Paul Johansson reveals 'awful' impact One Tree Hill role had on his mental health


The American-Canadian actor played Dan Scott on The WB series

Paul Johansson, pictured in 2015.
Paul Johansson, pictured in 2015.SHUTTERSTOCK

Paul Johansson was secretly battling depression and alcoholism on the set of One Tree Hill.

The 59-year-old actor — who played villain Dan Scott — has opened up about the personal struggle he faced while working on the drama series between 2003 and 2012 — revealing he would down a "couple of bottles of wine" every night on his own.

During an appearance on the Trying to Figure It Out With Ally Petitti podcast, Paul explained: "[My mental health] was awful. I was... I've never spoken about this before... I was deeply depressed and I was drinking... I go from lean basketball [player] body to someone who looked like he ate Dan Scott. I am literally waddling my way into the wardrobe... Because I was drinking a couple bottles of wine a night by myself... At my house... For about six or seven years, it was really tough."

He went on to suggest that playing a bad guy in the show contributed to his mental health issues.

Paul added: "It was just a time when I think I was absorbing the energy of the people that were looking at me, and seeing me as something that's bad and not goof. I'm an actor. I'm thin-skinned, I'm sensitive, I'm vulnerable to criticism... when I read things on the Internet I cry sometimes. I can't take it. I'm not built to hear it... I'm just too sensitive."

Paul went on to insist he had to move on from the show in order to get better: "To get out of it, the way to do it was the show had to end for me. I needed to get out and to get other characters and feel other things, but then I was getting bad guy roles again because of that show. It put me in a box."

Paul added of his mental health battle: "You need support and you need to be aware you're depressed. You stop working out, you stop returning phone calls. you sleep in. There are signs. It's not laziness. It's your brain, it's beat up... "

He concluded by saying he doesn't think anyone in his position should rely on TV executives to provide help and instead urged other actors to check in on their cast mates.