Aussie superstar Sam Worthington has taken aim at Australia’s drinking culture, admitting he only gave up the grog after an ultimatum from his wife Lara.
The Hollywood heavyweight told Variety magazine that in the wake of his global fame following his starring turn in Avatar in 2009 he began drinking heavily.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Avatar stars Sam Worthington and Cliff Curtis discuss the new film.
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“I’d go haywire over someone asking me for a photograph or taking a photograph of me,” Worthington told the publication. “If someone approached me, my anxiety would go through the roof.”
He said he knew cities around the world for his favourite bars and got into a rhythm where he was drinking all day, beginning in the morning.
Worthington told the magazine that he would down four or five glasses of champagne while sitting in a first class flight on the tarmac prompting Lara Worthington to say she had never seen anybody drink so much before the plane even took off.
“I thought it was normal … I didn’t like who I was. Drinking helped me get through the day,” the now 48-year-old Worthington said.
“Nine out of 10 people couldn’t tell.
“They could probably smell it on me, but when they looked at me, they couldn’t tell. I was still doing my job — I just don’t think I was doing it very well,” Worthington said in an interview to promote his new movie, Avatar: The Way of Water.
And he laid the blame for his alcohol habit on the culture in which he was raised.
“In Australia it’s ingrained in the society. We don’t necessarily talk about AA and things like that. You don’t recognise it’s an illness, and you don’t understand that some people are just wired differently,” he said.
Things came to a head in 2014 when he was sued by a photographer after their altercation was caught on video in front of his then girlfriend Lara Bingle – now his wife.
Worthington settled the suit but it was all too much for the now Lara Worthington who gave him a clear ultimatum.
“You can do what you want, but I don’t need to be around this,” she told him.
Worthington gave up the booze and married Lara in December 2014.
He has remained sober and the couple now has three children.
Worthington also revealed in the interview just how close had come to landing the role of James Bond in the 2006 reboot Casino Royale before it was eventually given to Daniel Craig.
Despte being flown to London, having his hair personally trimmed by the 007 franchise’s producer Barbara Broccoli to get the right look and then being filmed in a tuxedo, he said he just didn’t suit the role.
“I could play Bond as a killer, but I couldn’t get the debonair down for the life of me. The suit did not fit,” he said.
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