Ryan Phillippe, ELLE

Kathryn Friedman/ ELLE.com

Sebastian Valmont from Cruel Intentions definitely led a tortured life, but real-life Ryan Phillippe also deals with certain demons on a day-to-day basis as he struggles with depression.

The Secrets and Lies star talked candidly to Elle.com about his lifelong struggle and how it has affected him personally and professionally. Telling the site that he relates to his miniseries' character because he feels "quietly tortured at times," Phillippe said, "As you get older I think [depression] decreases some, but I'm just innately kind of a sad person. I'm empathetic, and I take on the feelings of others and transpose myself into the position of others."

While the father of three says his depression has added to his sense of humor, he also confessed that if he could "un-feel or reduce the receptors," he would in a heartbeat as long as he could still feel something.

Ryan Phillippe, ELLE

Kathryn Friedman/ ELLE.com

"There's great value to it, but it can also ruin your f--king life," he said. "But, that being said, if it was a choice between being this way or being completely ignorant I'd prefer to suffer through the sadness than to be a complete moron with no feelings."

He explained that while his depression causes his sense of humor to be a "little darker than most people," but added that many comedians whom he has come to know and love all suffer from the same sadness, including his "inspiration" Louis C.K.

"I'm way funnier than people know me to be. And it's a dark humor, like a gallows humor," he said. "I think that's where, if you do carry any of that sadness or depression, your humor does tend to be a little darker than most people.

"And the greatest comedians do—trust me. I know so many of them. And they're depressed and they're dark and they have this incredible gift of humor to offer others and also, probably, therapeutically themselves," he added.

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