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.