Gary Oldman reflects on 24 years of sobriety: 'I used to sweat vodka'

MEGAN STONE
·2 min read

Gary Oldman looked back on his struggle with alcoholism in a candid new interview and revealed he is nearly 24 years sober.

The Oscar-winning actor said these experiences helped him better understand his character in his latest film, David Fincher's "Mank," in which he plays "Citizen Kane" screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz.

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"How do you make this guy likable and not this grump, snarky drunk? That was the challenge," he told The Los Angeles Times. "You can’t just load a character up with all the best quips. You have to understand why people are frustrated with him."

"Herman, with that self-effacing humor, he was at lunch, drinking with a friend, who said, 'Why don't you go home sober for once?' And he answered, 'What? And have [my wife] throw me out as an impostor?' I did the same thing," the 62-year-old British actor admitted.

Reflecting on being a "functioning alcoholic," Oldman confessed that "beneath the denial" he felt he was "getting away with" his drinking because of his career.

"I would sit down and tell the waiter, 'I'll have a large vodka tonic. And can you bring it now because I'm an alcoholic. I need it quicker,'" Oldman furthered.

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"People romanticize it, and even I romanticized it. All my heroes were drinkers or opium addicts," the actor confessed, before detailing the downside of being a heavy drinker. "I used to sweat vodka. It becomes such a part of you. My tongue would be black in the morning. I blamed it on the shampoo."

Looking back at his addiction and his two stints in rehab, the actor expressed he "wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, to be in the grip of it. It's hell."

Gary Oldman reflects on 24 years of sobriety: 'I used to sweat vodka' originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com