Thursday 27 October 2016

'I was suicidal on Harry Potter set but kept it secret', says star Devon

Devon Murray Picture: Collins
Devon Murray Picture: Collins

Irish Harry Potter star Devon Murray has spoken candidly about his battle with depression and having suicidal thoughts.

While Murray (27) admits that he did have a "fantastic life", the actor - who played Seamus Finnegan in the Harry Potter films - suffered with a decade-long battle with depression. He kept it a secret until recently, fearing that people wouldn't understand.

In April, Murray was forced to pay his former agent €260,000 in a high-profile court case, after he claimed Murray and his parents broke an agreement to pay commission charges.

The event pushed Devon even further into a feeling of helplessness. The actor confessed to struggling with suicidal thoughts and one evening, while he was working with horses, he came close to acting out on his thoughts.

"I had a rope and threw it over one of the banisters in the barn and was pretty much getting ready to hang myself," he said.

Thankfully, something in his mind forced him to stop and, through tears, he sent his parents a text asking for help.

"I told them everything that I'd been feeling since I was 16," he said. "I didn't hold anything back."


Murray's depression began while filming the movie franchise as a young teen.

"I remember feeling very low on my 16th birthday," he told RTE 2fm's Eoghan McDermott.

"I was staying in a fantastic suite in a hotel in London. I'd celebrated my birthday the day before on set. My room was full of gifts and I should have been happy but I wasn't."

Murray said he didn't like being away from his father and school friends at home as work on the films forced him to stay in the UK for long periods of time. He knew that "something wasn't right".

Things got worse when he was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy during filming for the fifth Harry Potter movie. The condition temporarily paralysed one side of his face for six months and it destroyed his confidence.

"I didn't want to leave the house. I didn't want people to see how I looked. I didn't want them to see how I felt," he said.

His self-confidence had plummeted to an all-time low. He didn't speak to friends and didn't reply to phone calls.

"I was just a mess, I didn't know whether I was coming or going. I had let down my parents. I couldn't do anything right," he said.

The young star admits that opening up was one of the best things he could have done and, to his surprise, he discovered that his mother had also been struggling with depression.

His friends were also supportive and the actor regrets that he didn't open up to them before.

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