Kit Steinkellner
July 18, 2015 11:09 am

Pixar’s new movie Inside Out taught us all an important lesson about the value of all of our emotions. And, as it turns out, one of the stars of the film, Amy Poehler, who voices ‘Joy,’ found that working on the film helped her better process her own feelings.

“I think about [Inside Out] quite often when I’m feeling conflicted about which emotions are running the show,” Poehler explained at press conference for the film in London, “and I think about [emotions] now in terms of how they look in the film.”

She went on to talk about the way Sadness [voiced by Phyllis Smith] is portrayed in the film. As those of us who have seen the film know (and I’ll try to say this next part in as un-spoilery a way as I possibly can), initially Poehler’s Joy doesn’t understand the value or purpose of Smith’s Sadness, but over the course of the movie, grows to realize that Sadness is what helps us empathize with other people, it’s an emotion that enables us to be our kindest, best selves.

“It’s always a nice reminder that sadness can be your friend,” Poehler said, regarding this point, at the press conference, “that it can help you.”

“[Inside Out] makes you think about what you’re thinking,” Poehler concluded, “and it also reminds you that you never know what anybody’s thinking or going through or feeling. The way someone is acting often isn’t the way they’re feeling. And that’s a good reminder [to have] as a human person in the world.”

As always, Poehler is dropping wisdom left and right, and this latest bit is a fantastic reminder that, as painful as sadness can be, there’s tremendous value in the emotion, it’s a feeling that can help us, and can even be our friend. Like Poehler’s Joy learns at the end of “Inside Out,” we need to treat sadness with the love and respect it deserves.

Related:

Inside Out will start an important conversation about mental health

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