Christian Slater gives a great interview, talks about his five-year sobriety

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I think I’ll probably always have love for Christian Slater. When I was just a girl, Christian was the hottest thing ever. And he got through early stardom and success to become a screwed up young man with addictions. He battled those addictions successfully, and now he’s clean and sober and ready to do more work. I respect his journey – it’s like Robert Downey Junior Lite. And while I think Christian is talented, he’s never going to really have an RDJ-like career resurgence. But Christian might have some solid success, and he’s got a new television show on Fox that he’s promoting now. He sat down with Details for a nice little Q&A, and he talks sobriety, River Phoenix and Pump Up the Volume! The full Details piece is here, and here are some highlights:

DETAILS: After a couple of failed shows, you’re returning to television in the FOX comedy Breaking In. Is the third time the charm?
Christian Slater: That’s what we hope. [Laughs] I like to work. I’m like the Michael Caine of this side of the pond. I like feeling useful and productive. Hopefully it’s a passable script. Jobs are few and far between these days, so I’m just grateful for the opportunities. I have children and responsibilities now.

DETAILS: Quitting drinking and drugs must have really changed your priorities.
Christian Slater: The last five years of my life have been great. Really different. I just celebrated five years of sobriety. I’ve been trying to take time for myself and to be with my kids. I went to Africa and ended up building schools there. I went on a USO tour to Bahrain and Djibouti. I went to Walter Reed hospital. These aren’t things I ever considered doing.

DETAILS: No, these are not things people associate with Christian Slater.
Christian Slater: Look, I could spend a lot of time kicking the shit out of myself for the choices I made. I was dealing with alcoholism and addiction, and there was a lot to take on without much life experience. Addiction is not pretty, and you don’t fully understand it unless you’re dealing with it head-on. That’s why when I see other kids struggling, I will sometimes reach out to them—a call or an e-mail.

DETAILS: Really? Did you reach out to Lindsay Lohan?
Christian Slater: Sure, of course. I appreciated the people who reached out to me. It’s a brutal position to be in. You feel alone and confused over where your life went and how you got yourself in this situation.

DETAILS: In 1997, you were convicted of assaulting your girlfriend and a cop. What was jail like?
Christian Slater: Honestly, not so bad. Jail was a result of me not taking time for myself. So I was forced to take some time for myself. [Laughs ] It was necessary for me. When you’re going down that path, you either kill yourself or you’re forced to take time out.

DETAILS: In the nineties, you and River Phoenix were friends and seemed to be on the same path. Do you ever wonder why he didn’t make it and you did?
Christian Slater : All the time. I’ve had a couple of close calls, actually. The Crow, the Brandon Lee movie, was on my radar. A lot of people I’ve loved have died. A lot have been misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mistreated. Chris Farley. River Phoenix. Addiction is a killer. And it takes so much to recognize the problem.

DETAILS: What was your rock bottom?
Christian Slater: It wasn’t a specific thing. Probably one of those crazy nights when you wake up on the floor, your mother is standing over you, and she has to take you to the hospital. It’s humiliating. Or when you have to talk to your children through thick glass. I did One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on stage twice, and the first time I was a lunatic. I hit that wall, and in the back of my mind I knew I was doomed. Thankfully, I was able to do the play again once I got sober.

DETAILS: Was there a spiritual aspect to your recovery?
Christian Slater: I’m not a religious person by any means. But I certainly believe in some kind of a higher power and something looking out for me. I’ve definitely had angels that have either guided me or helped me through moments in my life, without a doubt.

DETAILS: Was it tough to cut ties with the people who fueled your lifestyle?
Christian Slater: No. All you’re doing is escaping together.

DETAILS: You come from a showbiz family and started acting when you were 7, when your mom suggested you for a role on the soap opera One Life to Live. Do you regret starting so early?
Christian Slater: No. My dad was a theater actor, so I would follow him backstage. And my mom was a casting director. The moment I heard the applause and realized it would get me out of school, I was hooked. I did regret not graduating high school, but I made a point of going back and getting my GED later. It was important for my kids. Then I got involved with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and their program to encourage graduation. Now I’m an ambassador for education. [Laughs]

DETAILS: You’ve done a bunch of great movies and a bunch of bad ones. Can you tell if they’re good or bad when you’re doing them?
Christian Slater: Did I have any idea that Heathers would be a good movie? No. Pump Up the Volume? Yeah, I had an idea. I like that one.

DETAILS: There was a Heathers musical staged last year in New York. Did they approach you?
Christian Slater: The producer wanted me to come to the read-through, but I missed it. I heard it was really, really good. They’re thinking of doing something on Broadway. I don’t think I’d be in it. It’d be some kid playing me.

DETAILS: Are you in contact with Winona Ryder at all? Did you see her in Black Swan?
Christian Slater: No, not yet. I’ve always loved her, and I always wanted to work with her again. It’s great she’s doing well. Agents were sometimes like, “Oh, she’s crazy” or whatever, but I’m like, “What?” I worked with her. She’s great.

DETAILS: Back in the day, you had a reputation for dating some of the hottest women in town—Samantha Mathis, Christy Turlington, Winona.
Christian Slater: I don’t know what to say about that. Shit, I don’t know what to say about that. It’s a crazy town, and actors are nuts. It falls under the category of addictive behavior. I was just transferring that to women. Now I transfer it to Nicorette gum—I’ve been chewing that for six years.

[From Details]

See? He sounds… mature. Okay, whatever, I’m totally hot for him again. I love how he defends Winona, I love what he says about addiction, I love this: “I did regret not graduating high school, but I made a point of going back and getting my GED later. It was important for my kids. Then I got involved with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and their program to encourage graduation. Now I’m an ambassador for education.” Christian Slater for HGF?

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Photos courtesy of Details & WENN.

 

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40 Responses to “Christian Slater gives a great interview, talks about his five-year sobriety”

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  1. Praise St. Angie! says:

    oh, he for sure was one of my 80s crushes…and Heathers is one of my all time favorites.

    he looks good and I hope he stays sober. if he’s done it for 5 years, I’m betting it’s a lifestyle he WANTS to keep, so that’s good.

    I hope his show does well!

  2. Bella Bella says:

    A new hairstyle would bring back the hot Christian Slater. I guarantee it!

  3. brin says:

    Definitely Christian Slater for HGF!

  4. mln76 says:

    Love him for HGF. Pump up the Volume and Heathers were two of my favorite movies back in the day. I think he got overshadowed by the whole faux Jack Nicholson thing. And River Phoenix I am still so sad that he’s gone-he had so much potential and talent.

  5. normades says:

    Our love is God, let’s go get a Slushie.

  6. Sarah says:

    I have ALWAYS loved Christian. Hell I even named my son Christian because of him. ah swoon.

  7. seVen says:

    I was totally hot for him back in the day too. HGF material ! I think you should go a HGF 80s or 90s edition. Just to revisit some hotties that made our panties explode back then.

  8. REALIST says:

    Good for him! I know he was having issues with domestic violence and violence/violence, and I wondered. Alcohol is a drug that can turn you into a person your loved ones don’t even recognize. When YOU recognize that fact is when the process of rehab and recovery begins.
    Keep up the good work, Christian, and thank you for being a role model for those who can’t face the facts yet (two examples, frequently on CB, come to mind).
    Oh, and “Heathers” was a classic!

  9. mia girl says:

    A friend of mine just worked with him on a film in New Orleans and said he is the most grounded, awesome guy. He is a friends-with-the-crew-type of guy with zero pretension.

    I loved him in True Romance. One of the best movies ever! I vote YES for HGF!

  10. Quest says:

    Hats off to him…always had a thing for Chritian especally in Pump up the Volume. I understand going back for his GED and all that for his kids – my son tells me he wants to go to university like his mom (sigh). When parents set a postive mark, the children usually follows.

  11. Hollowdoll says:

    I remember him in The Legend of Billie Jean and Gleaming the Cube! OMG! I haven’t thought about those movies in a long time. I definitely need to watch them again. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for one Christian Slater. Christian and *sigh* Corey Haim were my favorites growing up. I am soooo glad to hear he is doing well and happy.

    http://www.rexwallpapers.com/images/wallpapers/movie/the-legend-of-billie-jea/the_legend_of_billie_jean_2.jpg

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BHW2M1JXL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

  12. Stephie says:

    Loved Heathers. Always had a thing for Cristian Slater even though he looks crazy to me (esp. in the smiling photo above!) and I always hear his Nicholson impression in my mind. Yes for HGF!

  13. whitedaisy says:

    I would like to have heard him take personal responsibility for the domestic violence charges.
    In response to the question about assaulting his girlfriend: “jail was a result of me not taking time for myself” means he still has alot of work to do.

  14. kiko says:

    “Christian Slater for HGF?”

    yes please!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. mln76 says:

    @Hollowdoll HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT THE LEGEND OF BILLY JEAN?

    “What’s fair is fair.”

  16. Riley says:

    I am really surprised by this interview. I hope it is genuine and truthful and this is how he is now because he seems like such a beautiful, passionate, reasonable man. I love when men talk about their children. The best men in the world are the ones who are close to their families and love their children and want to be role models for them. Contrast this to the crap Charlie Sheen was spouting on the radio show this week and you see how sad and pathetic Charlie Sheen’s life really is. Good for you, Christian. I hope you stay strong and focused and committed to your sobriety and your family.

  17. Nanz says:

    CS for HGF!!!! Always loved him. He was my major crush growing up.

  18. sapphire says:

    Some times it’s not just about the looks, but the changes underneath. I am impressed with how far he has come.

  19. Nudgie says:

    Kudos for him! Being an addict (whatever your addiction is) SUCKS – being an addict in Hollywood is almost a Death sentence.

    Keep going Christian – one day at a time.

  20. Gwen says:

    YES to HGF :D

    Best of luck to him. He seems to have come a long way. I hope he stays on it for the rest of his life.

  21. TQB says:

    “Christian Slater for HGF?”

    YES, do me. I mean, it. Do it. Huhuhuhuhuhhuhuh

  22. renai(jrt) says:

    Wow if thats what sobriety looks like then sign me up!!

  23. Hautie says:

    True Romance is a must watch if you have never seen it. I remember seeing it in the theater and being completely surprised by all the violence. But all great violence. hahaha!

    Plus it was packed full of all the cameo’s. And Brad Pitt and his honey bear was priceless.

    But it would be my favorite Slater film. He has so much charm that never comes off off putting.

  24. Jayna says:

    I loved him back in the day. He sounds like he’s really become a man. Good for him.

  25. Brittney says:

    God I love him. He’s in two of my top five favorite movies. He defines the late 80s/early 90s for me, and I can’t wait to see him in more stuff.

  26. Bodhi says:

    I love True Romance, but I can’t watch the scene uber-violent James Gandolfini scene. Its just too much for me. Other than that, I love it! Heathers is definitely one of my all time favorites & who could forget Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves? Le sigh…

  27. Lem says:

    There once was a man from Nottingham, who tried to cross a river. What a dope, he tripped on a rope. Now look at him shiver. Beg for mercy, rich man.

    Christian Slater made Robin Hood sexy, for pete’s sake. I’d be glad for a comeback

  28. original kate says:

    i’d hit it like it was 1988.

  29. launicaangelina says:

    love him! i was a huge fan. kuffs, heathers, untamed heart, gleaming the cube… i want him in movies again! also loved that he defended winona

  30. trixietrudyteresa says:

    was never hot for him but loved him and his movies. Still do, have many on DVD. Have to watch them from time to time and they never grow old. He’s got a great energy to his acting. Glad to see he’s doing something again. If I recall correctly, early in his career they made brief mention of him being like a young Jack Nicolson.

  31. Yup says:

    He’s looking good! and to #29 HGF is the always awesome CeleBitchy HOT GUY FRIDAY!!! We LOVE that!

  32. JenJen says:

    He was great in Untamed Heart, as was Marisa Tomei.

  33. Maritza says:

    @saring – I’d like to know the same thing.

  34. kristin says:

    so hot.. well used to be.. gleaming the cube was the sh*t! he’ll always be that hot skater.. or that hot guy from cuffs.. or that hot guy from heathers.. i think that’s it .. he started balding after that..