Jesse Metcalfe Admits He’s Emerging From a ‘3-Year Midlife Crisis’

Jesse Metcalfe

Heavy/Getty Actor Jesse Metcalfe

Former Hallmark star Jesse Metcalfe is finally starting to feel like himself again. In a profile published on April 4, 2024, the actor told Yahoo Life that over the last 18 months, he’s been emerging from what he called a “three-year midlife crisis,” expanding on recent comments he’s made about his struggles with depression.

Metcalfe made some highly-scrutinized moves during that three-year spiral, including his brief but tumultuous turn on “Dancing With The Stars” in late 2020 and his surprise decision to leave Hallmark Channel’s hit show “Chesapeake Shores” in early 2021.

The actor, who first rose to fame as the hunky gardener on “Desperate Housewives” in the early 2000s, now says the pressure to maintain his heartthrob status and popularity in Hollywood took a toll on his mental health over time.

“This industry can do a number on you psychologically,” he told the outlet. “I mean, it can really chew you up and spit you out. We see a lot of young stars kind of getting burnt out and going down a self-destructive path, and I didn’t want that for myself.”

After lots of soul searching and reprioritizing, the actor, now 45, has revealed in multiple recent interviews that though he is no longer trying to live up to unsustainable Hollywood standards and is a much better place emotionally as a result.

Jesse Metcalfe Says He Had to Take a Step Back After Realizing He Was Depressed

Metcalfe, whose last Hallmark appearance was in his fourth — and possibly last — installment of the “Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries” franchise in May 2021, said on the “Jason Unleashed” podcast in March that he’s been on a “journey of rediscovering my authentic self in the face of a pretty taxing industry.”

Telling host Jason Carter that he’s now “in a great place,” Metcalfe said he has dealt with mental health challenges “for most of my adult life” and took antidepressants for 15 years. When depression began to creep in again, he told Carter he had to take a good, hard look at what wasn’t working in his life.

“I was depressed and I needed to address my life from a different perspective,” he explained on the podcast. “I wasn’t connected. I wasn’t connected spiritually, I didn’t have a conscious contact with God, a Higher Power in my life. I now have a meditation practice that I’ve incorporated into my life that’s given me a lot of inner peace and focus.”

“I just think the hustle and bustle of daily life, the grind of Hollywood, it can really take its toll,” he continued. “It can really stress you out.”

In 2022, Metcalfe told the Child Mind Institute, “Oftentimes, our world teaches us that we always need to be strong and that it’s not safe to share what we may be experiencing, concerning our own mental health.”

“I was very resistant to admit I was struggling and seek treatment,” he added. “And I think real strength lies in being open and honest about what we’re feeling.”

Jesse Metcalfe Says He’s No Longer ‘Caught Up’ in Materialism & Unrealistic Fitness Goals

Jesse Metcalfe, Helene Immel

GettyJesse Metcalfe and Helene Immel attend the Los Angeles premiere Of Netflix’s “Ripley” on April 3, 2024.

Though Metcalfe still works out regularly, periodically posting weightlifting videos on Instagram, he insists it’s more for his mental health than to continue being a Hollywood hunk.

“I’m not necessarily the heartthrob anymore, you know, I’m not the young stud anymore, and I’m cool with that,” he told Yahoo Life.

In fact, he told the outlet that he’d prefer that more men talk about the unsustainable physical standards that they’re expected to meet, the same way many women in Hollywood have spoken out about the pressure to be perfect. Metcalfe told Yahoo Life that “vicious” and “toxic” tabloid media caused him to struggle with self-worth and confidence as he tried to measure up to muscular actors like Zac Efron and Jake Gyllenhaal.

“These are not realistic body images, but it’s part of the storytelling that’s going on in Hollywood right now,” he said. “I mean, these are like superhuman physiques that we’re seeing. On a day-to-day basis, unless you’re a professional athlete or a professional bodybuilder, it’s just not realistic to maintain this type of physique.”

Metcalfe said on the “Jason Unleashed” podcast that he thinks social media has made it even easier for people to compare themselves to physically and materialistically. But, he said, he has worked hard not to let others’ opinions, trends or so-called standards influence how he feels about himself.

“I was very much caught up in that,” he admitted to Carter. “I was very much caught up in how many pieces of properties I owned, how many cars I owned, and trying to compete and measure my worth by those means. And that led me to kind of a dark place, to be honest.”

Metcalfe told Carter one of his keys to happiness is staying creatively engaged, from producing to acting to just playing music at home. He expects his action movie with Alec Baldwin and Stephen Dorff, “Cold Deck,” to be released later this year, as well as an indie film called “The Comic Shop,” which he filmed in 2022, per KTLA. He also told E! News that a sequel to his 2006 movie “John Tucker Must Die” is likely.

Meanwhile, Metcalfe also seems happy in his love life, having brought girlfriend Helene Immel to several red carpet events in recent weeks, per the Daily Mail. The couple went Instagram official in December, when Immel, a Los Angeles real estate agent, posted a photo of them together on Metcalfe’s birthday.

Read More