Actor Dennis Quaid has spoken about his former cocaine addiction which threatened to destroy his career.
In a Newsweek article Quaid, 57, claims the drug was so prevalent in Hollywood in the 70s it was included in many movie budgets, “thinly disguised” of course.
“My greatest mistake was being addicted to cocaine,” he writes. “It was very casual at first. That’s what people were doing when they were at parties. Cocaine was even in the budgets of movies, thinly disguised. It was petty cash, you know? It was supplied, basically, on movie sets because everyone was doing it.”
Quaid says his addiction began to take its toll on his life and ability to handle fame.
“Coming from where I came from—lower-middle-class life, from Houston into Hollywood—and all of a sudden this success starts happening to you, I just didn’t know how to handle that. Doing blow just contributed to me not being able to handle the fame, which, at the time, I guess I felt I didn’t deserve.”
He adds: “I was doing my best imitation of an asshole there for a little while, trying to pretend everything was OK. Meanwhile my life was falling apart, and I noticed it myself, but I was hoping everyone else didn’t.”
The actor, who was previously hitched to Meg Ryan, says he got to the stage where he’d start the day by snorting the drug.
“I had a reputation for being a ‘bad boy,’ which seemed like a good thing, but basically I just had my head stuck up my ass,” he says. “I’d wake up, snort a line, and swear I wasn’t going to do it again that day. But then 4 o’clock rolled around, and I’d be right back down the same road like a little squirrel on one of those treadmills.”
Quaid was able to kick the habit in the early 1990s, a recovery period which “actually chiseled me into a person” he says.
He concludes: “It gave me the resolve and a resilience to persevere in life. If I hadn’t gone through that period, I don’t know if I’d still be acting. In the end, it taught me humility. I really learned to appreciate what I have in this life.”