Bell ‘lost His Mind’ After Billy Elliot

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October 17, 2011 | 11:25am EST

Jamie Bell has told of his torment at returning to normality after finding worldwide fame in Billy Elliot, confessing: “I lost my mind.”
The British actor was thrust into the spotlight as an unknown when he took the lead role in the 2000 movie about an 11-year-old boy’s battle to indulge his love of ballet in the face of ridicule from family and friends.

But the young actor returned to school and a normal life when the movie’s hype blew over – and he’s revealed his rollercoaster ride to stardom left him struggling to cope and behaving like an “a**ehole”.

He tells Britain’s Seven magazine, “I lost my mind at 15. I’d been shown a world where there were no boundaries, where everyone gave me all the power. And I was like, ‘This is great!’. Then that was gone. But I was like, ‘Yeah, but I still want that.’ I’d lost my humble, very quiet, introverted sensibilities which I think I definitely had as a kid.

“And I… I became a little a**ehole. And, you know, you’re a 15-year-old kid so it’s your world. And I was a b**tard at 16! But still, looking back on it now, it was worrying because it’s very persuasive, and you have all these grown-ups who it seems are encouraging it. And that’s unhealthy.”