It’s not often that you get to hear a public figure talk openly and candidly about addiction or depression. In fact, it’s not often anybody talks about those subjects. So, it can be refreshing when a big celebrity like James Franco de-stigmatises these topics, if only a little bit, by opening up about them during an interview. That’s exactly what he did when he recently sat down for a conversation with novelist Edmund White for Out magazine.
“I have a very addictive personality. When I was a teenager I got over certain addictions, and that’s when I started acting, at age 17,” Franco told White. “I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn’t even socialise. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realised, ‘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.”
In the same interview, Franco also revealed why he’s recently taken up surfing and dancing as new hobbies.
“It’s a kind of therapy for me,” he said. “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.”
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Franco was speaking to the publication to hype his upcoming show, The Deuce, which will debut on HBO on September 10. The show, written byThe Wire’s David Simon, will be about the emerging porn industry in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. You can read the whole interview over at Out.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health.