X-Men’s Alexandra Shipp Reveals Mental Health Issues She Had While Playing Storm

Alexandra Shipp as Storm in Dark Phoenix
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Superhero movies are everywhere, with a number of studios crafting their own cinematic universe. But before these projects became commonplace, there was the X-Men franchise. The long-running property lasted for nearly two decades, and included two casts of actors. Alexandra Shipp played a younger version of Storm in the final two movies, taking on the role from Halle Berry. And the 31 year-old actress recently revealed her mental health issues she dealt with while playing Storm in those blockbusters.

Alexandra Shipp had some big shoes to fill as Storm, and she joined the X-Men franchise in its final two projects… which weren’t exactly well received. Shipp tried to contact Halle Berry for advice, to no avail. And despite having a dream gig playing a superhero, the Love, Simon actress recently took to Instagram to share her struggle with bipolar disorder and suicidal ideation at the time of playing Marvel’s Weather Witch. Check it out below:

Talk about being vulnerable. Being open about mental health issues can be daunting, especially when you’re a public figure. Shipp not only did that, but she got super honest about her issues while working on X-Men, with things getting dark enough that she was having suicidal thoughts. But she found a way to push through, and now is using her platform to help spread awareness for mental health.

While being a superhero in a blockbuster is a dream for many actors out there, it can definitely be a double-edged sword. As Shipp shared on Instagram, she was working hard to train as Storm, but was constantly told that she wasn’t good enough. Add in the grueling shooting hours and her bipolar diagnosis, and things eventually got very dark. But luckily those feelings weren’t permanent.

Apart from bravely sharing her own story about her struggles filming X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix, Alexandra Shipp’s Instagram post is largely there as a message to folks who might be going through their own mental health issues. She encourages those individuals to seek help, and promises that happiness is indeed possible. And since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, this message is all the more powerful and timely.

Ultimately Dark Phoenix failed to perform at the box office, and it ended up being the final entry in the X-Men franchise. Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox made the franchise’s end seem all the more concrete. Although with Hugh Jackman returning to Wolverine in Deadpool 3, it feels like just about anything is possible. Still, Shipp made it clear that she’s done with playing Storm for good.

Alexandra Shipp has a number of projects coming down the line, including a role in Barbie. And Deadpool 3 will hit theaters on November 8th, 2024. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.