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Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter calls faith in God his ‘saving grace’, helps him come to terms with his family’s tragic past

Mariel Hemingway is no longer haunted by personal demons.

The Oscar-nominated actress, who is the granddaughter of the late Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, feels at peace after coming to terms with a dark past. For decades, her family was plagued by alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness.

Seven members of Hemingway’s family committed suicide, including his famous grandfather in 1961, and his sister Margaux Hemingway, the former supermodel, in 1996. Hemingway, who battled an eating disorder, has wrote two books, “Out Came the Sun” and “Invisible Girl”, to help shed light on the personal struggles many people face.

“I’ve been through a lot,” the 61-year-old, who stars in Pure Flix’s new film, “God’s Country Song,” admitted to Fox News Digital. “I’ve probably suffered from depression most of my life… My belief in God has been a cornerstone for me… It has helped me understand things where I came from. I come from an amazing family, but it There was also a lot of addiction, alcoholism, depression and suicides. And very serious mental illnesses that I was deeply afraid of.”


“My belief in God and my belief in prayer and connecting with the God within and your inner voice – that has always been… a saving grace for me and a good path for me,” she shared. “It reminds me that it’s all so interconnected. I believe in the way of life. I believe in connecting to the Earth. I think nature is…God’s expression of the beauty of the where we live. We have to protect that. And we also have to connect to that because we are so much a part of it.”


American writer Ernest Hemingway committed suicide in 1961. He was 61 years old. (Earl Theisen/Getty Images)

Hemingway’s famous grandfather committed suicide three months before he was born, just weeks shy of his 62nd birthday. His father, who also suffered from depression, also died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1928 at the age of 57.

“I knew a lot about [my grandfather] in a way, but I didn’t realize until I was 16 that he killed himself,” Hemingway explained. “I didn’t realize where he killed himself. And it’s in the hometown where I grew up, Ketchum, Idaho. He took his life there. Stories were like mythology… You heard about it, and it was… a part of your life, but you weren’t quite sure.

A close up of Mariel Hemingway wearing a white blouse

Mariel Hemingway stars in the new religious film ‘God’s Country Song’. (Pure Flix)

“I always felt like I was connected to my grandfather in some way,” she explained. “I don’t know if it was just wishful thinking.”

Growing up, Hemingway witnessed his parents’ tumultuous marriage. The sweet romance they once shared had soured, with alcohol being the main culprit. Her sisters rebelled and experimented with drugs to cope. Hemingway previously told People magazine that his older sister Muffet was bipolar and schizophrenic. She also believed that Margaux “suffered from bipolar disorder but had never been properly diagnosed.”

Margaux Hemingway wearing a black turtleneck

Mariel Hemingway’s sister, model Margaux Hemingway, died in 1996. She was 42. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

“When I was a kid, I decided I would be the one in the family that fixes everyone,” she recalls. “I’ll figure it out. I’ll do it. I became a goalkeeper even at a young age. My mum had cancer, then my dad had a heart attack. And when I left my house to go and do movies, that’s when I was discovering myself.”


Mariel Hemingway wears a gray sleeveless dress

Mariel Hemingway spoke about her family and the struggles she observed growing up. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“I haven’t always made the right choices,” she said.

Hollywood came calling. Margaux, who had starred in the 1976 film “Lipstick,” suggested Hemingway play her brother. After her appearance, Woody Allen cast her for “Manhattan” in 1979.

As Hemingway’s fame soared, she faced her own personal struggles. According to People magazine, she had suffered from an eating disorder for “a long time. From 16 to about 40 years old.” She noted that her father and grandfather were “obsessed” with food and weight.

Mariel Hemingway drinking a milkshake next to Woody Allen

Mariel Hemingway shot to fame after starring in Woody Allen’s 1979 film “Manhattan.” (United Artists/Getty Images)

“It was about control, control, control,” Hemingway explained. “I’ll control the food, I’ll control the exercise, I’ll control what I think. It’s taken a long time to go through these different obsession journeys. Obsession with food, obsession with exercise, obsession with [the idea] that someone is going to fix me – until I realized that I was the only person who could fix me. This does not mean that I did not need help or that I was not guided by people. But you have to start trusting that inner voice, the voice inside of you that says, ‘You’re fine. You need to calm down, you need to calm down. You must learn to breathe. You need to pray more. Whatever works for you.”

“But it came with time,” she continued. “It was a journey… It’s a process of understanding who you are, and that’s life. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. We all have to fall. But once you allow yourself to ‘Having these experiences is where life becomes richer and more rewarding.’

“You know, it’s hard…I was deeply anxious when I was young. I valued myself based on everyone’s perception of me. It took me a lot of years to learn that my value comes from me But it took me a long time to And I’m grateful to have found the tools that allowed me to realize that we are all guided by God, and that we are all guided by our inner voice . Examining the past has been very difficult… It takes work . You have to work on yourself. It takes deep prayer and meditation to get to that place of understanding.”


Mariel Hemingway lying down in a black and white photo

Mariel Hemingway said she has an eating disorder. (Daniel Simon/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Hemingway said that the reorganization of his lifestyle had completely transformed his outlook on life.

“I strongly believe that lifestyle has a lot to do with your body and your mind,” she said. “I watch my sleep. I get up every morning to pray and meditate. I am very aware of what I eat. I drink water, I connect to the Earth. I take off my shoes and walk either in my backyard in Idaho, either, when I’m in Los Angeles, I’ll be walking on the beach. But these things that I know, for me, have a huge effect on the way my brain is. I believe that the way you live your life and how you choose to live your life is extraordinarily powerful, and when we take control of that, we have the power to do whatever we want physically and mentally.

“We can all make our best selves,” she added.

Mariel Hemingway in a scene from Superman

Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve and Mariel Hemingway in a scene from the Warner Bros. “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” circa 1987. (Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

Today, Hemingway is thrilled to make films, especially those that share uplifting stories. In “God’s Country Song”, she plays the mother of singer Noah Bryan (Justin Gaston), who learns that he is the father of a 4-year-old child he barely remembers. With the help of faith, family and song, Bryan finds his way and later realizes what really matters in life.

Some aspects of history touch us closely.

“‘God’s Country Song’ is such a wholesome story, but it’s about…addiction,” she said. “You know, using alcohol to self-medicate the pain that we go through in life or things that we can’t handle. I think the reason it felt so touching to me is that I do a lot of mental health work… And anytime you can get the message across, especially through scripted work, it seems to land really well… There are so many superhero movies that are wonderful, but I think that a more family-oriented story connects with me. think it connects with so many others, too.


Mariel Hemingway in a blue long sleeve sweater and a white skirt

Mariel Hemingway, seen here in Cuba, divides her time between Idaho and Los Angeles. (Michael Bezjian/Getty Images)

“It’s so wonderful and – oh my God – the singing is awesome,” she exclaimed.

Hemingway divides his time between Idaho and Los Angeles. The mum-of-two also launched the Mariel Hemingway Foundation, which aims to provide resources for people struggling with their mental health. She also has a podcast, “Out Comes the Sun,” where she talks about “mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.”

The only message she would say to her young self?

Margaux and Mariel Hemingway share a moment of well-being in a black and white photo

Margaux, left, and Mariel Hemingway visiting New York to promote ‘Lipstick,’ a film where they made their screen debut. (Getty Pictures)

“You are not alone,” Hemingway said. “That’s probably one of the most important things we can do for someone who’s hurting…just say, ‘Hey, you’re not alone…You’re not isolated.’ Everyone comes from something. Everyone has a story.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). “God’s Country Song” is currently available for streaming. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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