Alcoholism is a disease that can affect anyone — and yes, that includes some of your favorite actors, actresses, musicians and all-around entertainers that live in the lap of luxury. In fact, the nonstop party life of Hollywood can oftentimes exacerbate alcohol addiction.
Celebrated TV and film actor LaKeith Stanfield got candid about his own battle with alcoholism while filming one his latest hit films, The Harder They Fall, explaining that he barely could function an entire day on set without having an alcoholic drink.
Speaking with Frazier Tharpe of GQ Hype, Stanfield explained how hard it was for him, much like the rest of the world, to properly function while on the job during the global pandemic of 2020. He says being candid about the battle to stay sober was difficult but also necessary, telling GQ, “This is something I never really had talked about before, but I think it’s something that I need to talk about, because I want people to understand that it’s something that you can get through, that it’s something that you can get past.” He went on to add, “And I want people to feel empowered by the fact that the person they’re looking at on that screen has gone through addiction and survived it.”
Read more on the moment he realized alcohol was a real problem during the filming of The Harder They Fall below, via GQ Hype:
“Around that same time, he realized something was off while getting a massage. ‘All of a sudden, I got so anxious during it that I just got up, canceled the massage, and told [the masseuse] to leave. And she was probably like, What the hell is going on? And I didn’t really know what was happening either,’ he recalls. ‘I just thought, I’m anxious, let me just drink some wine. As soon as I drink the wine, the anxiety goes away.’
Then, he thought it was just anxiety—the stress of making a movie coupled with that of living through a pandemic. With time, though, Stanfield came to believe that he was experiencing what he calls the ‘onset of alcohol withdrawal. I had become completely dependent upon it. To the point where I wasn’t able to move or function a whole day without having it.'”
Surprisingly, it was Stanfield’s peers in Hollywood that provided the support and encouragement needed to overcome his struggles, crediting music heiress Paris Jackson and his Knives Out co-star Jamie Lee Curtis specifically. The latter thespian reached out last year after he went public with his sobriety struggles on Instagram, telling him, “My experience is that when you feel you are alone, that’s a very scary feeling.” Curtis also added, “You are not alone. And if I can be a source of comfort or understanding, then I hope you will allow me to do that.” They’ve been sober buddies ever since.
We commend LaKeith Stanfield for not only being open about his own issues, but providing a gleam of hope to those out there who may not have as strong of a willpower. Watch the trailer for The Harder They Fall below:
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