Tom Hanks’ Son Chet: Parents Helped "Every Step Of The Way" To Sobriety

By Bryan Le 07/02/18

The actor and rapper says parental support and the birth of his daughter gave him the motivation to get sober.

Chet Hanks
Photo via YouTube

Chet Hanks has struggled with substance use under the public eye but is now sober thanks to his parents.

Chet Hanks, the son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, has had a long, public struggle with substance use disorder, but the musician says those days are behind him. His biggest motivator for getting his life together was becoming a parent.

“It was the prospect of having a kid, and I knew that in nine months there's gonna be a baby here,” Hanks said in an ET interview with Katie Krause on Tuesday. “That gave me the motivation to be like, 'OK, I've had my time now, and I need to move on.'”

Hanks said he had long known he had a problem and needed to get clean, but was unable to find the energy or motivation to do so.

“There's a part of you that knows that you need to make a change but you can't really shut that door on your life and just move on to a new chapter,” he explained. “For me, it took something drastic happening, like becoming a father, for me to make the change.”

His daughter, Michaiah, was born in April of 2016. While fatherhood served as an impetus to kick his habits, it was his own parents who gave him the support he needed to follow through. “They couldn't be more supportive,” he explained. “Every step of the way… They've always been there for me and I'm really lucky.”

His famous parents love being grandparents, and Hanks says they offer to babysit very often. “It's awesome seeing them being grandparents as well, because I was really close with my grandparents and now my daughter gets to have the same experience,” Hanks said.

Hanks’ sobriety has also provided inspiration in his rap career as his duo act, FTRZ, tackles the issues the pair has faced in their debut album, Ocean Park EP.

“I feel a responsibility like to tell the truth… and be as open as possible, because there is such a bad drug epidemic going on,” Hanks explained. “It's a bad problem and I feel like there should be no stigma around people who get sober, because you need to be open to help other people.”

In sharing his experiences, he hopes to help others.

“If you just get sober and try to keep it a secret, you're not really helping anybody because there could be somebody that's struggling really hard and if you can be an inspiration to that person to make the change for them to change their life, you can't put a price on that,” he said.

Hanks is also working with his father for the first time on an upcoming World War II movie called Greyhound.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter