To the general public, celebrities seem to have it all: fame, money, looks, manifestation powers or even sheer luck. But as it turns out, a lifestyle of wealth and stardom doesn’t exactly mean you’re automatically shielded from mental health struggles. Behind closed doors, even the world’s biggest A-listers are hiding ongoing battles with severe mental health concerns, personality disorders and grief—often amplified by their fame.
Facing enormous pressure to appear ‘perfect’ while simultaneously subjected to public scrutiny with every single misstep, public figures have previously bottled up their struggles with mental health. But this is not the case anymore.
Here are ten celebrities who have been diagnosed with depression and have been vocal about their conditions, reminding us that mental health concerns can impact people of all ages and walks of life—but no one is alone in their battles, nevertheless.
On-screen, Chris Evans is portrayed as an American hero slinging his vibranium shield at enemies, including killer robots. But behind the Captain America costume, Evans has grappled with depression stemming from his debilitating anxiety—which has even led him to consider quitting his acting career.
During an appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Evans admitted how he began experiencing anxiety around 2007. Three years later, when he was filming Puncture, the condition had become severe. “It was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set,” he said. “I really started to think, ‘I’m not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me, I’m not sure if I’m feeling as healthy as I should be feeling’.”
In fact, when Marvel first offered him the test role of Captain America, initially demanding a nine-movie deal, Evans turned it down—afraid that the resultant fame would render his anxiety unmanageable. “My suffering would [be] my own,” the star explained. He turned the opportunity down multiple times despite higher salary offers and a decreased commitment to only six movies.
However, after speaking to his therapist, friends, family and even Robert Downey Jr. (who was already a Marvel star at the time), Evans reconsidered the role. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I really owe that to Kevin Feige for being persistent and helping me avoid making a giant mistake,” he said. “To be honest, all the things that I was fearing never really came to fruition.”
With her “art-pop meets haute couture” wardrobe, genre-busting voice and ongoing rumours to play Harley Quinn for Joker 2, Lady Gaga seems like the very definition of courage and power. In an interview with Billboard, however, the ‘Bad Romance’ singer admitted, “I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day. I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal. We were born that way. This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That’s not human.”
Establishing her Born This Way Foundation—a nonprofit which seeks to empower, inspire bravery and provide resources for young people dealing with depression, severe anxiety and bullying—the pop star has evolved into a strong advocate for mental health today.
Back in 2007, comedy megastar Owen Wilson shocked the public when he attempted suicide at his home in Santa Monica. “It’s impossible,” Wilson’s longtime producer friend Polly Platt told People at the time. “He’s far too full of life and is at the prime of his career.”
Although 11 weeks later the publication reported that the actor had been devastated about his breakup with Kate Hudson, he had since “bounced back,” and later decided to come clean about his years-long battle with depression and drug addiction. The Wedding Crashers star has since slowed his career to focus on his health—presently crediting antidepressants and his two sons for keeping him grounded.
“I’ve been in sort of a lucky place of feeling pretty appreciative of things,” he told Esquire in 2021. “I know everything’s kind of up and down, but when you get on one of these waves, you’ve gotta ride it as long as you can… Feeling pretty grateful. Well, grateful is one of those words that get used all the time. Appreciative. Of, you know, stuff.”
Ever since the age of seven, Demi Lovato has dealt with suicidal thoughts and depression. In 2010, the ‘Confident’ singer checked themselves into a residential treatment facility following their struggle with anorexia, bulimia and bipolar disorder.
“Looking back it makes sense. There were times when I was so manic, I was writing seven songs in one night and I’d be up until 5.30 in the morning,” they said in an interview with People. “I feel like I am in control now where my whole life I wasn’t in control.”
Eight years later, Lovato had a near-fatal drug overdose and released a single called ‘Sober’ about relapsing. They have also linked some of their psychological concerns to their late birth father, whose mental health condition prevented him from raising a family. “Now I’ve got older and I’ve been able to grieve the loss of him and I’ve been able to step back and look from a distance that he was mentally ill and it wasn’t his heart that meant to abandon me. I’ve been able to overcome his loss and understand where everything went wrong,” they told Dr. Phil. “And that sadness has been going away.”
From Jumanji and G.I. Joe: Retaliation to the Fast and Furious franchise, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is undoubtedly one of the biggest action movie stars on the planet today. In an interview with People, however, the actor spoke about his struggle with mental health and outlined how there’s nothing “unmanly” about reaching out to others when you need help.
“The first time I had experienced depression, I was 18 years old and I had no idea what depression was,” he admitted. “Back then, depression was also called ‘get off the couch and get your shit together and change what’s happening here’.” The actor, who saved his mother from a suicide attempt when he was 15, has also been vocal about mental health acros social media platforms.
“Depression never discriminates,” he once tweeted. “Took me a long time to realise it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.”
American actor Channing Tatum has been very transparent about how his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia diagnosis has impacted his childhood. But in a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, the Step Up star also admitted that the stimulants prescribed to help him focus in school eventually led him to develop depression at a very young age.
“I truly believe some people need medication,” he said. “I did not. I did better at school when I was on it, but it made me a zombie. You become obsessive. Dexedrine, Adderall—it’s like any other drug.”
In fact, the impact of the medications was so severe that it even influenced Tatum’s parenting choices. In the interview, the star admitted that he would “never do it” to his child as a result of his own experiences with the drugs. “The more you do, the less it works,” he continued. “For a time, it would work well. Then it worked less and my pain was more. I would go through wild bouts of depression [and] horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child.”
From Grinch to Ace Ventura, Jim Carrey easily makes the cut as one of history’s most influential comedians. But in an interview with 60 Minutes, the Canadian-American actor and comedian shocked the world when he acknowledged that he has spent much of his life battling depression.
After the second of his two failed marriages, Carrey sought the help of a psychiatrist who prescribed him Prozac. “I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever,” the star said. “I had to get off at a certain point because I realised that, you know, everything’s just okay. There are peaks, there are valleys. But they’re all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in. Where you’re not getting any answers, but you’re living okay.” Carrey presently credits a healthy diet, natural supplements and the spiritual side of his life for his improved mental health.
Shortly after welcoming her first child with Orlando Bloom, American singer, songwriter and actress Katy Perry opened up about her experiences with motherhood and depression. Recalling her mental health in 2017, Katy told CBS, “I started writing these songs when I was in my darkest place. I was clinically depressed, I wasn’t even having bouts of depression, it was like I could not get out [of] bed.”
The ‘Firework’ singer continued by stating how her condition was a combination of a lot of events in her life at the time. “In 2017, my career didn’t really meet my own personal expectations, things started to shift, and I had broken up with Orlando. I wasn’t getting high off of my own supply anymore and then I was like, ‘Oh wow, I’ve given all of the responsibility of my self-worth outward’.” Perry then went on to say that she was “always getting some form of help” for her mental health, adding that she was also “fantasising about not being around.”
“You start thinking about things like that and if I did that, I would kinda have the last word or be able to control the chaos and the sadness,” she admitted. “I’m so grateful that it didn’t go there.”
For decades, American-Canadian actor and comedian Matthew Perry has made his audience howl with laughter as Chandler Bing on the hit show Friends. Behind closed doors, however, the star was battling severe depression that ultimately led to debilitating addiction issues. Perry, who once described his time on Friends as the worst and loneliest years of his life, first checked himself into rehab in 1997 to treat his addiction to prescription pills after getting hooked following a jet-ski accident.
He then returned in 2001 to deal with Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines and alcohol addictions. “I don’t remember three years of it [Friends],” he told BBC Radio 2 in 2016. “So none of those… Somewhere between Season 3 and 6… I was a little out of it.” The same year, rumours surfaced that Perry was “struggling” while working on a play in London after pictures of him smoking a cigarette and “talking to himself” circulated online.
It was only when his co-stars began to catch on and the media began reporting his troubles that the star finally began his slow path to recovery.
As one of the world’s most beloved people, Dolly Parton has had her heartbreaking share of struggles with mental health. In an episode of Jad Abumrad’s nine-part podcast Dolly Parton’s America, the queen of country music shared a vulnerable moment in her life when she contemplated suicide.
“I got overweight and I was going through [a] change of life. I was having a lot [of] female problems, I’d been going through a whole lot of family things, just the stress, the heartache,” she said. “There [were] just several things going on at that time. I was just broken down.” While Parton did not elaborate on her health problems at the time, the star had to cancel a tour in 1982 following abdominal pain and bleeding. In 1984, she had a partial hysterectomy and was told she would never be able to have children, which led to her bouts with depression. “Sometimes God just has to smack you down,” Parton told Closer Weekly. “He was almost saying, ‘Sit your pretty little ass down because we have to deal with some stuff!’.”
As Parton embarked on her road to recovery, she told The Mirror that she has to be “wary” of depression, which runs in her family. “It’s usually brought on by something that’s going on in the family and if there are problems sometimes it’s a lot for one little person to carry,” she explained. “People are always saying to me I’m happy all the time. But nobody is happy all the time. I am a tender-hearted person and I feel everything to the ninth degree. Every once in a while I just feel you know… sad-hearted and melancholy.”
At some point in our lives, we’ve all wondered what it’s like to step into the shoes of our favourite celebrities and live like them for a day. While some enthusiasts cosplay as their beloved stars, others have succumbed to a more permanent solution to look like them. Some of these procedures have gone well, while others… not so much.
From “Male Kim Kardashian” to “Zombie Angelina Jolie,” here are 12 people who went to great lengths to look like their favourite idols and celebrities.
Over the course of 14 years, Los Angeles-based superfan Adam Guerra has splurged £150,000 (roughly $190,000) on a total of 18 cosmetic surgeries, including cheek, bum and jaw implants, a nose job and fillers—all in the hope of resembling his favourite idol, Madonna.
In an interview with The Sun, Guerra, who performs Madonna’s hit songs under the drag name ‘Venus De-Lite’, admitted that he has spent “practically my whole life, my whole wallet, all the money that’s been given to me” to look like the ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ singer. “I’ve had my cheeks implanted and my jaw done several times, I’ve had my chin done and I’ve had brow lifts and fillers,” Guerra explained. “But it is so worth it because goddamn, I look like Madonna.”
Let’s face it, there’s only one Ryan Gosling in this world. No one else has the same rugged scruff, intriguing eyes and chiselled jawline like the La La Land star. Back in 2013, however, aspiring actor Nicholas Ryan underwent extensive cosmetic procedures to look like the heartthrob in question.
After two hours of treatments, the New Jersey-based enthusiast was given nearly £4,000 ($5,000) worth of Botox and filler injections to make his face resemble his favourite hero. “Gosling’s got a look that a lot of people in America are looking for right now, especially in my line of work,” Ryan told the Daily Mail at the time. “I’m hoping I’ll get more auditions and roles if I look more like him. That’s why I had the surgery.” The enthusiast also added how women love The Notebook actor and believed the procedure would also improve his love life.
“I’m secretly excited how women will react now I look a little bit more like their celebrity crush,” he said. “Ryan Gosling does well with the ladies, hopefully so can I.”
For superfan Donna Marie Trego, it all started when she was asked to perform a Lady Gaga cover during a theme night at a local pub. From there, Marie Trego went on to spend over £70,000 ($87,990) to transform herself into the ‘Bad Romance’ singer with the help of more than 40 outfits, wigs and even her own team of dancers.
“Donna Marie as Lady Gaga is internationally acclaimed as the ‘Best Lady Gaga Tribute on the planet’!” the superfan’s website reads. Heck, Marie Trego has also met up with her favourite star in person. “Oh my god, you look just like me—you are amazing,” Lady Gaga herself was heard squealing with excitement after meeting her tribute act and impersonator.
“She’s taken over my life. My house is full of costumes. There’s a bit of Gaga in every room,” Marie Trego explained in an interview with the Daily Mail.
Mega fan Kitty Jay took her devotion to The Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence to another level in 2014, when she spent over £19,000 ($25,000) on a total of six cosmetic procedures—including liposuction to her face and body, a breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and grafts to her cheeks and buttocks. The entire procedure spanned six hours and Jay’s recovery took several weeks, according to ABC News.
“The more I’ve looked at her, the more I’ve realised that her features are sort of my features but more refined,” she told the publication. Erm, I’ll let you decide how similar Jay looks to the Academy Award-winning actress:
Arizona-based twins Matt and Mike Schlepp first stepped into the spotlight in 2017, when they appeared on MTV’s original reality series I Want A Famous Face with the goal of becoming Brad Pitt look-alikes. Aged 21 at the time, their entire £15,000 ($19,000) worth transformation process—including nose, cheek, jaw and chin implants as well as 41 porcelain veneers—was documented for the world to see.
Although the pair endured several months of agonising treatments that left them unable to eat proper meals, they admitted that it was “more than worth it.”
“I would do it ten times over. It has definitely helped me get more girls. I’ll walk and get that double-take from girls and hear the whispering that follows,” Matt said on the show. “I’ve had such a dramatic change that girlfriends I hadn’t seen in a while couldn’t stop staring, and said they wanted to cry! If that doesn’t make you feel good, then what would?”
In 2017, 19-year-old Sahar Tabar first claimed that she had undergone “50 surgeries” to look like her favourite Hollywood actress, Angelina Jolie. Amassing 500,000 followers on Instagram, the Iranian teenager quickly shot to fame—as several media outlets dubbed Tabar the “Zombie Angelina Jolie” and equated her appearance to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.
However, fans suspected that Tabar’s new look was the result of extensive makeup, prosthetics and digital doctoring. The 19-year-old later confirmed their claims in an Instagram post that read: “People are probably living in the 18th century and they haven’t seen or heard of technology or make-up and they are really surprised.” In July 2019, Tabar went on to admit that she had, in fact, undergone a few surgeries like a nose job, lip fillers and liposuction but insisted that most of her appearance was hinged on makeup and editing.
In 2020, Tabar was sentenced to ten years in prison for charges including blasphemy, inciting violence, gaining income through inappropriate means and encouraging youth to corruption.
Francisco Mariano Javier Ibanez’s desire to look like Ricky Martin started a long time ago, when people remarked that there was a resemblance between him and the Puerto Rican singer. “I got a photo of him [Martin], I realised that I liked him and, like everything in life, when I like something, I go for it,” the enthusiast recalled on a TV show.
After spending seven years and around £6,595 ($8,254) on 30 cosmetic procedures, Mariano Javier Ibanez said, “I did my nose, chin, lips… I wanted to look like Ricky Martin, but the truth is, I ended up prettier than him.” After the drastic transformation, however, Mariano Javier Ibanez discovered that it is best to “just be yourself” and said it took him a long time to realise it. “I thought about who everyone likes and, yes it’s true, people told me that I kind of resembled him. So I believed them,” he said. “Now, I am able to realise that the ideal thing is to be yourself, not someone else.”
Jordan James Parke has one goal: to be the “Male Kim Kardashian.” Spending £110,000 ($137,580) on countless procedures, including two nose jobs, a chin implant, 50 lip-filling operations, eyebrow tattoos, vampire facials, neck lipo-suction, microdermabrasion, a chemical peel, Botox injections in several areas and laser hair removal, the superfan now looks completely unrecognisable in his pre-surgery photos.
“I don’t want to look exactly like her. I just love her features,” James Parke told Cosmopolitan, clarifying that despite all of the treatments, he’s not “crazy.” “A lot of people say ‘He must have problems, he must have something wrong with him’, but—as a lot of people know, when you have surgery—you have to see a psychiatrist beforehand. I’ve seen one, so I’m not crazy,” he laughed. “Well, I am a bit, but I’m not like mentally insane.”
Dubbing himself as Britain’s “Lip King,” the superfan now lives a lifestyle filled with its own perks. “I get all my treatments for free now, I don’t pay for any of my Botox or my fillers,” he told Cosmopolitan. “I get companies contacting me every day asking, ‘Will you promote this on Instagram? Will you do this?’ I’m getting invited to different parties, you know what I mean, it’s just crazy. I just think to myself sometimes, imagine what Kim’s life is like. Imagine how many companies ask her to do things.”
Germany-born aspiring songwriter, Toby Sheldon, had spent five years and over £80,000 ($100,000) on numerous procedures including face fillers, hair transplants, eye lifts, a controversial smile surgery and a chin reduction in an attempt to look like Canadian singer Justin Bieber. Appearing on Botched and TLC’s My Strange Addiction, Sheldon said, “When Justin Bieber got famous, I was so jealous of his good looks! He had this baby face that I just really liked. Some people buy fancy cars or fancy mansions. What I do with my money is I get surgery to look more like Justin Bieber.”
In 2015, however, 35-year-old Sheldon was found dead in a motel room in the San Fernando Valley. At the time, the Los Angeles County coroner listed the cause of his death as “multiple drug intoxication.”
Los Angeles-based Bryan Ray has dedicated his life to resembling his favourite idol, Britney Spears—spending roughly £64,000 ($80,000) on over 90 surgeries including veneers, regular Botox treatments, fat injections in his cheeks, laser hair removal, lip fillers, a nose job, as well as an intensive skin care regimen designed to make him look “eternally youthful.”
“Ever since I was young, there was something about Britney Spears and the qualities she had that I thought was the perfect package. I was obsessed, I watched all her interviews, learned all her choreography and then paid to have the same perfect smile as I felt that, during that time, we were very similar,” Ray told the Daily Mail. “In the beginning, I was trying to look like Britney Spears, my surgeons who designed my veneers asked me which celebrity smile I wanted to base mine on and it was hers. Now, with my looks, I want to get into modelling. I love impersonating Britney Spears, so I want to continue doing that and see where it takes me.”
Bryan has allegedly met his idol three times, including during her infamous meltdown of 2007.
Nicknamed ‘Scouse Pammie’, Liverpool-based Carolyn Anderson is now a professional lookalike of Playboy playmate and Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson. When I started modelling, I needed an angle to make me stand out from everyone else,” Anderson (Carolyn, not Pamela) told Liverpool Echo. “If I do something, I want to be the best at it, so because I had always been told I looked like Pamela Anderson I decided I should be her. I already had the hair, I’ve been dyeing mine since I was 12, and I’ve naturally got full lips so I just worked on the rest.”
The “rest,” according to the Daily Mail, includes “Botox, lip fillers, teeth whitening and false eyelashes.” Anderson also injects herself with Melanotan II, which the publication described as an “unregulated tanning drug.” In an interview with The Mirror, the superfan added, “I’ll admit it—I’m hooked. I’m what they call a tanorexic. But I couldn’t live without a tan, it’s a part of who I am. And I wouldn’t leave the house without one.”
Lastly, we have Oli London, the controversial public figure who “identifies” as a Korean person with they/them pronouns and “kor/ean” neopronouns. Rising to notoriety after being featured on Hooked on the Look and Botched, the British influencer has undergone $150,000 worth of cosmetic surgeries over the course of six years to look like Park Jimin from the Korean boyband, BTS.
“I’m not actually changing my race,” London said in the 2019 interview with Barcroft TV. “I have a deep respect for Korean culture. It’s cultural appreciation, not cultural appropriation.” To date, however, the internet figure has come under fire for altering most of their features to appear “more Korean”—including their nipples to match Jimin’s.
“If you look at the pictures of me and Jimin, we’re identical,” London said in the interview. “When I was in Korea everyone [called] me Jimin [when I was] walking down the street. Everyone, they think I’m Jimin.” As of today, it is unclear what the vocalist from BTS means to London, as they have mentioned the desire to both resemble and marry the Kpop star. A cardboard cutout doesn’t count, by the way. Mister London.