Rob Reiner’s Son Writes Film Inspired by His Addiction and Homelessness

By May Wilkerson 04/21/16

Being Charlie is loosely based on Nick Reiner's battle with addiction, and the 18 rehab stints that led to his recovery. 

 Rob Reiner’s Son Writes Film Inspired by His Addiction and Homelessness
Photo Youtube/Movie Trailers

Nick Reiner, the son of actor Rob Reiner, has co-written a film loosely based on his own battle with addiction. Though it’s not autobiographical, the 22-year-old tells People that much of the film was inspired by his own experiences, including his 18 trips to rehab beginning at age 15, and periods of homelessness.

Being Charlie was directed by Nick’s father, Rob Reiner, who is known for his roles in movies like When Harry Met Sally and The Princess Bride. It will star actor Nick Robinson as Charlie, the drug-addicted son of a famous former actor running for governor. "It's not my life," says Nick, but "I went to a lot of these places, so I had a lot of these stories."

In the film, Charlie is briefly homeless, something Nick experienced during the height of his addiction, for up to weeks at a time. "I was homeless in Maine. I was homeless in New Jersey. I was homeless in Texas," Nick tells People. "I spent nights on the street. I spent weeks on the street. It was not fun."

He says his homelessness, as well as time spent in and out of the shelter system, was a result of his unwillingness to return to rehab and get help. "If I wanted to do it my way and not go to the programs they were suggesting, then I had to be homeless," he says. 

But despite what he calls his “dark years,” Nick says he ultimately learned from his struggles. "That made me who I am now, having to deal with that stuff," he says. "I met crazy great people there, so out of my element."

His addiction struggle inspired him to write the film and pursue other writing projects. Since last leaving rehab, at age 19, Nick has been working on the film, writing, adapting to life back home, and making recovery a priority. “Now, I've been home for a really long time, and I've sort of gotten acclimated back to being in LA and being around my family,” he says. "When I was out there, I could've died. It's all luck. You roll the dice and you hope you make it." 

Watch the official trailer of Being Charlie:

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.

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