‘Into the Wild’ Actor Emile Hirsch Opens Up About Rehab

Nearly two years ago actor Emile Hirsch assaulted a female film executive at the Sundance Film Festival. Hirsch finally opened up about the incident during Josh Horowitz’s podcast “Happy Sad Confused.”

Hirsch confessed that to this day, he feels terrible about choking the exec.
“I’m still just so sorry for what happened and still just shocked even that it happened. Also, grateful in a way that you know it gave me an opportunity to make my life a lot better and to do some of the things that helped me in finding ways of just clarity.”

After getting charged with assault Hirsch spent 15 days behind bars, and also checked into rehab to address his addiction issues.
“I went to rehab. I was able to really clean that side of myself up. Just discovering that you know problems with alcohol and bingeing on alcohol and other drugs. These are problems that I was able to see a lot of people face, and maybe I didn’t quite realize that before or identify that in that way. Just getting that handled in my life just improved my life in so many ways as difficult as the and the unfortunate as that whole thing was, I’m grateful that I was able to really move forward and improve my life for my son. I’m just so much more present and there for him and that means so much to me. And the quality of just days and not waking up hungover and not knowing what happened or something like that. The stuff is strong.”

Hirsch went on to say, “I’ve talked to a lot of people and there’s a lot of people who struggle with addiction. And if anything positive can come of it, it would just be getting a little bit more awareness because sometimes you need to hear someone say something about it and be like, ‘Your life doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to be like, oh yeah everyone’s going out drinking and I have to too because that’s the way it is.’ But I’m different why do I drink so much more than everyone else? Why does it get to that place? I just have to deal with those consequences.”

His time in jail was also eye-opening:
“Being in rehab and then jail afterwards I was able to see that it didn’t matter if you were an actor or a bar hand or whatever. A lot of people would have problems in that world. It’s sort of an equalizer you could say. It means a lot to me to be able to sit here and to really know how much more improved that I’ve been able to make my life, not just for myself but for my son but for the rest of my family and my friends. I put friends and family and people like that I put them first in my life and I’m able to do that so much more now.”

He also shared that work is more fun now that he’s sober:
“When I found that kind of clarity it really improved the quality of my work and the experience of making films. It was so much more fun.”

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