Variety is launching its first-ever “Recovery” issue, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis on the cover.
The issue also includes other Hollywood figures like Danny Rejo, Elton John, and Katey Sagal discussing their histories with addiction and substance abuse.
“I call myself a junkie,” Curtis says of her addiction. “I refer to myself as a junkie simply so I demystify it. I call myself a dope-fiend because I’m a dope-fiend.”
The “Halloween” actress also talks about the first time she was caught taking pills.
“From behind me, I heard this voice: ‘You know, Jamie, I see you. I see you with your little pills, and you think you’re so fabulous and so great, but the truth is you’re dead. You’re a dead woman.’ That was a first big shocking realization that someone saw it — that it wasn’t secret,” she recalls.
Curtis also opens up about doing drugs with her father, Tony Curtis, who also had an addiction problem.
“I knew my dad had an issue because I had an issue and he and I shared drugs,” she says.”There was a period of time where I was the only child that was talking to him. I had six siblings. I have five. My brother, Nicholas, died of a heroin overdose when he was 21 years old. But I shared drugs with my dad. I did cocaine and freebased once with my dad.
“But that was the only time I did that, and I did that with him. He did end up getting sober for a short period of time and was very active in recovery for about three years. It didn’t last that long. But he found recovery for a minute.”
Speaking about why she’s so public about her sobriety, Curtis says, “There’s great power that comes from self-declaration: This is who I am, this is what I do, and I am going to try to stop. For me to say that the reason my life is so much better is because I am sober is me controlling it. I gave up that information, specifically as a public figure, to acknowledge the reality of my life.”
Trejo also opens up about his addiction, recalling his time in jail and the time a former inmate came to talk about his recovery.
“That guy saved my life,” Trejo says. “He said, ‘Why don’t you join us? Before you do anything, just join us. Give it a try. What do you have to lose?’ It was kind of like an awakening. So when I got out of the joint, I went back to meetings.
“I honestly believe this sobriety and being clean depends on your support system. You’ve got this system of people around you that want you to stay clean and sober.”