Jason Isaacs recently opened up about a very dark time in his life. The 57-year-old actor, best known for his portrayal of Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, reflected on his past struggles with addiction in a recent Interview with The Big Issue. As part of the publication’s “Letter to My Younger Self” series, the actor opened up about his ‘decades-long love affair with drugs’ that began with heavy partying as a teenager.
“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. 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.”
Recalling the first time he got drunk
Isaacs recalled the very first time he got drunk at the tender young age of 12, which according to the star, 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.”
“I chased the sheer ecstatic joy I felt that night for another 20 years”
The Golden Globe-nominated performer said that in the wake of the drunken incident, even with the ramifications, he was on a destructive path.
“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.
“It would be an excuse to sit in a room by myself and take drugs”
The actor, who’s been on TV shows such as Star Trek: Discovery, Awake, Star Wars Rebels and Brotherhood, said he had a turnaround moment when he realized how addicted he was, and how it had impacted the way he was viewing the world.
‘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 drugs weren’t a way of dealing with distance, the drugs were causing it.”
The Patriot actor revealed that after sobering up, he came to realize it wasn’t ‘true and never was’ as he was always a loving and caring person. “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.”