Last weekend’s Golden Globe awards kicked off the movie awards season that culminates in the Oscars. The movies nominated this year involve a variety of afflictions, including drug addiction (“The Fighter”), stuttering (“The King’s Speech”), psychological breakdowns (“Black Swan”), and narcissism (“The Social Network”).
Some of the strongest performances are often given by actors who must portray a character who is dealing with an addiction or mental health disorder. Over the years, a number of movies have included characters with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). They may not have always been officially diagnosed in the movie, but their behaviors certainly demonstrate many of the symptoms of BPD.
Here are some of the most notable movies with characters with Borderline Personality Disorder:
Fatal Attraction (1987)
In “Fatal Attraction,” the infamous femme fatale character played by Glenn Close displays the emotional instability and fear of abandonment that are symptomatic of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. Her character also exhibits the BPD symptoms of self-harm, intense anger, and manipulation as she stalks her former lover and his family.
Single White Female (1992)
Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character in “Single White Female” exhibits the Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms of fear of abandonment, impulsivity, and mirroring as she attempts to take over the persona and life of her roommate (Bridget Fonda).
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
“Girl, Interrupted” is based on the memoir of Susanna Kaysen, who struggled with mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder as a teenager and young adult. The film, which stars Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, centers around Kaysen’s 18-month stay at a mental hospital.
The Hours (2002)
The three main characters in “The Hours,” which include author Virginia Woolf, all struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, and suicide. The movie, which links women from different generations to Woolf’s book “Mrs. Dalloway,” stars Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore.
Charlize Theron transformed into the role of female serial killer Aileen Wuornos in “Monster.” Wuornos was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which may have contributed to the unstable and angry behaviors that led to her killing at least six men.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)
One of the few comedy movies that features a character with Borderline Personality Disorder is “My Super Ex-Girlfriend.” In this movie, Uma Thurman portrays a woman with superpowers and a secret identity who also displays the BPD symptoms of impulsivity, unstable interpersonal relationships, and poor self-image.
Margot at the Wedding (2007)
Two alums of movies with Borderline Personality Disorder – Jennifer Jason Leigh and Nicole Kidman – pair up in “Margot at the Wedding.” Kidman’s character, who is the sister of Leigh’s, is said to be diagnosed with BPD and exhibits the BPD symptoms of impulsivity and lack of boundaries.
Characters with BPD
Very few movies in Hollywood have portrayed the complexities of people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. As the list above shows, many of them incorporate the mental health disorder into characters of women who are vindictive, murderous, and vengeful. Other movies along that vein include “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” (1992), “The Crush” (1993), and “Chloe” (2009).
Instead of continuing with these more dark and dramatic roles, what type of character with Borderline Personality Disorder would you like to see the movie industry tackle next?