You’ll certainly be seeing a completely different side of funnyman Wayne Brady when he joins the cast of the smash Broadway hit Kinky Boots this November. Though winning the role of drag queen Lola — the lead character rocking the thigh high, red-sequined boots — is just the latest of this talented entertainer’s achievements, it’s by no means the most difficult challenge he’s faced.
In a video exclusive on People.com, Brady, who not long ago suffered a breakdown on his 42nd birthday, talked about his lifelong struggles with depression. One of the biggest problems with being a man who has depression, he says, is that it’s almost taboo to talk about it.
“What kind of man would I sound like if I told somebody, ‘Hey, I am so sad. I’m cripplingly sad. I can’t get out of bed. I just feel empty. Help me,’” he told People. “You feel like you need to cry or speak to someone about it, and, ‘Nope, I’m not gonna do that, because I’m a man,’” he said.
Kerry Washington: Depression Is Something to Talk About
Long before her must-watch starring role in the ABC hit show Scandal, Kerry Washington was turning heads with her roles in movies like Ray and I Think I Love My Wife. But before those successes, she lived through dark days, suffering from what she described to Essence magazine in 2009 as an abusive relationship with food and exercise during her college years.
“I used food as a way to cope — it was my best friend,” she recalled. She’d eat until she sometimes passed out, then would head to the gym to exercise for hours on end. “Keeping my behavior secret was painful and isolating. There was a lot of guilt and shame,” she told the interviewer. Luckily, her dance teacher intervened, and Washington began years of therapy.
Recently, she joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama and Sarah Jessica Parker to call attention to issues affecting veterans, including PTSD. “I think it’s really important to take the stigma away from mental health,” Washington told Glamour this past spring.