The actor described how he “came out of that dark place.”
Owen Wilson credits his brother Andrew with helping him get past his 2007 suicide attempt.
In an interview with Esquire, the 52-year-old revealed how his older sibling moved in with him to help in his recovery — a subject he has very rarely touched on in the 14 years since.
In the piece, titled “Owen Wilson Is Doing Great, Thanks”, he described to author Ryan D’Agostino how “he recovered from that awful episode with friends and family supporting him daily, wrapping their love around him, sleeping by his side.”
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Having asked Owen how he “came out of that dark place”, the actor told him “that Andrew stayed in his house with him after that, rising with him each morning and writing up little schedules for each day so that life seemed at first manageable and then, at some point, a long time later, actually good.”
It was Owen’s younger brother Luke who found him at the time, and called 911. He was hospitalized and treated for depression, ultimately pulling out of the film he was shooting at the time — “Tropic Thunder” — to be replaced by Matthew McConaughey.
In the interview, Wilson describes thinking about death as a child, and how it upset his father when he brought it up.
“As a kid, there’s a lot of things that you think about,” he said. “Death—that kind of landed with me when I was about eleven. And I don’t remember ever talking with my parents about it. Although I do remember one time saying to my dad — and I remember exactly where in the house — saying, ‘I worry about dying,’ and seeing my dad turn away and catch himself.”
“And I was surprised to see that reaction. But who knows, maybe that was part of why I said it.”
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14 years to the month on, the “Cars” star certainly seems to be in a much better place.
“I’ve been in sort of a lucky place of feeling pretty appreciative of things,” he told the magazine. “I know everything’s kind of up and down, but when you get on one of these waves, you’ve gotta ride it as long as you can. I’ve just felt — yeah. Feeling pretty grateful. Well, grateful’s one of those words that get used all the time. Appreciative. Of, you know, stuff.”
He went on to describe his life through other movies: “Sometimes it seems like life is being played by Gene Hackman in Hoosiers. Tough but fair. He’s going to demand a lot, but if you play as a team and do your job, things work out. That’s a good feeling. Things make sense.”
“But of course sometimes life seems to be played by Tom Hardy in The Revenant, some nightmarish guy trying to kill you, where even if you get the upper hand, he’s still going to be there at the end whispering, ‘This ain’t gonna bring your boy back’ or your dad back or any good times from your past back. Or whatever.”
“And when life’s being played by that guy, you just gotta hang on and wait for it to pass.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.
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