Al Pacino Says He Is Lucky To Be Spared From Depression

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By Annie Dee | August 31, 2014 5:03 AM EST

Al Pacino is set to play an aging person who is dealing with depression and having suicidal tendencies in Barry Levinson's "The Humbling" as well as a loner who cannot move on with his life after being heartbroken in "Manglehorn." Both films are for the Venice Film Festival. Asked if he has ever been crippled by sadness and depression himself like the character he plays, the veteran actor shared that he is lucky to have been spared from depression.

REUTERS/ALESSANDRO GAROFALO
Director and actor Al Pacino signs autographs as he leaves after a news conference of his film ''Wilde Salome'' at the 68th Venice Film Festival September 4, 2011.

At a press conference held on Saturday for "The Humbling," The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reports that Al Pacino was asked if he ever felt depressed like the characters he is portraying in his upcoming films. The actor shared that even though he has his moments of sadness, he has never felt so helpless that he would think of suicide and succumb to other desperate measures, like people diagnosed with depression do.

Even though the actor said that he is sure that he has been "very sad" once or twice in his life, he was never really conscious about sadness. There are things that make him sad, but not enough to make him think he's suffering from a disease.

"Things make you sad. Basically you'd like to be a little happier sometimes. But 'depressed' seems so ominous. It's really in all of us. We all relate to it," THR quoted the actor as saying. 

 "People go into depressions and it's very sad and it's terrifying. I've had bouts with that, that comes close to that, but nothing that deep. I feel spared and I'm lucky," he added.

Certainly, he has experienced great emotions such as extreme sadness. Otherwise, he would not have been called one of the best actors out there in an industry where he needs to be familiar with certain emotions to execute a role, effectively.  He said that because he understands what it feels like to be sad, he was able to perform his roles. He said it is the job of  actors to "go out and understand the character."

What probably saved him from depression is his children. The actor shared that his three children serve as the "source of enlightenment for him." Aside from  them, his friends, the people he'd met, as well as the relationships he got into all made him the happy and healthy person that he is today. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/ALESSANDRO GAROFALO / )
Director and actor Al Pacino signs autographs as he leaves after a news conference of his film ''Wilde Salome'' at the 68th Venice Film Festival September 4, 2011.
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