Harry Potter Star Jason Isaacs Reveals His Past 'Decades-Long Love Affair with Drugs'
"Every action was filtered through a burning need I had for being as far from a conscious, thinking, feeling person as possible," the actor recalled
Jason Isaacs is opening up about a dark time in his life.
The English actor, 57, reflected on his past struggles with addiction in his latest interview with The Big Issue, revealing as a part of the publication's "Letter to My Younger Self" series that he had a "decades-long love affair with drugs."
"I’ve always had an addictive personality and by the age of 16 I’d already passed through drink and was getting started on a decades-long love affair with drugs," Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, said.
"Every action was filtered through a burning need I had for being as far from a conscious, thinking, feeling person as possible," he continued. "No message would get through for nearly 20 years."
Isaacs first got drunk at the young age of 12, according to the star, and the experience eventually led to an addiction problem.
"The barman, who we thought at the time was a hero and I now realize belonged in prison, sneaked us a full bottle of Southern Comfort," he remembered. "We drank the entire thing in the toilet, then staggered out into the party, reeling around farcically. I vomited, fell on and pulled down a giant curtain, snogged a girl, god bless her… ran out into the street, vomited again, tripped, smashed my head open on the pavement and gushed blood all over my clothes."
"The next morning, I woke up with a splitting headache, stinking of puke with a huge scab and the memory of having utterly shamed myself. All I could think was… I cannot f------ wait to do that again. Why? I’ve no idea. Genes? Nurture? Star sign?"
"I just know I chased the sheer ecstatic joy I felt that night for another 20 years with increasingly dire consequences," he recalled.
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Isaacs went on to explain that he thought he "was broken" while struggling with the depths of his addiction.
"I remember there being a moment, not long before I got clean, when it suddenly occurred to me that if everybody I knew died, literally every single person, I probably wouldn’t mind that much," he shared. "In fact, I might like it, because then it would be an excuse to sit in a room by myself and take drugs and everybody else would say, 'Well you know, fair enough, you heard what happened didn’t you?'"
The Star Trek: Discovery star told The Big Issue he has since realized "that’s not true and never was," according to The Sun.
"I love, I feel, I connect, I care. We all do," he said. "The drugs weren’t a way of dealing with that sense of distance, the drugs were causing it."
Looking back, Isaacs said his younger self would be surprised to learn that he's overcome his issues.
"I think what would surprise the 16-year-old me is that I’m okay. That I manage to find simple happiness in simple things," he added. "Not always, not perfectly, but enough."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.