This post deals with drug use and suicide and might be triggering for some readers.
The sad clown paradox is a pop culture cliche.
The funny friend, or the complicated main character, who resorts to jokes as a release for tension or to suppress their own emotions. They're charming and engaging, but if you look behind the disarming smile, they're living with thoughts and feelings that are no laughing matter.
The thing is, there are truths in cliches.
Watch: Owen Wilson tells Ellen about his sons. Post continues below video.
Owen Wilson is a funny guy.
Best known for a slew of buddy and romantic comedies, Wilson was one of the most recognisable actors of the 2000s. His blonde hair, blue eyes and three-syllable "wow" were synonymous with light-hearted fun. He was Hansel in Zoolander, Hutch in Starkey & Hutch and John Beckwith in Wedding Crashers. Always joking, always funny.
Wilson had previously told Rolling Stone in 2005 that he was "an up-and-down person" who was susceptible to bouts of sadness.
"I've started to notice that, as you get older, mental health is as fragile as physical health. I've never had a breakdown, but you can really get side-swiped by stuff like depression," he explained.
But still, in 2007, when Wilson's very personal mental health and addiction struggles made headlines around the world, they were accompanied by shock waves. In late August of that year, Wilson was hospitalised after attempting to take his own life at his Santa Monica home.
Media camped outside Cedar's Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, reported the details of the 911 calls made by his loved ones and the scene, and published quotes from anonymous 'sources' speculating about his decisions. Headlines swirled looking for someone to blame, pointing fingers at famous friends and exes.