Jesse Eisenberg is spreading wisdom for how to manage anxiety as a teen star.
The “Social Network” alum told “Stranger Things” breakout Finn Wolfhard advice director Greg Mottola imparted on him back in 2009 on the set of “Adventureland.”
“‘You’re doing a job that’s very emotionally exposing and very publicly horrible. I would be surprised if you didn’t have that, and please never worry,'” Mottola told Eisenberg, per GQ. “‘This is a two-dimensional medium and we’re not seeing what’s inside your head.’ It just changed my life because I was able to take my anxieties more seriously and realize that it’s okay to feel that stuff in a professional setting.”
When Wolfhard was feeling “really anxious and depressed” ahead of starring in Eisenberg’s directorial debut “When You Finish Saving the World,” the writer-director shared comforting advice. “[Eisenberg] was like, ‘Have you met me? I’m the most nervous guy in the entire world,'” Wolfhard recalled. “I was so uptight and nervous about it, because I just was like, ‘This is the first movie [that I’m doing] as an adult.'”
Wolfhard said he began having routine panic attacks when he was around 15 years old. He opted to “not talk about anything, because I just was having this crazy whirlwind career, so there was no time, or at least we didn’t feel [there was] at the time” while filming “Stranger Things.”
“Everyone was like, ‘Look at him, he’s fine. He’s having the best time,'” Wolfhard siad. “But in reality, I was probably also developing and things were happening in my brain and anxieties were forming and things that I didn’t realize that I had to bury because of how I had to feel at work.”
Wolfhard added, “When things feel really overwhelming and big, it can feel even more big to kid actors who just feel like it all can be gone in an instant.”
And Eisenberg isn’t the only collaborator that has opened up to Wolfhard: the young actor detailed how “Stranger Things” co-stars Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin were there for him in a time of need. While having a panic attack, which Wolfhard called “classic me,” both Matarazzo and McLaughlin hugged him as showrunners the Duffer Brothers stopped filming.
“They were like, ‘Dude, we’re the only people that know what it’s really like,'” Wolfhard said of his co-stars. “Gaten and Caleb, we’re for life, bonded for life.”
Read IndieWire’s recent interview with Wolfhard here.
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