Beautiful Boy’s Timothée Chalamet & Nic Sheff Talk Addiction

By Victoria Kim 11/01/18

The duo went on a multi-city tour where they discussed addiction, recovery and their critically-acclaimed film.

 Timothée Chalamet and Nic Sheff
Timothée Chalamet and Nic Sheff Photos via YouTube

Actor Timothée Chalamet and author Nic Sheff went on a multi-city tour last weekend to talk about their new film Beautiful Boy.

The film is based on the memoir Beautiful Boy by New York Times best-selling author David Sheff, and Tweak by his son Nic Sheff—about a family grappling with a young man’s battle with substance use disorder.

Over the weekend, Academy Award-nominated actor, 22-year-old Chalamet, and Nic Sheff sat down for Q&A sessions at screenings of the film in Austin, Dallas, St. Louis and Minneapolis.

The film has so far garnered positive reviews for its honest portrayal of addiction. “I think there’s never been a portrayal of addiction as real-feeling as what [Chalamet] did in this movie,” said Nic at a Q&A in Minneapolis.

Chalamet said he tried “a little of everything” in preparing for his role as young Nic.

“Nic and David’s book helped a lot. Spending time in out-patient and in-patient programs. The key is not to play a drug addict, but to play a human being addicted to drugs,” the actor said at a Q&A in St. Louis.

Spending a lot of time with Nic helped as well, he said. The difference between any other disease and substance use disorder is how life can change in recovery.

“With addiction, when you get sober, it’s not like your life just goes back to the way that it was before. Your life gets so much better than it ever had been,” said Nic.

“It’s a really amazing life that’s possible sober. The fact that addiction is not a death sentence, and that the love that a family has is always there even after everything that we all went through, to have that love in the end is beautiful.”

When asked if he had any advice for parents, and if drug use prevention is really possible, Nic answered that while there’s no definitive answer, what may help is to teach young people to manage stress and educate them on the effects of drug use.

The film also strikes a chord with families across the country who are going through their own—a loved one’s—battles with addiction.

“Addiction knows no class, knows no race, knows no boundaries, and it’s a modern day crisis,” said Chalamet.

“The good news is that there really is a lot of hope. Recovery is possible—not only to recover from this thing, but to actually thrive after addiction,” said Nic.

Read articles by Nic Sheff here.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr