After taking a brief break from acting following the original run of Fox’s “Prison Break,” Wentworth Miller is back in the public eye thanks to the series’ planned revival and a new television show. However, with the renewed exposure has come some negative attention online, against which the seasoned actor is speaking out.
The problem began when the 43-year-old performer spotted a rather nasty meme online that started when somebody took a photograph of his trim and tattooed physique snapped during his “Prison Break” days and put it next to a photo of him on a hike in 2010, after he’d put on a bit of weight. “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly ... ” the caption read.
Miller, who can now be seen as one of the stars of the CW’s DC Comics team-up series “Legends of Tomorrow,” employed his own Facebook account to pen a very personal letter explaining why the snapshots resonated with him so much.
“Today I found myself the subject of an internet meme. Not for the first time,” Miller wrote. “This one, however, stands out from the rest. In 2010, semiretired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I was suicidal.”
The actor went on to explain he’s struggled with depression since childhood, culminating in 2010, when he said he was at the lowest point of his adult life. The reason he put on a bit of weight, which he appears to have shed since, was that he turned to food rather than alcohol, drugs and sex at a time when his mind was telling him to self-destruct.
“Long story short, I survived. So do those pictures. I’m glad,” Miller wrote. “Now when I see that image of me in my red T-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.”
The star concluded his open letter with some links that may prove helpful to others who may be struggling with depression, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Additionally, the site that originally posted the meme, the LAD Bible, removed the photos and replaced them with a heartfelt apology to Miller, as well as a reposting of his suicide prevention resources.
Miller’s recent portrayals of Captain Cold on both “Legends of Tomorrow” and “The Flash,” alongside his former co-star, Dominic Purcell, helped spark enough renewed interest in their pairing for Fox to announce at the Television Critics Association press tour in January that “Prison Break” will return for a fifth season. According to Entertainment Weekly, it will be presented in a way similar to the recent revival of “The X-Files,” with a self-contained 10-episode story arc. This will mark the first time Miller and the rest of the cast have returned to these characters since the show ended in 2009 after four seasons and a TV movie.
There’s currently no date set for when the actor’s fans can see Miller reprise his role as Michael Scofield, but they can see him in action as Captain Cold by tuning in “Legends of Tomorrow” on the CW Thursdays at 8 p.m. EDT. They also can read Miller’s letter to fans here.