I was a very depressed young man, says Zach Braff

Movie star Zach Braff has opened up about his depression struggles.



Zach Braff has recalled his battle with depression
Zach Braff has recalled his battle with depression

Zach Braff was a "very depressed young man".

The 47-year-old actor has revealed that he wrote 'Garden State' - his 2004 comedy-drama film - because he had a fantasy "of a dream girl coming along and saving [him]".

He told The Independent: "I was just copying Diane Keaton in 'Annie Hall' and Ruth Gordon in 'Harold and Maude'.

"Those were my two favorite movies growing up, and I was kind of taking those two female protagonists and melding them into Natalie Portman.

"Of course I’ve heard and respect the criticism, but ... I was a very depressed young man who had this fantasy of a dream girl coming along and saving me from myself and so I wrote that character."

Asked if he was conscious of his depression at the time, Zach replied: "Oh, I’ve known my whole life. I had OCD as a child. I knew I was battling something. That’s what writing 'Garden State' was about."

The Hollywood star - who is best-known for starring in the hit sitcom 'Scrubs' - can still vividly remember battling "demons" while writing the movie.

He shared: "As I was writing it, I was hoping I could survive what became known as the quarter-life crisis, and depression, and fantasising that the perfect woman would come along and rescue me."

'Garden State' was initially well-received by critics. However, opinions about the movie have changed over time.

Zach added: "I mean, I just feel lucky that I get to make stuff. I can’t really dwell on it. Anyone who’s ever got a bad grade on an essay from a teacher can relate - just imagine it was out there in public, you know?

"No one said being a creative person was easy, but you have to be vulnerable and authentically yourself. Otherwise, what’s the point?"