Gary Oldman is currently up for an Academy Award for his acclaimed performance as Winston Churchhill in Darkest Hour. But Oldman had a major drinking problem that nearly killed him before he saved his life through alcohol addiction treatment.
Oldman, who many know from Sid and Nancy, JFK, and the recent Batman trilogy, first got in trouble in 1991, winding up in jail from driving drunk. He told The Sun he was downing two bottles of vodka a day, and even once flipped a coin when he was drunk when trying to decide his next movie role. (He was in what he called an “alcoholic-sort-of-fog grandiosity” at the time.)
Oldman’s alcoholism got so bad that on one film, he had to get his lines fed to him through an earpiece. Finally his co-star Demi Moore told him, “You’re very ill – you have to go away. I am very worried about you.” Finally, Oldman got alcohol addiction treatment, heading into AA after he went on a bender that lasted 70 days.
Reflecting today, Oldman says, “I was just worn out. It’s like a three-headed dragon, it attacks you spiritually, emotionally and physically. It likes to claim people. And I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I knew that I was going to die. There were things I wanted to accomplish. But for the grace of God, I’m here today and people like River Phoenix aren’t.
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