Brittany Murphy Was 'Troubled' on Set of 2006 Film, Director Recalls: 'She Had a Lot of Demons'

Director Alek Keshishian related his experience working with Brittany Murphy to his new Selena Gomez documentary My Mind & Me

Brittany Murphy

Director Alek Keshishian says he "considered shutting down" production on his 2006 movie Love and Other Disasters when he noticed Brittany Murphy was struggling.

On Wednesday, Keshishian recounted working with the late actress on the project, telling The Independent that the movie was his worst experience in filmmaking.

"Brittany was an amazing light," Keshishian said, "but she had a lot of demons."

"I was making [Love and Other Disasters] in the city I loved, with an amazing crew and an amazing producer, but it was troubled because I had a troubled actress in the lead," he added.

In the interview, Keshishian — who most recently made documentary about Selena Gomez and mental health titled My Mind & Me — said he could see Murphy was struggling during production of the film

"I was protective of her. I considered shutting down the movie, but that would have put 70 crew members out of work," he said. "So we carried on. ... I think that affected me."

Brittany Murphy Love and Other Disasters - 2006
Europa Corp/Ruby/Kobal/Shutterstock

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Murphy died suddenly at age 32 in December 2009. In February 2010, L.A. County Coroner Asst. Chief Ed Winter concluded that the Clueless actress' death was the result of untreated pneumonia, combined with anemia and drug intoxication from prescription and over-the-counter medications, including painkillers and cold medicine. No illegal drugs were found in her system at the time of her death.

Keshishian's new documentary started production in 2016 and paused until 2019 when the filmmaker realized Gomez was struggling with mental health.

"I could sense the wheels were coming off," Keshishian told The Independent. "I saw this girl going through a lot of pain. It felt exploitative for me to have cameras [there] while she's in the thick of it."

RELATED VIDEO: Chilling Details About Brittany Murphy's Final Days Revealed in New Doc: 'She Was in So Much Pain'

During the interview, Keshishian agreed when he was asked whether his decision to stop filming Gomez in 2016 "had anything to do" with his experience working with Murphy.

"I think so," he said. "You start realizing movies are what you do — they're not the be-all and end-all. That's why in 2016, I was like, 'This isn't right — I don't want to film this.' Selena needed to live through that and hopefully get better and figure it all out."

"If I was still 24, I probably wouldn't have stopped," he added. "I would have been, like, 'Oh, this fascinates me, let's just keep rolling.' But I do hope that I've gotten wiser with age. I hope I've gotten more compassionate."

Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me is now streaming on Apple TV+.

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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