Robert Downey Jr. has opened up about his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.
“Not having done drugs for literally five or six years is a lifetime,” the Iron Man actor says in a revealing interview in the November issue of Playboy.
“I think of myself as someone who has no desire, use for or conscious memory of that life. And yet I don’t shut the door on it, and I don’t pretend it didn’t happen.”
The now sober star adds that he will never forget the struggle he went through to get clean.
“Looking back, I think, ‘Oh my God, I could have been done. I could have been so fried and so bad off and, oh my God, such a cautionary tale,’” he says. “And I still could be.”
Check out some highlights from his interview below:
On the struggles of his past:
“Sometimes it’s necessary to compartmentalize the different stages of your evolution, both personally and objectively, for the people you have to love and tolerate. And one of those people, for me, is me. I have a very strong sense of that messed-up kid, that devoted theater actor, that ne’er-do-well 20-something nihilistic androgyne and that late-20s married guy with a little kid, lost, lost in narcotics—all aspects of things I don’t regret and am happy to keep a door open on. More than anything I have this sense that I’m a veteran of a war that is difficult to discuss with people who haven’t been there.”
On his biggest fears:
“Infidelity. Losing my sense of true humility. Looking back I think, Oh my God, I could have been done. I could have been so fried and so bad off and, oh my God, such a cautionary tale. [laughs] And I still could be. By fear of infidelity I mean I have a passion for how delicate it is to maintain things that are really pure. And I don’t find myself tempted because I don’t put myself on a frequency that temptation likes to go. I keep myself in overtly pheromone-free interactions with all women, except my wife. She deserves it.”
On the public’s tendency to rush judgment of celebrities, like Mel Gibson:
“I feel for the kind of zeitgeist diagnoses that are being applied to certain of my peers lately, and I think it’s unconscionable…If I’m friends with somebody now, I don’t talk about them for public consumption. But remember, I was in jail, and I don’t want to discredit the doctor, but somebody just decided I had some disease in my brain. Sight unseen they needed to publish it and capitalize on this ‘truth.’ More power to them, misguided or not. But the real problem is this: When you’re in the hood, don’t be alarmed by gunfire. That’s as simple as I can put it. For me, the hood was northern Malibu and my own isolation and dependency therein.”
On taking responsibility for one’s actions, including his own:
“To me, here’s the only thing: You take responsibility, whether you’re outraged by the results or not, that you in some way participate in and create what you’re experiencing.”
Click here to read his full interview.