Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly may be a beautiful TV and movie star, but she previously struggled with feelings of extreme depression, to which many can relate. 

In a candid new interview, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug actress opened up about her battle with clinical depression, which the 34-year-old actress revealed she struggled with for many years before finally coming to a better mental place.

"I have battled clinical depression and have come out of the other side," Evangeline recently told reporters, as reported by Digital Spy. "I've been free of it for many years now."

The former Lost star also admitted she didn't use medication to cope with her mental struggles.

"Finding the place in my own mind and heart to win that battle without using medication, finding the place within myself where I could be alive again, that was one of the biggest challenges I've faced," she said.

And she credits a rather unique strategy as her primary coping mechanism:

"Going from eating whatever to eating primarily organic food, I was astounded what a difference that made," Lilly shared. "After about a year or two years, I started to feel something physically lift out of my brain, and I believe it was all the chemicals I was probably ingesting [before]."

The Middle-earth newcomer, who will next appear in the Peter Jackson-directed flick, also said part of the battle was putting a smile on her face, even if her emotions didn't necessarily match her outer appearance.

"I would rather pretend to be happy than allow myself to be miserable. It's sort of the idea of 'fake it till you make it,'" she admitted. "Put on a smile until you believe your own smile. That's a big part of it."

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which also stars Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Martin Freeman, hits theaters Friday, Dec. 13.

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