The Upper West Side of New York is rather cheekily thought of as an epicenter of psychiatric practice—and consumption. How appropriate, then, that Thursday’s Cinema Society and Michael Kors-sponsored premiere of Steven Soderbergh's new psychological thriller, Side Effects, took place at AMC Lincoln Center theater. The film stars Rooney Mara as the wife of an indicted insider trader (Channing Tatum) whose anxiety and depression lead her to the care of a psychiatrist, played by Jude Law. The medication he prescribes her has, yes, side effects that go well beyond dry mouth and drowsiness.

According to Dr. Sasha Bardey, a real life psychiatrist who served as a technical adviser and co-producer (and who was supposedly an inspiration for Law's character), actors have a jump on the rest of us in the realm of self-control.

"Actors are brilliant people,” he said. “They control their emotions in a way I wish my patients could. My patients struggle with controlling their anxiety and depression. These people it's like they have it on draft: you want anxiety? you want depression? And there's crying and there's snot. And they're done and like, let's go have lunch."

Certainly Mara, who recently admitted that red carpets and parties give her high anxiety, seemed to be faring just fine as flashbulbs popped and reporters shoved recorders in her face.

How was she feeling?

"I feel good," she said.

Any coping mechanisms?

"I don't have one. There's nothing you can do. You just have to go with it."

If only there were a pill with a side effect like that.

Photos: Patrick McMullan