Pete Davidson thinks he can be a ‘red flag’ — until you meet him

Pete Davidson
Pete Davidson says he’s hit rock bottom more than once.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Pete Davidson just said a whole lot of stuff in a new interview with Charlamagne tha God. Stuff like he thinks it might be time to leave “Saturday Night Live,” or adopt a baby or maybe meet your family, if you happen to be a girl he’s dating.

But some of the most heartfelt and subtly dramatic things he said in the chat, which went online Monday and ran close to an hour, were about his mental health and the realities of living with the mind and body of Pete Davidson.

The 26-year-old, who said in the interview that he is somewhere between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder on the mental-health spectrum, summed up the last two years with an expletive we can’t repeat.

“My rock bottom is when people are scared of my life and I have to go away [to rehab], and then I have to bring myself back up again. So I think I’ve hit it a few times,” Davidson said. “As long as you’re around good, supportive people and if you’re strong, you can get out of it.”


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Feb. 24, 2020

Things have occasionally gotten out of control for the comic, who says he smokes weed to deal with his Crohn’s disease.

“I’m doing a little too much ‘shrooms and a little too much acid and having a little too much fun and not sleeping, not taking good care of myself,” he said, describing how he can spin out of control. “Then when you’re not sleeping and you have a mental illness and you’re doing all this ... and you’re taking your meds and the mix of all this ... you just go a little nuts.”

In addition to mental-health meds, Davidson said he was prescribed Accutane for a while — he’s no longer on it because of its strong side effects — and gets a Remicade infusion every six weeks for his Crohn’s.

Davidson said that before rehab and therapy, he coped by cutting himself on the chest, something he described as “awesome,” but then quickly said, “It’s not awesome.”

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Jan. 2, 2019

“The feeling of it after — you feel really stupid after, but as you’re doing it it feels really great. It’s like getting tatted.”

He started getting tattoos to cover up what he was doing to his chest. But cutting was a release, he said, if he couldn’t go get a tattoo. Now, post-rehab, he goes to therapy twice a week, to two therapists who have different approaches. If he starts cutting again, his friends now will tell him that it’s time to get help.


“Whenever you’re so manic and upset, sometimes [cutting is] the only thing that’ll work for me. But you go to rehab, you learn like, ‘Oh, you take a cold shower, you can work out, you can listen to music really loud ... you can call a friend. You can wait five minutes,’ ” he said.

Davidson said he feels like he’s a “red flag” to people, until they meet him. But he’s learning to let that slide. It’s a tip he learned from buddy Adam Sandler, who appears to be a role model.

“I do not care very much about what the industry thinks of me at all. I learned that from the Sandman,” he said, referring to Sandler’s nickname. “They’ll love you or they’ll hate you, it doesn’t matter. What matters is your friends and family in front of you.

“That, I actually mean. I really don’t care.”

Davidson’s upcoming movie, “Big Time Adolescence,” hits theaters in limited release on March 13 and comes to Hulu a week later.