Actor Hugh Jackman is making a case for having mental health professionals available on movie sets, also suggesting that stigma could be hindering any progress.
“There is a real lack of knowledge and ignorance and shame around the subject and I think it’s something we need to confront, really, really quickly,” he said in a recent BBC interview. Indeed, Hugh Jackman said he came to realize how “vulnerable” he was while filming The Son, in which he plays the father of a teenager suffering from depression. Psychiatrists were used on the set of the film.
On helping with issues that performers may face while tackling such demanding roles, Hugh Jackman said, “I think it certainly would be a sign from an employer that we understand taking care of the whole person, not just paying them, but taking care of their wellbeing in all forms is really, really important.”
Having a mental health professional on movie sets wouldn’t be a bad idea. According to a study cited by the BBC, 90% of people working within the film and television industry have had some form of mental health issue. Hiring such professionals could be a mature and beneficial step within the industry, which has evolved sets in an attempt to match progressive time. The past few years have found the introduction and necessity for intimacy coordinators, whose job is to ensure that choreography is agreed upon, participants are engaging in consensual acts and more.
Reviews have been mixed on Florian Zeller’s The Son, but our own Chris Bumbray called it “an elegant film”. It is the prequel to his 2020 Best Picture nominee The Father. Jackman is nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.
On the film, Zeller said, “The Son is a deeply human story which, I believe, connects us all; I hope audiences will be profoundly moved by this family’s journey. Both Hugh and Laura [Dern] naturally convey great warmth, compassion, and vulnerability… inviting our audience to embrace and feel every moment. The story is set in a vibrant and very much alive New York, an important character. The movie should make us call family and friends to tell them that they are wholly loved and not alone.”
What do you think about Hugh Jackman saying that movie studios should have mental health professionals available? Let us know your thoughts on the matter below.