Mahershala Ali Battled Depression: It’s a void.
In a new interview, ‘Moonlight’ actor Mahershala Ali admits that he was borderline depressed for years. He explains that it started when his father and mother split and he felt a void. At the time, he was 3 and his parents were in their teens.
I was borderline depressed for years. There was a sadness over me, a melancholy. That’s always been a part of me — those are some of the things that lead you to the arts. It’s something I still think about, not that it brings me sadness at this point; it’s a void or fracture that happened so early that now I have to address it in the healthiest way. We’re affected by things, but 20 or 30 years later we can choose to feel different about them. I understand: My mom and dad were kids. And I know that they loved me and did the best they could do.
Mahershala also opens up about how his grandmother influenced him the most.
Out of everyone in my life, my grandmother, Mamie Gilmore, my dad’s mom, had the most influence. We spent so much time together. Every Thursday, she would take me to Lucky’s grocery store, which was about a block away from her house, and I remember her putting me in the shopping cart. She would push me around the grocery store, getting her bread and whatnot, and on Fridays we’d go to McDonald’s. And while I ate my fries and my burger, she would tell me that I was handsome, that I was intelligent, that I could do anything I put my mind to. She said, “You can be happy or miserable. It’s up to you.” She was teaching me to think a certain way, and that has really served me, because at a certain point you believe it enough, where it’s not something that you wear as arrogance or armor. There’s times when you need to pull that out to encourage yourself.