Exclusive CS Video: Ashley Judd is Helen

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Normally, when we do video interviews with filmmakers or actors, we try to keep things light by making jokes, but when we had the opportunity for a rare and intimate sit-down with actress Ashley Judd for her new movie Helen, directed by German filmmaker Sandra Nettelbeck (Mostly Martha), it didn’t seem appropriate to make light of the serious condition her character faces in the dark drama.

Judd plays Helen Leonard, a professor of music, who has secretly suffered from depression for many years, unbeknownst to her husband (Goran Visnjic from “E.R.”) and daughter (Alexia Fast). When she has a sudden breakdown, her condition comes out in a way that drives her family apart, and Helen ends up finding a friend and confidante in Lauren Lee Smith’s Mathilda, a talented student who suffers from a similar level of depression.

It’s not exactly light entertainment as much as a movie that should be of interest to anyone who has faced depression or had friends or family who suffered from the condition. The movie also sports another unforgettable performance by Judd, similar to her appearances in other indie dramas like Joey Lauren Adams’ Come Early Morning and William Friedkin’s Bug.

Earlier this week, ComingSoon.net sat down for an interview with Ms. Judd who can be quite intimidating, not just because she is quite beautiful but also because she’s incredibly articulate and clearly knows what she’s talking about when it comes to how clinical depression affects different people. There really was no room to joke around or slip-up during this interview, that’s for sure!

Helen opens exclusively in New York at the Quad Cinema today, July 30, and then is released on DVD on August 12.