Actress Ashley Judd called on the experts who helped her battle depression before she accepted the role of a suicidal teacher in her new film Helen.
The Double Jeopardy star entered the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Texas for depression and isolation issues in 2006 and is now "emotionally sober" thanks to the help and advice she received there. Judd feared that playing a depressed person on film would trigger her own past problems with the condition - but the doctors who gave her the help she needed at her lowest point insisted she'd be perfect as Helen.
She tells BlogTalkRadio.com, "There was the possibility that I could help carry the message of recovery. I can't keep what I have unless I give it away and today, by the grace of God, I have really good recovery from depression. To walk that precarious line of playing the disease and yet not be in the disease was pretty fabulous. I sent the screenplay to two special clinicians I happen to have the privilege of being in relationship with and I asked their advice: 'Did they think I could pull off the disease without being in the disease?''
"Their answer was so empowering and electrifying. Unbeknownst to each other they both said, 'How dare you not (do it).' They had a lot of confidence in my emotional sobriety and my emotional stability and ability to practice good self-care and to self soothe and reach out and surround myself with really healthy recovering people."
However, Judd admits there were scenes that were very difficult and rewarding, to shoot: "I had to record a suicide video for my daughter and we shot it on the blankety blank first day! I didn't know anybody's names yet, but we got to do this amazing improvisation where we let the disease talk."