Wednesday, October 8,1997 down Nick Nolte gave up drugs and found a comfort zone By LUAINE LEE Scrtpps Howard News Service BEVERLY HILLS — Been there, done that, That could be actor Nick Nolte's anthem. With movies like "48 Hours," "North Dallas Forty," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," Nolte has already lit the sparklers. f : But just when the glamour scaled its peak, Nolte was careening down the backside. "Drinking and drugs, I gave those up," he says, hunched over a plate of fresh fruit in a hotel room here. "You're either going j:o die or you're going to live. It gets down to that point," he says, rubbing his lower jaw with surprisingly delicate fingers., "Nobody gets you sober, only you, only comes through you. You can't/ take a drunk or a drug addict and try to take him, out and get him sober. He's far too devious, he's so much smarter than that. He's going to drink no matter what you do." ~ Nolte lauds AA through the words of writer Kurt Vonnegut: '"Probably America's greatest invention, ever.'" Always eccentric, today Nolte is ' wearing a faded blue T-shirt; lightweight brown topcoat and blue-and- white-striped cotton pajama bottoms. "They're the most comfortable things there are," he shrugs. "Katharine Hepburn told me years ago, 'You dress like me, for comfort.' I took that to mean I could wear anything." Though he seems .idiosyncratic, Nolte makes more sense than most. Starring as the depraved real estate r honcho in-Oliver 'Stpne/s' new>'-"U- T ''Turn," Nolte thinks celebrity'is nothing to hope for. i " • "Stardom is something you don't do, it's given to you^It's taken away like that. It's really mote of, a popu- larity contest than it is anything else. Remember from grade school how fickle popularity is? One day you're head of the class and the next year you ain't in the right crowd. That's what stardom is about." Nolte is still searching for some meaning in life. ."You've made the money so you- know money isn't the answer. You've been a success and you know success doesn't answer anything. . . You've had relationships, so you know that isn't the ultimate answer. You've h probably dabbled in religions and that's not necessarily the whole picture, maybe part. It's certainly better to have a roof over your head than have no roof at all. "But does it.have to be five man- sipns in different states? Or is that going to cause you more anxiety, flying from place to place and only being a month in this place and a month there?" <* Divorced from his third wife, Nolte , 57, is the father of a 10-year-old son who already has done'some acting. "The only thing I asked him to do was • stay barefooted for as long as he could; be a child for .as long as he could.'" He and his ex-wife live on the same block in Florida and share their son. In a life full of trials, Nolte figures' his gutsiest move wasn't deciding tq become an actor or even admitting that he wasn't good enough to pursue sports, but when he obstructed the draft. v , , , "It was ,gutsy to resist going to Viet/ nam because it was so/ blatantly cowardice," he says. ''By 'coward; I mean my first impulse was absolute fear of losing'otte's life. Then only later did ' you begin to .intellectualize and, say who'is asking and why? And wtyen you asked those questions, it was immediately repeated back to ;you, ..-••rti'J'V 'i( ^., i'«w ' , ,i" • ,'• ,'< T ".''". •' •':'"'. , , ;Flle photo Nick Nolte, 57, who stars In director Oliver Stone's "U-Turn." says the gutsiest thing he's ever done was to resist fighting In the Vietnam War. Nolte was caught selling counterfeit draft cards and Is a convicted felon. taken me years to eventually face it. So if you're in denial, that means that You're not supposed to ask those questions. Then to pursue it on past that is where it gets gutsy." (Nolte was caught selling counterfeit draft cards and is a convicted felon.) Nolte, who moved from Iowa to Onv aha, Neb., when he was little, remeni- 4 bers his father's death in the late '60s as a critical turning point. "When you're young and a parent dies it is such an insult to life that you don't directly embrace it. You go .through a period of denial of it. I just drank. It was very difficult to face. It's whole emotional complex isn't available to you," he says, -in his raspy voice. "After you go through the grief pe- «rlod, whether it lasts two years or 10 years, once eventually you get at it, then you have more of yourself available. Because you can live with the . pain now, you can live with the loss. You know it's not going to kill you. When you first feel that loss you don't think you're going to live through it." Chart-topper 'Candle' selling big NEW YORK — Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana sold 3.4 million copies in the U.S. in one week and might surpass "White Christmas" as the biggest-selling single worldwide. The "Candle in the Wind" remake that went on sale here Sept. 25 shattered the mark set by Whitney Houston's "1 Will Always Love You" as the fastest-selling single since 1991, the year Soundscan began tracking music sales. Houston sold 632,000 copies in a week in 1992. . A&M Records estimates that an additional half million people have bought the song through retailers who don't normally sell music. Washed-out bridges Author gets divorced DES MOINES, Iowa — Robert Waller, who sprang to fame on the strength of his best-selling love story "Bridges of Madison County," was recently divorced from his wife. A court clerk in Alpine, Texas, confirmed that Georgia Waller filed for divorce and the decree was granted Aug. 15. Their only child, Rachel Waller, said the divorce became final just before the couple's 36th anniversary. Waller, 58, now lives on a Texas ranch in Texas with Linda Bow, 34, who worked on the ranches as a landscaper, the daughter said. Jeans and T-shirt Michelle goes for comfort NEW YORK — No matter what the media says, Michelle Pfeiffer doesn't consider herself a fashion maven. "I'm always more comfortable underdressed than over," she told the fall edition of In Style, which put her on the cover and named her one of Hollywood's 10 most stylish stars. But Pfeiffer said she prefers simplicity to high fashion. Her .favorite items? Blue jeans, T-shirts and loafers. Nicole Kidman said she feels as comfortable in casual outfits as she does in designer gowns. "I like clothes that don't clash with your personality or feel put on," she said. ... .-.„...
What members have found on this page
Get access to Newspapers.com
- The largest online newspaper archive
- 8,800+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
- Millions of additional pages added every month