Most of us know Ryan Phillippe as the “Cruel Intentions” heartthrob who snagged Reese Witherspoon (for eight years) despite never quite seeming to match her goofy, outgoing persona. As he gears up for the premiere of his new show “Secrets and Lies,” Phillippe sat down with Elle and ended up sharing some surprisingly honest words about his struggle with depression. He describes himself as “quietly tortured at times.” Perhaps a little melodramatic, but who can’t relate? I also think it’s hugely important that a male actor is opening up about having depression, giving how much more stigma men face when they speak honestly about their feelings.

Here’s Ryan talking about depression:

“Depression has been a huge obstacle for me ever since I was a child. As you get older I think it decreases some, but I’m just innately kind of a sad person. I’m empathetic, and I take on the feelings of others and transpose myself into the position of others…. It’s just, some people do have this pervading sort of sadness, or they’re so analytical that they can kind of take the fun out of things because they think too much. I’m thankful in some ways to have a level of sensitivity but it can also become a burden at times, you know? But, that being said, if it was a choice between being this way or being completely ignorant I’d prefer to suffer through the sadness than to be a complete moron with no feelings.”

Of course, empathy means he feels the struggles of those around him. He’s earnest about his beliefs on women:

 “I’m very feminist, man. I was raised by four women, my dad worked the 4 P.M. to midnight shift, so I was basically raised by four women. I’m so pro, pro female. There were some people laughing at Patricia Arquette’s statement at the Oscars, but, in the state of California, women make 83 cents on the dollar compared to the man’s full dollar. I mean over time, and over bodies, that adds up! It’s not equal!”

A sensitive feminist dude who’s this easy on the eyes?  ::: fans self:::

READ MORE: How Depression and Anxiety Affect Your Libido

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