“Avatar” star Sam Worthington recovered from alcoholism and restored his fame

In 2009, Sam Worthington became a superstar, but his sudden fame has done the actor more harm than good. 

Immediately after its release in 2009, the sci-fi movie “Avatar” became a global sensation, garnering over 3 billion USD in box office revenue, and would maintain its position as the most profitable cinematic project for a long time.

Now, 13 years after the first movie, the “Avatar” franchise has returned with its sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water”, which gained massive praise for its writing and jaw-dropping CGI, and as of December 20th, has recorded 497 million USD in box office sales. 

Avatar 2
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is the impressive sequel to the 2009 movie “Avatar”

As the leading actor of “Avatar”, Sam Worthington became a sought-after name in Hollywood basically overnight, and suddenly has in his repertoire an “unimaginable success”. With such a launching pad, the actor is expected to become the next Hollywood icon, only for him to basically free fall due to alcohol addiction. 

Sam Worthington
The “unimaginable success” of “Avatar” sent Sam Worthing into an uncontrollable spiral 

The downfall

When “Avatar” was released, Sam Worthington was 33 years old. Whilst acting has never been a challenge to the Australian actor, endless promotional activities and media exposure did quite the number on him. As a result, Sam turns to alcohol for relief, and eventually becomes addicted to drinking. 

In an interview with the media outlet Variety, the “Avatar” star disclosed that he “knew cities around the world not in terms of neighborhoods or monuments, but by favorite bars”. Before his first-class flights, Sam would drink 4 to 5 of champagnes, to the point his wife, Lara Worthington, admitted she had never seen anyone drinking that much before boarding. 

Regarding this habit, Sam confessed, “I thought it was normal. I didn’t like who I was. Drinking helped me get through the day.” 

Sam Worthington
Continued alcoholism almost destroyed the actor’s everything, from his relationship, career, to his life. 

Ever since, Sam Worthington would drink every morning. Most people couldn’t tell the severity, however, even though they could probably smell all the wine, and see Sam doing his job in a not-so-normal manner..

Coupled with this is the lack of privacy that the actor suffered from, leading to his anger issues. In 2014, the actor was arrested for punching a photograph on the street, and according to him, he would “go haywire” if somebody asked him for a photo, and that his “anxiety would go through the roof” should anyone approach.

Instead of seeking help, Sam sunk even deeper. “I was an emotional drunk, I got more emotional and erratic the longer I drank. I don’t think I was mean, exactly, but I could be belligerent, petulant,” he said. 

It took Lara Worthington giving him an ultimatum for the actor to stop. She told him, not out of anger or disappointment, but out of love, that he could do what he wanted, but she didn’t need to be around, and it pulled the actor out of his fog. 

Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington and his wife, Lara Worthington

The reborn

After much effort and encouragement from his family, Sam Worthington decided to quit drinking.  The 46-year-old star opened up about his alcoholism for the first time, which has turned him into a bad version.

13 years after Avatar, the second part titled “Avatar: The Way of Water” with the participation of Sam was released worldwide on December 16th. “Avatar: The Way of Water” is one of Hollywood’s most anticipated works in 2022.

Avatar: The Way of Water does a good job of building up the character’s psychological development

Avatar: The way of water reflects some of the changes in Sam Worthington’s life. His character Jake Sully in the film also has a happy life and has children. In real life, in the 13 years between the 2 “Avatar” movies, Sam Worthington also got married and has three sons.

During that time, he also decided to bring his whole family from Australia to New York (USA) to settle down because he believes that this is an environment where his children can be better protected.

After quitting drinking, Sam Worthington also has a new attitude about the roles he takes on.  He no longer pursues big studio movies but accepts to challenge himself in different but also very interesting roles.

Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington gradually made positive changes in his life right after quitting alcohol

He played the role of an army captain in the World War II television series “Hacksaw Ridge”, against Harvey Keitel.  What all these roles have in common is that they are characters with complex internal developments, who struggle between feeling lost and self-hatred.

Worthington says he’s learning to temper his simmering emotions on set and keep them in front of the camera.  He said: “In my 30s, I was young and arrogant.  The older you get, the calmer you become.  When I was younger, I was loud, hot-tempered, and adamant about my ideas.  If you make a little concession, compromise when communicating, you will find something better than anything you can think of.”

Source: Variety 

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