in ,

Saving Private Ryan Star Tom Sizemore Chose Acting to Escape a Life of Crime: “It was all around me, this crime and licentiousness”

Saving Private Ryan Star Tom Sizemore Chose Acting to Escape a Life of Crime: "It was all around me, this crime and licentiousness"

Tom Sizemore always seemed to be on the periphery of greatness but never quite grasped it. However, no matter the production he was in, he stole the scene with his blue steel stare and authoritative character. But what plagued the actor’s career was his dependence and addiction to drugs that he could never quite quit even though acting was his escape. The 61-year-old actor took his last breath on 3 March 2023 after getting hospitalized on 18 February 2023 for brain aneurysm. He never did get to make a comeback like Robert Downey Jr. did with the MCU and that makes his life story a tearjerker to know about.

Tom Sizemore And His History Of Drug Addiction

Tom Sizemore
Tom Sizemore

Tom Sizemore had an illustrious acting career playing supporting characters in films like Heat, Saving Private Ryan, The Relic, and more. Sizemore even bagged a Golden Globe nomination in 1999 for the film Witness Protection. But most people know him for his rampant drug use. The actor was born in 1961 and raised in Michigan by respectable parents. Yet he couldn’t escape the life that was eventually going to consume his career.

In a 1998 interview with the Independent, Tom Sizemore said that his uncles were drug dealers and pimps. He said:

“I’m from Detroit. I was from a kind of violent neighborhood. I was an anomaly because my father was a Harvard man, and he came from a family of poor people. He doesn’t like me talking about the family, but two of his brothers were heroin dealers; one of my mother’s brothers was a pimp. Although my mother and father were both completely legit, it was all around me, this crime and licentiousness.”

Read More: After a Long Fight, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ Star Tom Sizemore Finally Passes Away at 61 from Brain Aneurysm

Tom Sizemore in Heat
Tom Sizemore in Heat

Sizemore further said that he was only nine years old when he understood what was going on at his grandmother’s house. He explained:

I’d go to my grandmother’s at the weekend, and every two minutes there’d be someone knocking at the door. The person would go downstairs, and then they’d come out and leave. My dad’s little sister told me what was happening, `Your uncle’s selling drugs.’ I said, `That’s what I thought! Is it dangerous?’ `Oh no, no, no. He’s a very well-respected drug- dealer.’ I was nine.”

Such troubled surroundings during his formative years affected him for his entire life even though he tried to find solace in pursuing higher education and later on, in acting. But eventually, he gave in to the addiction. In Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (2010), he said that he was using or dealing drugs since he was 15. Then, in a CNN interview (2010), he admitted that he was addicted to meth, heroin, and cocaine. But friends and co-stars didn’t abandon him. Many did try to help, like his Natural Born Killers co-star Robert Downey Jr.

Check Out: Gwyneth Paltrow Hated Hanging Out With Iron Man Star Robert Downey Jr as His Drug Problems Would Tank Her Reputation: “What is wrong with him? Who is this guy?”

Robert Downey Jr. Tried To Help Tom Sizemore

Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Sizemore in Heart and Souls
Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Sizemore in Heart and Souls

Sizemore acted beside Robert Downey Jr. in Natural Born Killers and Heart and Souls. Over time, the Iron Man actor became a confidant and trusted friend. They also bonded because Downey Jr. had overcome the same issue that was plaguing Sizemore. In a 2011 interview with The Fix, the late actor talked about the advice the famous star had given him. As per Sizemore:

“Robert told me this was inevitable: you really want your career back, then you get it back, and you’re like, ‘Whoa.’ You think you might get f***ed up again because you have access to things again. And you worry you may disappear.”

Read More: “He just laughed it off”: Robert Downey Jr. Ignored Pleas of Director to Stop Using Drugs While Filming, Made Close Friend Sean Penn Confront Him for an Intervention

He further said that he was 2 years sober at that time because he had hired a live-in sobriety companion due to Downey Jr.’s insistence. The Black Hawk Down actor said:

 “Robert says that you are thinking about using drugs even if you don’t think you are. He told me I should [hire him]. He said, ‘In the whole scheme of things, it’s not a lot of money compared to what you’ll make if you stay clean. If this guy helps you not use one time, he’s worth every dollar.'”

In a mournful turn of events, Tom Sizemore is no more among us. He is survived by two children, Jagger and Jayden Sizemore.

Source: Independent

Written by Ishita Chatterjee

A literature graduate who loves sharing her views on everything pop-culture and entertainment. Ishita especially loves dreaming about superheroes and comic books when she isn't day dreaming about them everyday either way.