AceShowbiz - "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" star Nick Stahl used to be hung over every day on set - now he's sober and helping others caught up in drink and drug addiction.
The former child actor got his big break, aged 11, acting opposite Mel Gibson in 1993's "Man Without a Face" but, by the time he was 13, he was drinking alcohol and soon had a serious problem with drinking and drugs.
"I was pretty much hung over for every single day of work that I ever did - as a kid, in my early 20s, through all the films, through In the Bedroom, through Terminator, through (HBO TV series) Carnivale, through all of it," he tells the Hollywood Reporter in a new interview.
Stahl moved to Los Angeles when he was 16 and started smoking weed before progressing to pills, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
"I didn't really discriminate - I'd use anything to change the way I felt when I was sober," he explains.
"That became what I chased. It's a horribly cliche child-actor story, but I had a very unusual relationship to drugs and alcohol. I never had a brake pedal with it," he notes of his escalating addiction, which led to his first stint in rehab in 2007 at age 27.
"Very early on, it was not 'I want this,' but 'I need this,' " he adds.
After temporarily moving to Texas, Nick returned to Los Angeles, where he was arrested several times on charges including possession of meth and disorderly conduct.
By 2012, after his wife was forced to file a missing persons report, Stahl had been dropped by his agent and business manager and finally decided to quit acting.
"It's very bad for an actor for things like insurance," he shares of producers shying away from hiring the troubled star. "So I knew that I had to step away, for self-preservation, but also for the preservation of my career, if I was going to have one again."
Now he's been sober for four years - and he's back onset.
"It's hard to put my finger on what shifted," he says. "If I hit bumps in the road, I always got up and tried again. Luckily, I was resilient. A lot of people don't find sobriety. It's kind of mysterious territory. One day, it just kind of stuck."
Nick scored a five-episode arc on "Fear the Walking Dead" as a cult leader this year (21), and he's also trying to help others get sober.
"That's something I take very seriously now," he insists. "It's more important to me than making films. I search out people who have had similar struggles and show them how I got well. I speak from my experience and show them what worked for me."