Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller on what it was like to be turned into a meme

The actor says articulating his thoughts helped him deal with the experience

Maya Oppenheim@mayaoppenheim
Wednesday 27 July 2016 17:01
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The actor has previously been open about coping with depression
The actor has previously been open about coping with depression

Wentworth Miller has reflected upon what it was like to be turned into a meme and explained how he dealt with the anguish by articulating his thoughts on social media.

Miller, who is best known for his role as Michael Scofield on Prison Break, was the subject of a body-shaming meme which featured two photos of Miller side by side in an attempt to illustrate his contrasting weight. The caption is titled: “When you break out of prison and find out about the McDonald's Monopoly”.

At the time, the 44-year-old responded to the meme by penning a thought-provoking Facebook essay. In the post, he explained the image conjured up memories of a particularly difficult period of his life in which he was depressed and suicidal.

Miller has now spoken out about the ordeal, looking back at why he felt compelled to share his feelings on social media.

“I was having a really strong emotional experience and I needed to get it out,” Miller told People magazine. “Articulating how I'm feeling, that's a life-saving practice. And it's part of my self-care.”

“I knew whoever was responsible didn't know me or know anything about me,” Miller added. “They didn't have a clue what kinds of issues they were bringing up for me.”

Miller also emphasised the importance of reaching out to those who may be at a crisis point within their lives.

“I haven't experienced a major depressive episode in maybe three years,” he explained. “I try to stay really aware of where I'm at and what's up for me.”

“And I'll just emphasize how important it is to reach out if you think someone is in crisis. The tiniest gesture can have a huge impact. Just let them know they're not alone. It can make a difference.”

Miller referred to the difficult period in his life in his original Facebook essay, explaining that in 2010, he was keeping a low profile and was “semi-retired from acting”. He explained he had turned to eating as a means of coping with his depression - from which he has been susceptible to since childhood.

“Long story short, I survived,” he wrote in the post. “So do these pictures. I’m glad. Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.”

The actor, who is currently filming Prison Break's reboot series, has previously been open about coping with depression. In 2013 he told a Human Rights campaign dinner he first attempted to kill himself when he was 15.

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