The Lookout

‘KONY’ filmmaker Jason Russell talks to Oprah about meltdown

Filmmaker Jason Russell, who directed the "KONY 2012" documentary and then, a short time later, suffered a breakdown on the streets of San Diego, sat with Oprah Winfrey on "Oprah's Next Chapter" to discuss the film, the fallout and how he's doing now.

When Russell's slickly produced 30-minute documentary on Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony hit the Web, people paid attention. The video scored over a hundred million views. It was picked up by news outlets and tweeted by celebrities. That sudden fame (and subsequent backlash) had an effect on Russell. A short time after the film hit, Russell was found naked on the streets of Southern California, pounding his palms against the pavement, ranting and raving about good and evil, God and the devil.

In one portion of the interview, Russell shows Winfrey his wedding ring, which was damaged when he slapped his palms repeatedly against the streets. "My ring, you can see," Russell says while rotating the ring on his finger, "is clean, clean, clean, and then there's the street corner. You can see how hard I was pounding. You see the dent. That to me, slamming my hands as hard as I can on the ground, like I don't know who that was. Like I don't, I can't—I look at that video and I think, how sad for him."

When asked about his meltdown, Russell says he remembers a few details. "It's really hard to explain if people who have never had an out-of-body experience, but it really wasn't me. That wasn't me. That person on the street corner ranting and raving and naked is not me, that's not who I am. ... Talking to myself. Ranting. Raving. Talking about good versus evil, God and the devil. I mean it was just very out of control."

The full interview can be seen on "Oprah's Next Chapter" on OWN on Sunday.

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