Death In Paradise: Ben Miller reflects on bride death scene
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The star was first seen in sketch show Armstrong and Miller alongside fellow Cambridge graduate Alexander Armstrong which ran for four series. From comedy to drama, the actor began to play more serious roles and also starred in multiple films. However, it is his latest role, playing Professor T that Miller in the Channel 4 drama which he relates to the most.
Talking to the Radio Times the actor revealed that becoming the character was challenging and he soon realised the role was particularly physical.
He said: ““I’m quite an emotional person and I’d constantly be in floods of tears during a scene. We’d have to do it over and over.”
The physical challenges was only one obstacle that the actor had to overcome, as playing the academic brought back memories of his younger self.
He added: “I did struggle a lot with OCD, particularly in my twenties, xenical liver and I’m very lucky in that it’s all very manageable now.
“But there were times where it was unmanageable, as it is for Professor T, so I know how that feels and I know how I dealt with it.
“I’ve found these sequences – where in the Professor’s imagination he doesn’t have OCD and he’s free of all those behaviours – are a great way to show what’s going on inside.
“Seeing somebody lining up items on a desk looks pretty innocuous but inside, that person can be a lot more complicated.”
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
The condition represented itself to Ben in “lots of strange” ways. He said: “I used to have a very strange thing about touching doors before I went through and counting things constantly.
“Mine was quite a mathematical one. I have quite a mathematical mind and sometimes that goes a little bit into overdrive.
“The Professor is germaphobic, he’s obsessed with order and cleanliness.
“The interesting thing about his OCD, a lot of us who have OCD tend to try and hide it from people because we feel a bit ashamed, I certainly did anyway.”
The NHS states that OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life. It can affect men, women and children and usually starts at around puberty.
If you have OCD, you’ll usually experience frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. For example the obsessive fear of being burgled.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. For example a compulsion to check all the windows and doors are locked several times.
Ben admits that in order to help his condition he sought professional medical help in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
CBT is a common treatment that helps you face your fears and obsessive thoughts without “putting them right” through compulsion.
Alternatively, antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)can help by altering the balance of chemicals in your brain.
Although the cause of the condition is unknown, different factors may play a part including:
- Family history – you’re more likely to develop OCD if a family member has it, possibly because of your genes
- Differences in the brain – some people with OCD have areas of unusually high activity in their brain or low levels of a chemical called serotonin
- Life events – OCD may be more common in people who have been bullied, abused or neglected, and it sometimes starts after an important life event, such as childbirth or a bereavement
- Personality – neat, meticulous, methodical people with high personal standards may be more likely to develop OCD, also people who are generally quite anxious or have a very strong sense of responsibility for themselves and others.
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