DETAILS: Quitting drinking and drugs must have really changed your priorities.
Christian Slater: The last five years of my life have been great. Really different. I just celebrated five years of sobriety. I’ve been trying to take time for myself and to be with my kids. I went to Africa and ended up building schools there. I went on a USO tour to Bahrain and Djibouti. I went to Walter Reed hospital. These aren’t things I ever considered doing.
In the nineties, you and River Phoenix were friends and seemed to be on the same path. Do you ever wonder why he didn’t make it and you did?
All the time. I’ve had a couple of close calls, actually. A lot of people I’ve loved have died. A lot have been misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mistreated. Chris Farley. River Phoenix. Addiction is a killer. And it takes so much to recognize the problem.
You’ve done a bunch of great movies and a bunch of bad ones. Can you tell if they’re good or bad when you’re doing them?
Did I have any idea that Heathers would be a good movie? No. Pump Up the Volume? Yeah, I had an idea. I like that one.
Are you in contact with Winona Ryder at all?
No, not yet. I’ve always loved her, and I always wanted to work with her again. It’s great she’s doing well. Agents were sometimes like, “Oh, she’s crazy” or whatever, but I’m like, “What?” I worked with her. She’s great.
Back in the day, you had a reputation for dating some of the hottest women in town Samantha Mathis, Christy Turlington, Winona.
I don’t know what to say about that. Sh*, I don’t know what to say about that. It’s a crazy town, and actors are nuts. It falls under the category of addictive behavior. I was just transferring that to women. Now I transfer it to Nicorette gum. I’ve been chewing that for six years.