Joaquin Phoenix and 8 other actors who faced mental health issues because of the characters they played

When it comes to movies and web series, we rarely think about the impact of playing a certain role on actors and their mental health. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget that just like the rest of us, actors and celebrities are also vulnerable to their surroundings and surroundings. They are human too, after all.

Disclaimer: The information ahead may be distressing and trigger reading, please proceed with caution.

In fact, so many actors have opened up and spoken about the times they’ve struggled with their mental health due to the lasting impact a role has had on them. So let’s take a look at how certain roles affected the actors’ mental health. Continue reading.

1. Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker

Playing a character extremely psychologically trouble couldn’t have been easy and Joaquin Phoenix also talked about the same in an interview.

The first thing was weight loss, that’s really where I started. Ultimately, it impacts your psychology and you really start going crazy when you lose so much weight in such a short time.

– Joaquin Phoenix told ET Canada

Source: the Guardian

2. Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Wretched

In an interview, Anne Hathaway describe how she had to lose 10 pounds to play Fantine in Wretched and how it seriously affected his mental health.

I was in such a state of deprivation – physical and emotional. When I got home, I couldn’t react to the chaos of the world without being overwhelmed. It took me weeks to feel like myself again.

– Anne Hathaway told Vogue

    Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserables
Source: observerbd

3. Christina Applegate as Jen in dead to me

The actor admitted that playing jenn in dead to me caused her a lot of emotional exhaustion and that she had to go to the therapy station playing the character.

He tapped into some things that I had to deal with. It was cathartic. I don’t know if (it was) therapeutic… Did I start therapy after the show? Yes absolutely.

– Christina Applegate told Variety

Christina Applegate as Jen in Dead to Me
Source: imdb

4. Dakota Johnson as Suzy in Suspiria

The actor talked about playing Suzy in Suspiriaand how are we therapy helped her resolve the heavy emotions she had left after playing the character.

It screwed me up so much that I had to go to therapy… I sometimes find when I’m working on a project – and I have no shame in [saying] this – I’m a very porous person and I absorb a lot of people’s feelings. When you sometimes work with a dark subject, it can stay with you and then tell someone really nice about it is a really good way to move on.

– Dakota Johnson told Elle

    Dakota Johnson as Suzy in Suspiria
Source: pinterest

5. Adrien Brody as Władysław Szpilman in The pianist

Actor Adrien Brody too open how it took him six months to not feel his best after playing Władysław Szpilman in The pianist.

There were times when I was worried that I couldn’t get out of it sane, because I didn’t realize how far it had gotten me… It took more than six months after the movie ended to settle back into things.

– Adrien Brody told the BBC

Adrien Brody as Władysław Szpilman in The Pianist
Source: looper

6. Kate Winslet as Hannah in The reader

Winslet starred as a Nazi camp worker in The reader and admitted to having a intense experience after finishing the movie. She said she felt very disconnected from herself after the movie.

It was huge. I completely broke down and thought, “I’m going to have to leave the room. outside, but I felt like I couldn’t talk about it. It was really overwhelming. I really went somewhere. I was in a sort of trance.

– Kate Winslet told Huffpost

Kate Winslet as Hannah in The Reader
Source: thecinemaholic

7. Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger in Black Panther

Michael B. Jordan said he self-isolated after playing Killmonger in Black Panther. But soon enough chose to start therapy to resolve residual emotions from playing Killmonger.

I ruled out love, I didn’t want love. I wanted to be in this lonely place for as long as possible… Everyone needs to unpack and talk.

– Michael B. Jordan told USA Today

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger in Black Panther
Source: economic times

8. Natalie Portman as Nina in Black Swan

Black Swan was an intense film, and the role of Natalie Portman was definitely a complex portrayal. So it makes sense that she would feel so consumed by the character. The actor said she experimented some serious effects from playing Nina.

It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could kind of bring you down… There were nights where I thought I was literally going to die.

– Natalie Portman told Independent

Natalie Portman as Nina in Black Swan
Source: movie quotes and more

9. Alex Wolff as Peter in Hereditary

Hereditary was an incredibly disturbing movie, it certainly wasn’t for the light-hearted. And actor Alex Wolff mentioned that he felt he had PTSD from playing Peter.

When I started talking about it, all those flashes with all that unsettling shit I went through kind of came back in a deluge. It kept me awake at night to the point where I got into the habit of emotional masochism to the point of just trying to absorb all the negative feelings I could draw from. I forced it on myself rather than the opposite of what you would usually do in life, which is to sit on the radiator until it starts to burn and you get up immediately. I had to do the exact opposite of that and absorb the pain and let it burn. It’s a reverse emotional thing. It’s hard to describe eloquently, it’s just a feeling. I don’t think you can go through something like this and not have some kind of PTSD afterwards.

– Alex Wolff told Vice

Alex Wolff as Peter in Hereditary
Source: twinklingmyth

In a video of vogueCharithra Chandran (aka Edwina Sharma) from Bridgerton season 2 also explained how his peers and colleagues advised him to prioritize his mental health. And that’s exactly what she does by going to therapy and maintaining her mental hygiene.

Obviously, every profession comes with its own set of challenges, no matter how glamorous it all looks.

And if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or just needs someone to talk to, remember that help is just a phone call away. Contact the following helplines in India. BMC Mental Health Helpline: 022-24131212 (available 24/7), Vandrevala Foundation: 186-02662345/180-02333330 (24/7) or AASRA: 91-9820466726 (available 24/7).

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