Having a blast with Sly
idol Christian Slater has stepped back from the limelight and moved
away from Hollywood. But he’s happier than ever, thed actor tells
Working with Sylvester Stallone is full of surprises. One day
he’s holding a gun in your face, and the next, presenting you with
cake and singing Happy Birthday.
This was what happened to Christian Slater on the set of
Stallone’s latest action showpiece, Bullet To The Head.
“He’s certainly an intimidating force to deal with,” says
Slater, whose character is strapped to a chair and interrogated by
Stallone’s hitman alter ego.
“But when the cameras were off, he couldn’t have been more of a
gentleman. It was my birthday on set and he brought out a cake and
sang Happy Birthday – it was a blast!”
Slater, who turned 43 during the summer shoot in New Orleans,
had grown up watching Stallone’s movies and missed out on the
opportunity to work with him on 1995’s Assassins due to a
“He’s always been one of my heroes. Some movie stars are so
iconic that it’s hard to see them as a person, you know? He’s like
an object almost, so it’s fascinating to be around that kind of
In the 1990s, the same could have been said for Slater. After
roles in cult films Heathers, Pump Up The Volume and the Quentin
Tarantino-penned True Romance, he was a bona fide teen heartthrob,
chiselled good looks matched by bad boy appeal.
Up there with
contemporaries Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp, the former child actor
mixed up quirky romcoms like Untamed Heart, with big-budget action
like John Woo’s Broken Arrow.
When his friend River Phoenix died in 1993, Slater stepped into
his role as the interviewer in the following year’s Interview With
The Vampire, which also starred Pitt and Tom Cruise, and donated
his fee to Phoenix’s favourite charities.
“There’s no way to really prepare yourself for something that is
unpredictable, and you never know how you’re going to deal with
some of those obstacles you’re faced with,” he says of those years,
the twang of his voice instantly recognisable down the phone from
his adopted home of Miami.
“A lot of doors are opened for you, you get treated in a
particular way which is fun for a while, but you definitely feel a
little weird.” and it can mess with your perspective on what’s
real. It can screw with you a little bit.”
A few years ago, Slater made a concerted effort to distance
himself from Hollywood, after falling in love with the Florida
Keys. He also met “a very special girl”, Brittany Lopez and they
got engaged. at New Year., with a party for 200 family members.
“For the last few years I’ve been living a quieter life, a
happier life,” says Slater. “It’s nice to have some distance
between me and Hollywood and showbusiness in general. I love it, I
enjoy the work, I just don’t think I necessarily enjoy the things
that come along with it. It tends to create a bit of chaos.”
By chaos, he could be referring to the media furore following
his brushes with the law. In 1997, Slater was sentenced to three
months in jail for assaulting his then girlfriend and a police
officer while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
In 2003, his wife of three years Ryan Haddon was arrested after
hurling a glass bottle at him, gashing his neck. The pair, who have
two children, Jaden, 13, and Eliana, 11, divorced a few years
later. Then, in 2005, Slater was filmed being arrested in New York
for alleged sexual assault, a charge he denied.
Whether by choice or as a result of his perceived misdemeanours,
Slater slid out of leading man territory. He now takes on character
parts, in the likes of Bullet To The Head and Lars von Trier’s
latest film Nymphomaniac, which he recently returned from filming
He sounds humbled, grateful for these opportunities, and is
extremely honest about his prospects. “I was just in LA and did a
few days on Undiscovered Gyrl. I think it’s going to be an
interesting movie, so I was grateful to get the opportunity to be a
part of that,” he says.
“But really right now, I have no idea... I’m kind of in a
waiting period at the moment, I guess the year’s just started and
everybody’s gearing back up, we’ll see what happens. That may be
the last movie I ever do, I have no idea.”
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