagan (who is known for The Haunting franchise, Gerald’s Game, and Midnight Mass) and his team looked everywhere to find the right actress but to no avail.
“Anya was a really hard part to cast,” he recalled. “She’s written to be an amputee in the book, and we really wanted an actor who was. We cast a huge net, looking [for her].”
But then, they turned to TikTok where Codd, stood out because she was just “hilarious.” Casting director Anne McCarthy’s partner, Morgan Robbins, sent her a DM, and Codd, in turn, sent them an audition tape. Just like that Flanagan was almost sure she was the one after the star “eclipsed everybody else.”
“[Robbins] asked, ‘Have you ever thought about acting?’” he recalled. “And Ruth being Ruth — she’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met in my life — was like, ‘Oh, sure.’ She sent in an audition and it eclipsed everybody else.”
Following Her Audition Tape, Mike Flanagan Put Ruth Codd Through The Wringer
Sure, Codd’s tape was good, but it turns out, auditions weren’t done yet. “Initially it was, ‘OK, you nailed the audition for Anya, but let’s see how you handle this other character from the B-story,” Flanagan recalled. “Let’s just start throwing things.”
During the next round of auditions, Flanagan also tried to disrupt Codd’s performance a bit. “I really messed with her at first by giving her the wrong direction, the absolute worst approach to a scene. I’ll do this sometimes with actors I don’t know, and completely earnestly, to see if they’ll trust me enough to try it and really commit to it,” he explained.
“If they know I’m wrong and know that that’s not the way to play the scene and they don’t make the adjustment, then I’m like, ‘Oh, we’re not going to get there together.’”
In the end, Codd impressed everyone. And when it came to episode 7 where Anya gradually realizes that she is unconscious and dying, the first-time actress was ready to give it everything. “Ruth crushes that episode,” Flanagan said.
Is Ruth Codd Still On TikTok?
It might surprise fans to know that Codd has deleted her TikTok account since she started acting. That said, the rising star has also clarified that her decision had nothing to do with the show or her recent Hollywood debut.
“I really enjoyed it, but when it started becoming more like a job, I was like, ‘Life’s too short. You don’t have to do it,’” Codd explained.
“I really admire people that can come up with content like every single day, but I just didn’t enjoy it anymore. So, I stopped doing it. But I’m so grateful because it got me to where I am now. I’ll always be grateful for the following I had on social media.”
Fans can also soon catch Codd in Flanagan’s upcoming miniseries adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher for Netflix.
“I was delighted to work with Mike again,” the actress said. “Like, we get on so well. I’m so grateful to get to work with him again because it does kind of feel like working with family. There were so many great people on that project that I’ll hopefully be friends with for life — if they can put up with me.”
The series is expected to be released sometime in 2023. And in case anyone is wondering what Codd’s role is, the actress teased that “she’s very different to Anya.”
AYA FURUKAWA and SAURIYAN SAPKOTA with a THE MIDNIGHT CLUB Billboard on Times Square.\ud83d\udcf1 RUTH CODD (@/ruthcodd) via INSTAGRAM STORIES. pic.twitter.com/yE1YORWxEA— Mike Flanagan Source #TheMidnightClub (@flanagansource) October 5, 2022