Sarah Silverman’s ‘I Smile Back’ Shines Light on Mental Illness, Addiction

Wednesday’s Los Angeles premiere of Broad Green Pictures’ “I Smile Back” was very light-hearted as Sarah Silverman made the audience laugh before the screening at the ArcLight Hollywood.

She first cracked on her very low-cut dress choice before thanking everyone in the audience for attending.

“Thank you so much for coming. You might not enjoy it, but have a good experience? Uh, I hope it’s your cup of tea,” she said before the theater went dark.

Silverman opened up about playing one of the few roles that contributed to the dialogue about depression.

“I like things where you walk away and you talk and have arguments and discussions and can’t get it out of your head,” she said. “I hope that’s what this is for people.”

Silverman was open about her history with depression before taking on the role of a depressed suburban wife and mother struggling with addiction. Director Adam Salky described the filming of the project as an intense 20-day experience.

“I hope that more of the attention is being brought to some of the issues that the movie is about — things like mental illness, addiction — stuff that’s not often in movies in the mainstream,” he said.

Broad Green Pictures’ co-founder Daniel Hammond said the film resonated personally.

“As someone with a history of mental illness in my family, I love that it’s getting out there and that there’s a message,” he said. “There is an exposure for people to understand that there are people out there who have gone through what they’ve gone through.”

Also in attendance were Minnie Driver, Jon Favreau, Chelsea Handler, Justin Kirk, The Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan and Michaela Watkins. The young star from the film, 9-year-old Shayne Coleman, also stayed up late for the screening and after-party at Wood & Vine.

Silverman slipped into something less revealing and more casual as party guests enjoyed cocktails and canapes.

I Smile Back” bows Oct. 23.

Sarah Silverman, Shayne Coleman, director Adam Salky and Broad Green’s Daniel Hammond at the “I Smile Back” after-party
Michael Buckner/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

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