Premiere: Doechii and Baby Tate Open Up About Mental Health in ‘Wendell & Wild’ Roundtable

Henry Selick’s latest stop-motion film, Wendell & Wild, hit Netflix last Friday following its premiere one month earlier at the Toronto International Film Festival. In commemoration of the acclaimed film’s release, Netflix has shared a roundtable discussion with Doechii and Baby Tate.

The discussion, which was moderated by journalist Gia Peppers, is available in full above and focuses on Black women and mental health, with the two artists both speaking candidly about their own experiences while also offering advice, including that of the art-focused variety.

“For me, I think my relationship with my demons is just, like, knowing that they’re there and trying to not push them to the side but trying to let them know who’s in charge of this spirit and this soul and this mind,” Tate said early into the talk. “You might be here but you’re working for me, not the other way around.”

Doechii, whose track “I Told ‘Em” is featured in the previously released Wendell & Wild trailer, agreed with Tate on this facet and multiple additional points made throughout the interview.

“Same as Tate, I recognize my shadow self and my demons as something that I work with,” Doechii said. “Now I kinda tell them what to do and we really cool now. If anything, I used to be really ashamed like, why do I even have a dark side? … Then I realized that my shadow side and my demons can actually help me see myself in a more human way. I kinda forgave myself, and them, and now we work together. We cool but not too much.”

Elsewhere, both artists stressed the importance of not allowing one’s struggles to make them bitter, both pointing to their own experiences within music and on social media as examples of challenges they’ve had to overcome. Doechii and Tate also opened up about how their individual artistic journeys have helped them in similar ways, especially when it comes to voicing what might otherwise feel impossible to relay.

See more above.

Wendell & Wild focuses on teenager Kat Elliot (voiced by Lyric Ross), a character who stands as the first Black woman lead in a stop-motion animated movie. The voice ensemble also features Angela Bassett, Ving Rhames, James Hong, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, and Sam Zelaya.

To watch Wendell & Wild, which marks Selick’s follow-up to 2009’s classic Coraline, hit this link.

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