This post was originally published on September 22, 2014.
The only downside to Lindsay Lohan finally being forgotten about is that those who write about addiction and recovery—like me—are completely 86’ed from the juicy roller coaster of pop culture reporting. So for that, I would like officially thank Gerard Depardieu—the French actor who I best remember from Green Card—for bragging to a French magazine that he enjoys up to 14 bottles of wine a day, along with vodka, whiskey and champagne because managing your life with advanced alcoholism is something to be celebrated!
If I sound jealous, it’s because I am. Although there is nothing I love more than being sober, I would have happily lived without the journey it took to get me here. I think any recovering alcoholic—no matter how much they value their sobriety—will tell you that if they could have continued to drink the way they wanted to with no real consequences, they would never have gotten sober.
But consequences are in the eye of the beholder. Gerard Depar-drunk was convicted of a DUI all the way back in 1990 in France; a country I didn’t even know gave DUIs (especially in the 90s). He was hardly punished for it—sentenced to two months is jail (that he probably never served) and six months without a driver license. And then in 2000, the actor had a heart attack followed by quintuple bypass surgery—apparently red wine is good for your heart but only in moderation (a word that Depardieu seems none too fond of). In 2011, at the age of 62, the star was banned from a plane for taking a piss in the aisle after the flight crew told him he couldn’t use the bathroom until after take off. And finally, the notorious bon vivant calls former Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro a close friend—which you could call a consequence of his drinking.
Alas, none of this seems to bother Depardieu in the slightest, although it’s hard to care about much when you are drunk—or rather “just a little p*****d”—all the time. Regardless of how he actually feels, there is one thing that is blatantly obvious: Depardieu is certainly not vain. Having not seen a photo of the French movie star in probably 20 years, it was more than a little shocking to discover that a once (sort of) handsome leading man has transformed into a modern day Dionysus
If you are home alone wondering if you should crack open that second (or 13th) bottle of wine, take the well-being of Depardieu as a sign to Depar-don’t.