Christian Slater talks about trying not to act like an entitled diva

Christian Slater’s acting career seemed to go downhill since he achieved big screen heart throb status in the early 1990s with hits like Pump Up The Volume and True Romance, partially due to his personal problems and trouble with the law. He had a few arrests in the late 90s – for a DUI incident, for trying to bring a gun on a plane, and for an abusive episode with a girlfriend. He spent two months in jail out of a three month sentence in 1998 for the abuse case.

Slater had a very public falling out from his wife and the mother of his two children, Ryan Haddon, around 2003 when she was arrested for assaulting him. Their relationship was said to be volatile, with drug and alcohol abuse playing a factor. They have two children, a son, Jaden Zach Haddon-Slater, 9, and a daughter, Eliana Sophia Haddon-Slater, 7. Slater and Haddon separated in 2004, and Slater quietly went to work on the stage in London.

Slater is still hanging in there, and has continued to act in lesser-known films and on stage. He’s dating Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon and can often be seen at premieres and events with her. He’s also in a new television series, My Own Worst Enemy, which premieres on NBC this fall. Slater spoke to Premiere Magazine about his public trials and coming to terms with his ego. His responses are pretty impressive. You can tell that he’s made peace with his past and has become a more grounded and hardworking person.

Q: Is it possible for you to look forward to a future without the bumps your past has been so full of?

A: Life doesn’t need to be necessarily the roller coaster that it was of my 20s and 30s, but it can be a smoother ride, certainly. It does all come down to personal choice, and listening to your friends and people who really have your back and who are really looking out for you.

This is a hilarious business, and you can get a lot of mixed messages, and ego and bad behavior can sometimes be applauded and rewarded, and you end up thinking, ‘Oh, is that how you’re supposed to be or how you’re supposed to behave?’

It’s unfortunate, because actors, myself included, we can all be divas, and make fools of ourselves, and think we’re entitled to this-and-that, and think we’re all of a sudden something special and unique. We can forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and that the world revolves around us. That’s just not the reality.

Q: You began to take acting classes in your early 30s. What made you decide to do that?

A: When I started in the business, I was certainly very young, so I was learning sort of on-the-job how to do it, and what to do, and where to go. But I didn’t really get why I was doing it or what the purpose was. I just didn’t get it. At a certain point it stopped being fun, and it started to feel like a job, and I didn’t really understand what the job was or what was expected of me all of a sudden, and I was just changing from the kid who got into it to have fun to growing up and realizing I’ve never even worked with an acting teacher.

I thought, ‘What can I do about that?’ So through some friends and some research, I did find an acting coach to work with. I was just relying a lot on little lessons I’d learned, or things I’d picked up from directors here and there, and really didn’t know what the hell I was doing. So I ended up going to work with an acting instructor, and that was great. It was an interesting experience, just in confronting my ego and being in front of a class with other actors.


Parade has a series of new exclusive photos of Slater to accompany the article, and you can view them on their website. They’re airbrushed beyond recognition and he achieves this kind of otherworldly look that seems part plastic surgery, part Photoshop.

I remember drooling over Slater in the 90s rebellion flicks Heathers and Pump Up The Volume. Yes, I was in high school at the time. He didn’t quite become the next Brad Pitt, but he’s got a great attitude about his life and seems grateful for all he’s achieved so far. I’m rooting for his new show to be a success.

Photos courtesy of Parade, where you can see many more of Slater.

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15 Responses to “Christian Slater talks about trying not to act like an entitled diva”

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  1. katie says:

    i bought my first copy of Seventeen Magazine in junior high because Christian Slater was on the cover. i read the article about 85 times but stopped short of putting the photos on my wall. i saw him at an event in new york a million years later and even at age 30 I was still all giggly seeing him and couldn’t even get up the courage to talk to him.

  2. WTF?!?! says:

    He banned the director of Swimming With Sharks from the theater in the West End production he was in. Sounds like he still has some work to do…

  3. anony says:

    Yes, it’s hard to act like a diva when you ‘re no longer A list. My husband can’t stand him b/c he thinks he’s ripping off Nicholson’s shtick. Good for him he’s getting another chance to succeed. Maybe the show will take off. I mean, look at what West Wing did for Rob Lowe.

    @ the picture of him here- that pose (of an actor holding one cuff) is so spent.
    Why do photographers use the same damned poses?

  4. Roma says:

    Very Bad Things is still one of my top 5 movies of all time.

    I’m not sure what that says about me.

  5. Codzilla says:

    anony: I agree with your husband about the Nicholson rip-off. But I do love Heathers and True Romance, so I guess I’m conflicted in that sense. Not something I lose sleep over, however. :|

  6. Bodhi says:

    Just watched Heathers again & I was drooling over him the whole time…

    I’m glad he is back on track.

  7. Codzilla says:

    Bodhi: Your avatar looks exactly like my dog, Sharky!

  8. Kaiser says:

    He was one of my first celeb crushes, and to a certain, lesser extent he still does it for me.

    I don’t care if he’s a Nicholson wannabe, his voice is amazing. *drool*

  9. anony says:

    @ Codz- and Heathers has some of the best quotes ever. Haha. “Did you have brain tumor for breakfast ” (from one Heather ‘Brenda Walsh!’ to another..)

    Very Bad Things was delightfully darkly amusing.
    I was pleasantly surprised.

  10. Rio says:

    He came along too early for me to really get caught up with him (I was BORN in ’85!) but I saw him in ‘Windtalkers’ and mmmmm. I love a man in uniform…well, reproduction 1940s uniform anyway! :twisted:

  11. vdantev says:

    After years of taking off on Jack Nicholson, he’s slowly beginning to look like him now too.

  12. chaz says:

    with all the slater fans, i’m surprised nobody mentioned the totally awesome “gleaming the cube!” that movie is soooo bad it’s great! and i think in a way he helped make “robin hood: prince of thieves” at least viewable and, hey, he was in “interview with a vampire!” yeah, slater’s alright in my book despite that “broken arrow” misstep.

  13. Tina says:

    Slater’s eyebrows and Michael Keaton’s eyebrows are drawn from the same stencil.

  14. Kim1206 says:

    no divaness here. can’t remember when i watched something he was in!

  15. Jack Nicholson says:

    This idiot slater, if that IS his real name, has never done anything BUT a cheap impression of Jack Nicholson. I can’t understand how anyone can make it to stardom when they’re obviously just doing a cheap impression of someone else, but I guess in Hollywood anything is possible.