Robin Williams, Re-Rehabbed and Ready to Roar
“I went to rehab in wine country, just to keep my options open,” jokes Williams, now starring on Broadway.
About four years ago, Robin Williams started drinking again after 20 years of abstinence from alcohol and cocaine. That in itself is a sobering thought, and a grim reminder of the chronic nature of addictive disorders. But Williams dealt with it, emerged sober, and is now starring as a tiger in the hit Broadway play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Time magazine caught up with him and did a Q&A session with the savagely sardonic comedian. Here, Williams briefly discusses his addictive past:
Q. You made headlines in 2006 when you went to rehab for alcoholism. Did you find material there? Or is it all secret?
A. Well, secret--hence the name Alcoholics Anonymous. I went to rehab in wine country, just to keep my options open. But it was important for me to do. I had to. I was really out of control.
Q. And yet you own a vineyard.
A. I do, actually, which is weird. It's like Gandhi owning a delicatessen.
Q. We see a lot of stars with substance-abuse issues. Why?
A. I think celebrity itself is a drug. There's withdrawal, because it comes in waves. You'll be hot, and then you're not, and then back again. Even now, with an Academy Award, it's still, "Mork!"
Q. Billy Crystal says stand-up is how you process the painful. Do we have to wish more painful things on you?
A. You don't have to. I find them.