Candy's Melanie Lynskey spoke candidly with Vulture about dealing with an eating disorder and the ex who changed her relationship with food.
The New Zealand-born actor, who got her start in Hollywood at the age of 17 in Heavenly Creatures, said she was constantly reminded to be "thin, confident, and pretty." Melanie reflected on how those strict beauty standards fueled her eating disorder.
"I met a boyfriend, Andrew Howard, who helped me so much with my eating disorder on the set of The Cherry Orchard," Melanie told Vulture.
"The closest thing I've had to an intervention was when I was living with him, and he got really intense about my eating issues."
"He tried to stop me from monitoring my own eating and talked to me about how thin I was. Of course, in my mind, I thought he was nuts."
Melanie went on to reveal that she "never had anyone care that much" — she never had anyone admit that what she was doing was not only hurting her, but the people who care about her.
"It changed my life," she added. "I stopped throwing up, mostly. It took a while. But that was a big one. I had, for a very long time, been on this diet that was basically 800 calories a day, and if I ate anything over 800 calories, I would throw up."
"I was never bingey. Sometimes, I'd be starving, and I'd have another teacup of Special K. Then, I'd be like, 'Well, now I gotta throw it up.'"
She also admitted that before meeting Andrew, she confided in other friends who were dealing with eating disorders. Instead of offering each other help, they winded up "swapping tips."
Melanie's mother was "anorexic for a lot of my growing up," which made it difficult to get through her own problems with food — a problem that began at the age of 12, which is around the same time she became "obsessed" with having a thigh gap.
While Melanie still receives unsolicited comments and suggestions about her weight from "fans" and people in the industry today, she's learned how to shut down the negative noise.
And just like her ex did, Melanie is backed by her supportive man — her husband and fellow actor, Jason Ritter.
To learn more about Melanie, check out her full interview with Vulture. And be sure to watch her new series Candy, streaming now on Hulu.
The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.