James Franco On His Battle With Depression And Addiction
The actor opens up about struggles he's faced since adolescence—and what helped him get better
Sometimes it seems like celebrities’ lives are perfect. They have money, good looks and the adoration of millions. What more could you ask for?
Well, in reality, celebrities are only human, and they often grapple with the same problems as everyday people.
Actor James Franco got candid recently about his struggles with addiction and depression in an interview with Out magazine. It may seem like the handsome and multi-talented star has it all, but at one point, his issues threatened to topple him.
“When I was a teenager I got over certain addictions, and that’s when I started acting, at age 17. I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn’t even socialize. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realized, Man, I’m so depressed. On the surface my life seems pretty good—I have a career and everything—but I feel isolated and lonely. So then I threw myself into school, but again it was just this sort of running, running, running,” he explained in the magazine.
Although he says he got over his addiction to substances years ago, Franco realized his addiction to his acting career was still unhealthy and self-destructive.
To find more balance in his life, he has taken up surfing and hip-hop dancing lessons, and tried to diversify the ways he spends his time and energy.
“It’s a kind of therapy for me,” Franco said of his new hobbies. “I’ve started a new chapter of my life. I was very work-addicted, and addicted to other things—not substances, I got over that a long time ago—but I’ve recently changed my life, and this is part of my therapy.”
Franco is not the only star to open up about mental health issues.
Jon Hamm also spoke out recently about his experiences with therapy and antidepressants.
“We live in a world where to admit anything negative about yourself is seen as a weakness when it’s actually a strength,” the “Mad Men” star revealed. “It’s not a weak move to say, ‘I need help.’”
So the next time you’re feeling down, remember: We’re all in this together, and we all have our struggles—even celebrities.