Sobriety Cost Aaron Eckhart His Social Life

By Chrisanne Grise 03/20/13

Since quitting booze a decade ago, the actor says it's hard to socialize in Hollywood.

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Actor Aaron Eckhart chatted on Chelsea Lately this week about how his social life has changed dramatically since he quit drinking and smoking almost a decade ago. “"I've been sober for eight or nine years...It changed my life. Seriously,” Eckhart told host Chelsea Handler. He jokingly added, "but I lost all my friends and never go out anymore.” Jokes aside, the 45-year-old actor has been open in the past about the difficulties of being sober while working in a notoriously boozy business. “It's interesting to see how much Hollywood and that kind of Hollywood thing revolves around drinking, and I don't just mean Hollywood, it's socializing,” he told The Guardian in 2007. “Friends that I thought were friends, I don’t associate with them. Not because I dislike them, I just have no reason to be with them.” Eckart credited his Mormon upbringing with helping "guilt" him into getting clean, as well as his tendency to be an aggressive and angry drunk. “Drinking was a way to cover up some insecurities and I figured I didn’t need it any more,” he said. He ended up quitting both drinking and smoking with the help of hypnosis. In Thank You For Smoking, he once played a cigarette executive who is ultimately kidnapped and tortured with nicotine patches, but in real life, nicotine is no longer his foe. “Right now, if you asked me which one would I rather do [alcohol or cigarettes], I wouldn't want to do either," he said. "I smoked when I got up and I smoked when I went to bed. Now I have a cup of coffee in the mornings and I feel better, cleaner, and I think I'm a friendlier person.”

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices, AbsolutePunk.net, Chorus.fm, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.