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Smashed Star Acts From Experience

The co-star of the hit addiction film once dated a "severe alcoholic," so he knows what it's like.


Aaron Paul has been there Photo via

By May Wilkerson


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Aaron Paul, co-star of the new film Smashed, says he channeled his personal experience dating an addict into his role on screen. In the film, the Breaking Bad actor plays the beau of an elementary teacher, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, whose battle with alcoholism ultimately leads her to get sober in AA. Paul explains his own ex-girlfriend was a "severe alcoholic," who he ended up taking to AA meetings "all the time," even giving up alcohol for a period of time to support her. "I told her I would go cold sober just to try it," he says. "I really tried to save her." He blames her addiction for ultimately destroying their relationship, saying: "alcohol is an evil substance, and it's a serious problem all over the place." Paul says the film, a hit at both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals, uses honesty—rather than scare tactics—to deliver a powerful message about addiction that he hopes will help people. "I think this would be a good film for someone who has a substance abuse problem to watch," he says. Smashed is currently playing in theaters across the US.

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