Actress Rene Russo delivered a surprising admission during a taping of "The Queen Latifah Show" this week when she spoke candidly about her lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder.
Russo, 60, was on the show with Jake Gyllenhaal, her co-star in the new thriller "Nightcrawler," when the two were asked by Latifah to describe something in their lives that they've had to "push through." Russo went first and said, "Bipolar medication." Gyllenhaal countered with, "She's got me beat."
"I pretty much hit a wall," Russo said. "And then I realized my whole childhood that my mom said, 'You're stop-and-go.' And then I stopped, and I had to like, 'Whoa,' that was it for me.
"For all the people that are having trouble and maybe feel bad about taking medication, I have to say — I mean, I didn't expect to say this — but that was really it for me. ... You will make it through."
Russo joked in Gyllenhaal's direction: "I'm sorry you have to follow that," drawing a laugh from Latifah's studio audience, which had fallen silent during the admission.
Latifah asked how Russo came to the realization that she needed to do something to deal with the disorder.
"I literally crashed, hit a wall and couldn't get out of bed," Russo said. "I thought it was depression. But if you take anti-depressants it speeds you up more. So I'm kind of stop-and-go, I either crash or speed. I haven't shared this, but I think it's kind of important; I have some friends who don't want to go on the medication, and they are suffering."
Latifah and Russo together concluded by saying to those who are suffering — and are apprehensive about going on medication — that "it's OK."
Russo starred in two of the "Lethal Weapon" movies, "Get Shorty" and "The Thomas Crown Affair," among other films. "Nightcrawler" opens in theaters on Oct. 31.
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