(LOS ANGELES) — Samuel L. Jackson, Oscar nominated actor and for years the Guinness World Record holder for the highest-grossing star in Hollywood, was once a struggling actor addicted to booze and drugs — and he credits his loved ones with turning his life around.
At Sunday’s BET Awards, the Star Wars prequel and Marvel movie series star credited wife LaTanya and daughter Zoe with helping him get the help — and more importantly the love — he needed to save himself.
“They found me passed out on the floor after I left somebody’s bachelor party and put my a** in rehab the next day and supported me and pushed me and give me a reason to get up and go and chase it day after day,” Jackson said in accepting his trophy.
At the recent Hollywood premiere of his latest movie, The Legend of Tarzan, the 67-year-old actor explained his sobriety-related shout-out to People, “You look into people’s eyes at a certain point, and you realize that they’re not punishing you, they’re actually telling you the truth. That you are at a point now that you can go this way [or] you can go that way.”
Support is key, Jackson says, but getting clean starts with the individual. “You have to look in the mirror and say to yourself, ‘Okay, I really need to do this for myself.’ And you become a very selfish individual…But the most important thing to do is to save yourself first so that you can be of service to those people that you love.”
And of his loved ones, Jackson said, “they made me understand that. It was great.”
The Legend of Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgard in the title role, opens Friday.
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