The “Soul Surfer” actor opens up about his struggles in an interview with Newsweek, where he admits that he began using the drug casually at first, but then found himself falling deeper into a downward spiral as a result of its prevalence in Hollywood.
“Cocaine was even in the budgets of movies, thinly disguised,” he says. “It was petty cash, you know. It was supplied, basically, on movie sets because everyone was doing it. People would make deals. Instead of having a cocktail, you’d have a line.
“So it was insidious, the way it snuck up on everybody. Coming from where I came from – lower-middle-class life, from Houston into Hollywood – and all of a sudden this success starts happening to you, I just didn’t know how to handle that. Doing blow just contributed to me not being able to handle the fame, which, at the time, I guess I felt I didn’t deserve.”
Things spiraled out of control for the actor in the late 1980s, when he was filming “The Big Easy.”
“I was a mess. I was getting an hour of sleep a night. I had a reputation for being a ‘bad boy,’ which seemed like good thing, but basically I just had my head stuck up my ass. I’d wake up, snort a line, and swear I wasn’t going to do it again that day. But then 4 o’clock rolled around, and I’d be right back down the same road like a little squirrel on one of those treadmills.”
Quaid said he entered rehab after having one of those “white-light” experiences one night, but things only became more difficult once he was sober and had to face his problems head on.
“That time in my life – those years in the ‘90s recovering – actually chiseled me into a person. It gave me the resolve and a resilience to persevere in life. In the end, it taught me humility.”
But while Quaid may have conquered his demons, it appears his brother Randy has not been so successful.
Currently on the run from police after failing to appear in court for felony vandalism charges stemming from an incident in October of last year, Randy Quaid, 60, and his wife Evi have sought asylum in Canada. The two have expressed their fear for their lives in the United States after numerous actors like David Carradine and Heath Ledger have been “murdered” under mysterious circumstances.
Dennis Quaid said of his brother’s situation, “ I love my brother. That’s all I can say. I love my brother and I miss my brother. That’s all I’m going to say.”