Rene Russo didn’t expect to reveal her bipolar disorder -- but she did

Rene Russo attends the screening of "Nightcrawler" at September's Zurich Film Festival.
(Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images)

Rene Russo surprised everyone on stage -- including maybe herself -- when she revealed during a taping of “The Queen Latifah Show” that she has bipolar disorder.

Queen Latifah had asked Russo and her “Nightcrawler” costar Jake Gyllenhaal on Monday to describe something in life that they’d each had to “push through,” and after a pause the actress blurted out, “Bipolar medication?”

“That’ll do it,” the host said.

“She’s got me beat,” added Gyllenhaal.

“Yeah baby!” Russo said, laughing and clapping her hands.

The 60-year-old star of “The Thomas Crown Affair” quickly composed herself and explained what prompted her to seek treatment.


“I literally crashed, hit a wall and couldn’t get out of bed,” Russo said, after noting that she’d been “stop and go” all her life. “And I thought it was depression, but if you [have bipolar disorder and] take antidepressants, it speeds you up more.”

She added that she “didn’t expect to say this” and hadn’t shared the information before.

Addressing “all the people that are having trouble and maybe feel bad about taking medication,” she said, “It’s OK. You will make it through. It’s not easy, but you will make it through.”

Russo didn’t get into specifics about her situation, like when she started taking medication or whether she’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder I, bipolar disorder II -- think Catherine Zeta-Jones -- or another form of the condition.

People with a bipolar disorder see their moods swing dramatically in varying degrees between mania and depression.

The “Queen Latifah” episode with her and Gyllenhaal -- People has a teaser clip -- will air Oct. 30, the day before “Nightcrawler” opens in theaters.

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