Cocaine once part of film budgets, Dennis Quaid says

Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:55pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Dennis Quaid says his biggest mistake was getting addicted to cocaine, but that the drug was so prevalent in Hollywood in the 1980s that supplies were built into the budgets of movies.

In an article for Newsweek called "My Favorite Mistake," Quaid, 57, said he started doing cocaine when he left college and came to work in Los Angeles in 1974.

"Cocaine was even in the budgets of movies, thinly disguised. It was petty cash, you know? It was supplied, basically, on movie sets because everyone was doing it. People would make deals. Instead of having a cocktail, you'd have a line," Quaid wrote.

By the late 1980s, when he was making one of his most acclaimed movies, "The Big Easy," he was so addicted to cocaine that he was getting just one hour of sleep a night, he said.

"I had a reputation for being a 'bad boy,' which seemed like a good thing, but basically I just had my head stuck up my ass. I'd wake up, snort a line, and swear I wasn't going to do it again that day. But then 4 o'clock rolled around, and I'd be right back down the same road like a little squirrel on one of those treadmills," Quaid wrote.

Quaid quit his addiction in the 1990s and went on to star in movies like "The Parent Trap" and "Vantage Point." He is currently in theaters with the true-life tale "Soul Surfer," playing the father of a girl who loses her arm to a shark.

After marriages to actresses P.J. Soles and Meg Ryan, he is now married to Texas real-estate agent Kimberly Buffington, who gave birth to twins in 2007.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Dean Gooodman)