Actress Daryl Hannah is revealing for the first time that she’s been diagnosed as autistic since she was a child. At the time doctors knew less about the diagnosis than they do now and recommended that she be medicated and institutionalized, which her mother refused. She turned to old movies for comfort during this time, which sparked an interest in acting. Once she achieved success in that field, though, she wasn’t fully equipped to deal with all the social engagements and expectations that went with it. Daryl tells People magazine that she’s refused to do talk shows and attend movie premieres over the years “Not because I was above it but because I was terrified.”
As a child she was isolated from her peers and felt “walled off” from other people. She would sometimes rock back and forth, a behavior she says she still has. But acting was her solace. While watching films she thought “If that’s a job I want to do it.” She says acting was “about going to the Land of Oz and meeting the Tin Man. It still is.” Her family encouraged her dream and helped her move to L.A. at age 17, where she signed very quickly. Acting was a salvation for her, but it was also a curse.
Daryl captured into the world’s hearts in 1984’s Splash and kicked some major ass in Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies, but the 52-year-old stunner says that she’s “definitely not being offered the greatest roles in the world.”
Daryl has found that the fears she experiences in public dissipate when it’s about something she cares about like promoting alternative fuels, marine protection, and fighting human trafficking. Her best friend Hilary Shepard says “I’ve seen her literally shaking on a red carpet. But she’s learned that when she feels passionate about some cause, she loses all her fears.” She also lives in a one-room house in L.A. that relies on solar power, and requires her to pump her own well water. She also has a ranch in the Rocky Mountains where she keeps a collection of animals including two alpacas. She enjoys living simply and letting go of some of the worries that used to trouble her. “I wasted so much time scared, self-conscious and insecure. Life is too short to stress the small things anymore.”
Daryl insists that although some claim she’s had plastic surgery, she hasn’t had any. And her love life isn’t lacking, Daryl’s been dating a mystery man for 3 1/2 years. She refuses to name him, but People speculates he may be 44-year-old Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee.
It sounds like Daryl has been able to make a nice life for herself and work with her autism instead of letting it define her. And she’s taking green living seriously! Maybe Daryl and Shailene Woodley can compare notes.