Look, if you want to get ahead in Hollywood, you've got to be willing to make sacrifices!
Just a little light humor to open things up because I really do not know how to begin a story about a person who sawed his own arm off on purpose!!!
But that's precisely what actor Todd LaTourrette did. You may have seen him on the AMC show Better Call Saul or the George Clooney movie The Men Who Stare at Goats. You kinda can't miss him, he's the rough-and-tough looking guy
who cut his own arm off with the prosthetic arm?
Stephen: Better Call Saul actor admits to lying about military service, cutting off own arm to teach mental health… https://t.co/nyURQ15wBU— OZFM (@OZFM) 1541077218.0
But he's also the guy who lied about how he lost the arm, saying he is a combat veteran. And that's where this story takes a turn.
Speaking to local news outlet KOB4 in his native Alburquerque, New Mexico, and online publication Insider, LaTourrette came clean about his past and how he lost his hand and arm. LaTourrette lives with bipolar disorder, and cut his own hand off on Christmas Eve in 2001 after a period of not taking his medication left him mentally unstable.
"I severed my hand with a Skil saw," he told the KOB4. "The state of my mind was a psychotic episode."
The incident changed his acting career for the better, though. "The film industry obviously took a different angle," LaTourrette told Insider. "That I was different. And so they liked that." During auditions in 2012 and 2013, he lied about what caused the accident with his hand and arm, telling producers it was a combat injury.
LaTourrette says he's been "haunted" about it ever since. "I was dishonorable. I'm killing my career by doing this," he told KOB4. "I'm ousting myself from the New Mexico Film Industry. And gladly so, just to say what I've said." Indeed, he told Insider that his agent has since dropped him.
But LaTourrette hopes that, by coming forward, he'll be able to positively impact those living with mental illness.
"I simply wanna help one person that's struggling with mental illness to say, 'I can do things differently.'... And to take that cup of water and to take those pills, if they need. And to be strong. They are my heroes. People that care for themselves that are mentally ill are my heroes. As well as the military men and women. All of them are my heroes."
As you might guess, reactions on social media were... well, mixed!
Many couldn't help but respect the guy's hustle.
Seconded https://t.co/lEU0febDjC— The Goat Path (@The Goat Path) 1541094373.0
@AdamWeinstein Right. The Marine in me felt like chucking him through a fish tank. But goddammit you cut your own f… https://t.co/573mfDrkKs— Official TurboGrafx-16 Account (@Official TurboGrafx-16 Account) 1541094881.0
@nypost https://t.co/2wEJvv7pW7— Empress (@Empress) 1541119156.0
While others felt empathy for his battle with mental illness.
Before people get all snarky and blase` about this. read the article. He was in a manic, psycotic phase and off his… https://t.co/zzWmrHn5e2— Politics and Broomsticks (@Politics and Broomsticks) 1541023266.0
Wild. Dude cuts his arm off with a saw 17 years ago and tells people he’s a vet to get acting parts. Sounds like he… https://t.co/9GHzZM95jI— Cogadh (@Cogadh) 1541012515.0
@nypost I can’t imagine the level of desperation & inadequacy. I’m glad he’s found balance & amazingly, the strengt… https://t.co/jFf2WqFSEw— Kim (@Kim) 1541116429.0
And others had their own theories about why LaTourrette is coming clean.
@AdamWeinstein I completely understand *why* he lied -the stigma of mental illness combined with such a shocking ac… https://t.co/Lo5O6a70lo— The Last of the Famous International Fanboys (@The Last of the Famous International Fanboys) 1541103707.0
@AdamWeinstein I think he was threatened with blackmail and decided coming clean was the best course of action.— The Last of the Famous International Fanboys (@The Last of the Famous International Fanboys) 1541103902.0
@etnow Call@me cynical but he was probably about to be found out by some entertainment show and came clean before b… https://t.co/TkoGp3snaN— Cindy Mirsky (@Cindy Mirsky) 1541117488.0
And, of course, this being the internet, there were jokes:
@EpochTimes You really have to hand it to him, he handled a tough situation handily. Hands down the gnarliest dide… https://t.co/WEO1AJnpSC— Fernando Segundo (@Fernando Segundo) 1541116516.0
@fernsbags @Aw3som3_Lawson @EpochTimes Very witty. On the other hand, however...— Fahad Khalid (@Fahad Khalid) 1541120945.0
Anyway, LaTourrette says he's not looking for forgiveness, but rather just to help those who might be suffering from similar conditions to his.
"The power is in your hands to take your medication in the morning, or at night. So that, this, this discourse of my life doesn't need to necessarily be yours. Because it happens quick… it happens quick."