Tom Sizemore Cleans Up

Tom Sizemore Cleans Up - Page 2

By Anna David 06/12/11

The seriously-sober actor reflects on nearly losing it all, the secrets of Celebrity Rehab, his bloody battle with Heidi Fleiss, and the hardest thing about staying clean in Hollywood.

Saving Private Ryan was the least of his worries.

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And one day you suddenly decided that you’d had enough?

I couldn’t get high anymore. So it was a combination of my age, the drugs really not working anymore, my wanting my life back, my wanting a relationship with my children, and [Celebrity Rehab counselor] Bob Forrest—who was kind of like my best friend in the 90s—telling me in very cold terms that I was going to die if I didn’t get a grip on myself.

Did the presence of the cameras on the show detract from your recovery?

When I first went in there, I was such a wreck, I didn’t even really realize the cameras were there. Well, I knew they were there but they didn’t impact me.

But you’re an actor. Do you think a part of you, maybe even a sub-conscious part, was playing to the cameras?

I’m telling you, I was there to get clean. And now I kind of like the fact that I was on the show. I hated it before. I just thought it was for washed-up re-treads.

You thought that before you were on it?

Oh, I thought that while I was on it, too. I didn’t think about it much because I just wanted to get clean but when the show did finally air, I was like, “Oh my Goodness.” I couldn’t watch it in the beginning. I watched it when it was kind of over. I didn’t necessarily like the guy I had become. I hated the way I looked.

Do you still keep in touch with any of your cast-mates?

Some of them. [Former Miss Teen USA] Kari Ann Peniche is sober and married, if you can believe it. She went through treatment again and now she has six months or something. She’s a totally different person. All that acting out, that cussing and name-calling…that was all the drugs. Oh, and Mike Starr’s in jail now.

But both of you guys were invited back to Celebrity Rehab [4] as big success stories!

I know. [Smiles.] He’s in jail for parking tickets. Can you believe it? 37 days. But he’s sober. I couldn’t get over his evolution. I didn’t have the best time with him [on the show]. But I’m just so proud of him. It made me feel so good that he had done it [gotten clean]. [Editor's note: Mike Starr died two weeks after this interview was conducted, on March 8th.]