Actor Ron Perlman, known to most as the titular antihero in the Hellboy movie franchise and the sinister Clay Morrow in FX's Sons of Anarchy, didn't hold back in his memoir Easy Street. Among the details unleashed in the book is a secret he never previously shared with anyone: He once attempted suicide.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Perlman says writing about an attempt to take his own life was "very cathartic.
"The story I tell about my own experience [of trying to commit suicide] has never been told before," Perlman said. "Even my wife didn't know about it until she read the galleys for the book. My mom hasn't read the book yet, so I hope it doesn't kill her when she reads it. It's going to be a shock. That was the first time I shared that with anybody."
Perlman says it was a one-off incident from a singular case of clinical depression and that he's "remained vigilant about it not revisiting me, it never has." He decided that sharing his very personal experience was for the best.
"It wasn't my intention, but I realized I was going to help some people knowing that it's not just them, they're not alone," he said. "It can happen to anybody. It can happen to the guy playing a badass on Sons of Anarchy."
Perlman doesn't go into detail about the suicide attempt in the interview (presumably, you'll have to buy the book to get the specifics), but he does discuss other topics, including the toll playing a character like Clay can have on an actor. [Sons of Anarchy SPOILER WARNING] And if you ended up not liking Clay toward the end of his run on Sons of Anarchy, you weren't alone.
"The monstrousness that existed inside [Clay] when I said yes to the role was minor, but by the time I finished playing him in the end, it was all he was," Perlman said. "I just tried to infuse it with nobility, because he was after all a king. What I was given to play was decidedly negative and ugly, and made for very uncomfortable moments. For the first time in my life I was playing a character I don't like, I don't admire."
Easy Street is available now. In early October, Amazon picked up Perlman's new drama, Hand of God, to series.
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