Brad Pitt reveals that success, money and looks haven't saved him from depression
Actor says he was shocked into seeking treatment for mental illness during the 1990s
In the 1990s, Brad Pitt went from playing unfeasibly handsome characters in low-budget films, to playing unfeasibly handsome characters in big-budget blockbusters. He enjoyed critical and commercial success in such hits as Interview With The Vampire and Fight Club and embarked on a well-publicised romance with Gwyneth Paltrow.
But the actor's admission that he suffered from depression during his rise to fame has highlighted the fact that even those who appear to have it all are not immune to the condition.
Pitt, 48, opened up in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter this week, in which he spoke of heavy marijuana use. "I was hiding out from the celebrity thing; I was smoking way too much dope; I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut. I really got irritated with myself."
"I got to, 'What's the point? I know better than this'. I used to deal with depression, but I don't now, not this decade – maybe last decade. But that's also figuring out who you are. I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester – 'This semester I was majoring in depression'."
A trip to Casablanca in the late 1990s, where the actor said he saw "poverty to an extreme I had never witnessed before", shocked him into seeking help. He was also counselled by the U2 singer Bono. "I sought out Bono and sat down with him a few times and got involved in some of the stuff he was doing. But it all started before that. It started with private acts," Pitt explained.
The actor was praised by mental health charities for speaking about the condition. The London-based Rethink Mental Illness said it would help other sufferers. "When people in the public eye talk about mental illness, it sends a powerful message to all who face it in their lives," said its spokesman, Mark Davies. "Brad Pitt's story shows it is possible to recover, which will give many people renewed hope. Mental illness can happen to any of us at any time, whether famous or not, rich or poor. It can sometimes be difficult to talk about, even though people with mental illness need as much compassion and support as people with physical health problems."
Bright stars: dark times
Winona Ryder: The actress suffered from depression after splitting from her husband Johnny Depp. "I had everything in the world. I had no reason to be depressed. But inside I was completely lost," she said.
Stephen Fry: Since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age 37, the comedian, actor and author has spoken openly about his condition in the hope of breaking taboos surrounding mental health.
George Michael: The singer suffered from 12 years of depression before eventually seeking help. He later said that writing music had helped him on the road to recovery.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
These Harry Potter lipsticks are sparking all sorts of controversy with Hogwarts fans
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Hunted: Channel 4 to test 'surveillance Britain' by taking Big Brother to sinister new lengths
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs