Some actors take personifying a character to the next level, and it’s not always helpful in the long run. While fully submerging themselves in a character may be excellent for a movie, it can affect the actor’s mental health, especially if the role was intense. Even after filming ends, it can be challenging for these stars to return to everyday life and thoroughly shake off the characters they played. Here are some actors whose roles impacted their mental health.
After starring in the psychological thriller “The Crowded Room,” Tom Holland decided to take a year off from acting because it affected his mental health. He shared that he was used to the “physical aspects” of being an actor, but he says dealing with the mental side was new to him. Holland told Entertainment Weekly that the mental aspect beat him up, and it took him some time to recover and return to reality. He added that he saw himself as his character in real life. He recalled a meltdown at home, calling it something he’d never experienced before.
While filming “House of Gucci,” Lady Gaga got so into character that she needed a psychiatric nurse to help her feel safe. She said she still lived as Patrizia Gucci even when she wasn’t filming, and as a result, she brought darkness home because her life was dark. Gaga told Variety that she doesn’t think any actor should push themselves to that limit, and she would ask herself why she did that. One reason she gave is because she has a romantic relationship with suffering for her art that she developed as a child, and sometimes it goes too far. Gaga said it can be hard to reel it in yourself when it goes too far, but she concluded by saying it’s okay to ask for help, no matter what.
Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan’s extreme preparations for his role in “Black Panther” affected his mental health. Before the movie, he isolated himself from family and friends to experience the same loneliness as his character, but he struggled to shake it off when filming ended. Jordan told Oprah during a “SuperSoul Conversations” special that he didn’t have an escape plan, so it was initially challenging for him. He struggled to readjust to people caring for him and getting the love that he shut out. However, the actor said he started talking to people and went to therapy to unpack some things.
Anne Hathaway’s role as Fantine in “Les Miserables” was physically and mentally challenging for her. To play the role of the dying sex worker, the actress shed 25 pounds using a strict cleanse and a near-starvation diet. On top of that, most of the scenes she filmed were emotionally taxing, including disturbing moments where she got her teeth yanked and was assaulted by a sailor. Hathaway shared with Vogue that she had to be obsessive with her diet because the idea was to look like she was near death. Reflecting on the experience, Hathaway called it “a little nuts,” adding that it took weeks for her to feel like herself again.
Kate Winslet admitted that her role as a former Nazi camp worker in “The Reader” was mentally challenging for her. Even after filming ended, Winslet said she suffered internally and was haunted and traumatized by what she saw during the preparation process. She told HuffPost that after wrapping, she was still coming to terms with the experience of playing Hannah. Winslet added that when filming ended, she walked away like a car crash victim who wasn’t hurt on the outside but felt she couldn’t discuss it. Winslet called the experience overwhelming.
When Jamie Foxx played Ray Charles in the biopic about his life, director Taylor Hackford requested that Foxx’s eyelids be glued shut to add authenticity to the role. However, this caused the actor to have panic attacks, which worsened when his colleagues left him alone because they forgot he couldn’t see. Foxx told the New York Times that having his eyes glued shut for 14 hours daily was like a jail sentence.
One of the most challenging aspects of acting is differentiating between your character and real life. These actors have all struggled to turn their characters off when the camera stops rolling. However, they got out of it by talking about it and seeking help when necessary.