LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 23: Mark Duplass arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of HBO's "Jason Isbell: Running With Our Eyes Closed" at The GRAMMY Museum on March 23, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images


The Other Side Of Hollywood: Mark Duplass Opens Up About Struggle With Anxiety


Mark Duplass isn’t a household name. He just happens to have a household face.

The actor/producer has been all over our screens in recent years, including co-starring in Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” and popping up in “The Mindy Project,” “Paddleton” and FX’s “The League,” to name just a few high-profile projects.

TODAY -- Pictured: Sterling K. Brown and Mark Duplass on Thursday July 13, 2023 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

You’d think he has it all – a bustling Hollywood schedule without the perils of A-list fame, the respect of his community, and the ability to tell stories on his own terms via his production company.

That’s both right and wrong.

Duplass has been sharing his mental health journey on Instagram, and it might come as a shock to those assuming his life teems with happiness. Most stars use the platform to peddle products, promote their latest films, or just connect with admirers.

Duplass has something else in mind.

He’s been revealing his struggles with depression and anxiety in ways that strip the veneer off his celebrity life.

Today I am feeling a little sad. Can I say that and be okay with it? And not spend the day in fear that this small sadness will grow into a sadness monster that might take me down? Maybe I can even be grateful for the ability to hold this sadness (not run from it) and place it next to some hope I’ve been nurturing. And just let them co-mingle for a bit, like nervous strangers at a dinner party. And just kinda see what happens. Because, as many of you know, sadness is not the same thing as depression. Sadness is a feeling I’m grateful to feel. Sadness we can work with.

So yeah. I’m a little sad. And a little hopeful. That’s… pretty good.

How are you feeling today?


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A post shared by Mark Duplass (@markduplass)

It’s a far cry from his dude bro character on FX’s “The League,” which ran for five seasons and celebrated the kind of male bonding that eschews therapeutic talk.

Here’s another example:

The sheer amount of things I can do/see/experience/consume on a daily bases [sic] has increased drastically in my lifetime, and I don’t think it’s made me happier. When I look back at some of the most wonderful moments in my life, they were surprisingly super small. The quiet of a long winter hike and the delayed gratification of eating my homemade 62 cent peanut butter and jelly sandwich once I reach the summit….This epically small stuff is the easiest to access, and it’s really lifting me up right now. I hope it might do something similar for you.


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A post shared by Mark Duplass (@markduplass)

At times his updates are gently positive and life-affirming. Then he might share some of the singer-songwriters who have helped him through rough patches with their art, like Cassandra Jenkins, The Milk Carton Kids, Adrianne Lenker and The Paper Kites.

They’re not household names, either, but here’s betting some of Duplass’ followers will be investigating their music sooner than later.

It’s not a one-way conversation, a chance for a celebrity to wax on about his emotional state. His deeply personal essays inspire plenty of feedback from fans and those eager to hear his latest updates. Mental health professionals also weigh in, cheering his efforts to connect with followers in a way above and beyond the celebrity circuit.

He’s also using Instagram to chat with mental health professionals from the nonprofit group To Write Love on Her Arms about his feelings and how they can collectively help others. Plus, these social media events raise money for “mental health scholarships,” and he’s offered to donate up to $10,000 toward the cause.

He’s not alone in his Hollywood struggles, of course. 

For every star who publicly confesses about their past sins, others genuinely share their personal struggles. Robert Downey, Jr. helped build the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the ground up, but before flying high as Iron Man he struggled with severe addiction issues.

He even spent time in prison before conquering his demons, and he’s been open about his struggles along the way.

Actor Michael J. Fox turned his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis into a foundation that raises millions to battle the incurable illness.

Another star who appears to have it all is Angelina Jolie. She’s an Oscar-winning actress whose wealth and fame have been secure for decades. Yet she recently admitted to The Wall Street Journal Magazine that she loathes living in the public eye and longs to move to a more authentic place rather than spend time in Los Angeles.

When I was starting out, it wasn’t as much of an expectation to be as public, to share so much. … It’s part of what happened after my divorce. I lost the ability to live and travel as freely. I will move when I can…I grew up in quite a shallow place. Of all the places in the world, Hollywood is not a healthy place. So you seek authenticity.

Celebrities routinely virtue signal on social media and via fawning interviews. It’s empty blather, for the most part, opinions that change few hearts and minds. Sometimes, the stars are just posturing for the next gig with their pre-packaged opinions.

What Duplass, Downey Jr., and Fox have done is different. It’s personal and substantial, the case of stars using their bully pulpit to make a difference in the lives of others.

That’s real star power.

* * *

Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of HollywoodInToto.com. He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News’ Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  The Other Side Of Hollywood: Mark Duplass Opens Up About Struggle With Anxiety