Andie MacDowell opened up about experiencing her first panic attack.
It happened when she was on set with “a sea of men,” she said, adding: “It flashed on something that was personal for me.”
The actress previously opened up about her experience with anxiety, particularly when it comes to being social.
Andie MacDowell is an unapologetically bold presence on and off-screen (especially since she chose to let her “badass” gray mane shine), which is why it may surprise you that the actress, 64, struggles with anxiety. In a new interview with Marie Claire, she recounted her very first panic attack, which inconveniently struck on the job.
It took place right around the #MeToo movement, sparking awareness of sexual assault (in Hollywood, particularly) and encouraging survivors to band together and share their stories. With news of film producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long abusive behavior and former President Trump’s leaked crude comments about women swirling, MacDowell felt uneasy when she found herself on set with “a sea of men,” she told the magazine.
“I had this kind of crazy experience,” she said. “I had gotten really sad. I went to do a job, a day’s work, and I had my very first panic attack.”
She continued: “I was getting ready to shoot something, and I turn around and it’s, like, a roomful of men. Like, a sea of men. It flashed on something that was personal for me. And I dropped to my knees. I left the room, and went into this fake bathroom on the set, and looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘Get your sh*t together.’ It just freaked me out, not seeing any other women. It’s not that I have anything against men. I don’t! I just don’t like big groups of them. Since then, I’ve become very conscious of looking around and finding the women on set. For comfort.”
Then the pandemic arrived and having to return to work post-lockdowns put a whole new type of social anxiety on MacDowell’s plate. In fact, she vulnerably opened up about it after attending an event in November. “I have some social anxiety. I’m always analyzing myself to see if I’m doing an OK job when I go out,” she wrote on Instagram. “It’s as if I carry this critic with me and sometimes I can’t have a decent conversation because the critic’s voice is butting in. Other times I’m completely relaxed, comfortable, and present.”
In discussing the hurdle with Marie Claire, she admitted that she’s “real sensitive,” and that the anxiety comes and goes depending on her mood. “I went to [the Saint Laurent pre-Oscars] party on my own the other night, and I did really well,” she said. “But you walk in by yourself, it’s tough! You’re talking to someone, and you don’t know if you’re talking too long, you’ve got your own voice going in your head. But the truth is that everybody is doing the same damn thing.”
In her Instagram post, the Groundhog Day star wrote that it’s important to be social, even when it’s hard. “I have to have a #strong conversation with the critic [in my head] the day after I go out and tell them not [to] analyze every move I make,” she wrote. “We are human and we are here to support and love each other and understand how vulnerable we really are.”
Yes, what she said!
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