Hollywood is a harsh mistress. Sometimes the spotlight is too overbearing for celebrities, and they have to take some time away from it. After the record-breaking success of Avatar, Zoe Saldana admits she almost had a mental breakdown.
In the September issue of Latina, Saldana says, "The year after Avatar was just emotionally overwhelming. I was traveling all over the world, waking up in different time zones. Your body gets exhausted, and by the end of the year I just collapsed."
When she began training for Colombiana in Paris, Saldana says she had her breakdown:
"I was sitting in my hotel room, and I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't stay awake. I must have slept for an entire month. It took me the rest of the year, even as I was working and shooting Colombiana, to pick myself up. Thank God my family was there.”
I know I should be worried about her mental health, but the only thing I can think about is: how the hell do you look that good when you’re so exhausted? Because if I don’t sleep for a full eight hours, I look like Courtney Love circa 2004.
At least Zoe had the strength to recognize her limits. Other celebs have overworked themselves to the point of being placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold.
Back in 2009, Mischa Barton was hospitalized with a “5150 treatment”. Section 5150 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code gives authorities to hold a person involuntarily if they “present a danger to themselves or others, are gravely disabled or suffer from a mental disorder.”
In Mischa’s case, rumors surfaced that she attempted suicide after being fired from the CW drama the Beautiful Life. Barton’s reps squashed the rumor, of course.
The 5150 hold became well-known during Britney Spears’ 2008 meltdown. Back in January of ’08, Spears was placed on a 72-hour mental hold after she locked herself in a room with her son, Jayden, refusing to hand him over to Kevin Federline.
Some stars, sadly, let the pressures go to far and end up with an even worse fate. Heath Ledger, for example, is rumored to have had a breakdown during the filming of The Dark Knight, before it finally got the best of him and he overdosed in 2008.
Ledger had taken a handful of different prescription medications used to treat insomnia, anxiety and depression. Ledgers last role in The Dark Knight was described by critic David Denby:
“His performance is a heroic, unsettling final act: this young actor looked into the abyss.”
Luckily, Saldana is taking it easy these days. She’s currently engaged to Keith Britton, and has been living a more relaxed lifestyle:
“I just stay at home and do absolutely nothing," Zoe says. "I don't shower if I don't want to. I don't answer e-mails. It's a healthy way of being selfish.”
I don’t know about the not showering part, but the rest sounds pretty good.