The star of gritty 90s movies like Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Heat and Natural Born Killers is back at work and set to return to the big screen after more than a decade long absence.
After a very public battle with drug addiction, run-ins with the police and a lot of soul-searching, Tom Sizemore is fit, healthy and approaching almost four years sober.
And in a candid and extraordinary interview with DailyMail.com, Sizemore reveals the shocking depths to which he plunged while consumed by cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.
Tom Sizemore reveals the shocking depths to which he plunged while consumed by cocaine, heroin and crystal meth in an interview with DailyMail.com. He is sober and set to return to the big screen after a decade
Sizemore has undergone a state-of-art medical procedure involving removing hair follicles from the back of his head and implanting them where his hair is thinning, leaving no scars
Sizemore co-starred with Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Saving Private Ryan
He recalls seeing his successful acting career – starring alongside the likes of Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Woody Harrelson and Al Pacino – crumble around him, his bank balance and the trappings of fame vanish overnight, and tells how he hit rock bottom when forced to squat for two years in a building with no electricity or running water, whiling away the days smoking crystal meth.
’My life’s gotten a lot better, it’s been a real chronicle, but I’ve got a long history of substance abuse, I was in a really bad place,’ he explains.
‘And I’m coming up on four years sober, it was really difficult, the first two years were miserable I thought I’d never smile again.
‘But I am smiling again, you’ve got to stick around until you feel better.’
And Sizemore, 55, knows that if he keeps it together the work will flood in.
‘I’m good at this acting thing,’ he says with a wry smile.
The enigmatic actor says he’s lost ‘nothing off my fast ball’ when it comes to his art.
‘I’m a pitcher, an older pitcher now, and I used to throw 98 mph and I still throw 98 mph when I’m acting.’
But he’s also realistic that he needs to stay away from drugs and booze
‘If I can’t stay sober, put me in a field and get rid of me, I’m no good anymore.
‘Drugs are a progressive disease, if I do drugs again I go right back to where I was before, I was ineffectual, I could barely get dressed, I was hopeless.’
Sizemore admits, however, that moving in showbiz circles does mean he is presented with the temptation of drugs – something he knows will be difficult to avoid.
Recently he met with legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards – a name synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll excess.
The pair met at the Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood and Richards was incredulous at his acting friend’s sobriety.
‘He said “Tom, what the f***, you don’t do any drugs at all?”
Sizemore (second from left) is the eldest of four brothers and a sister and admits to being a mommy’s boy – speaks to his mom (in striped robe) two to three times a day. Letting his mother, now 71, down when he was doing drugs is Sizemore’s biggest regret
The actor also rubbished claims that he was left homeless by his addiction, ‘homeless my a**’, he says.
But he describes his ‘rock bottom’ where he lived in his car and then a squat for two years.
‘I wasn’t homeless but I had to fast sell my $7 million house. This is how f***ed up I was, I could have bought something else, like a condo or something, but I wanted a house again.
‘So I was driving around in my car for a couple of weeks, I mean I was on drugs, I was thinking I’m gonna get the money to buy a $5million home and I’m asking certain people for money. I asked Jack Nicholson, “can you loan me $10million”, and he said, “In a word, no.”
Sizemore said he drove up to Sylmar, California where a friend had a ramshackle guesthouse and he moved in.
‘I was living in a squat, in Sylmar, up in the woods, with no water, no electricity. I’m pretty handy though, so I stole some electricity from the telephone pole, redirected some water. That was not cool.’
That was in 2009 and Sizemore said that spurred him into getting help and he entered a treatment program.
‘I didn’t get clean,’ he recalls.
What Sizemore learned about himself during his drug years was that he’s a ‘survivor’.
‘Every day that goes by I feel better, and having my hair done gives me the self-confidence every actor needs,’ he said
To demonstrate his transformation from one time drug-addled Hollywood pariah back to tinsel down darling, Sizemore invited DailyMail.com to see his surgery at top cosmetic clinic, the Beverly Hills Hair Group
‘I don’t care who knows about my hair I’m very proud of it. ‘I feel great, I’m exercising five times a week, I’m in good shape and I’ve not looked as well as I have for some time’
He says that coming from a rough part of Detroit and landing in Beverly Hills surrounded by the trappings of fame, only then to lose it all again, was was difficult to bare.
‘It was pretty quick from coming through adolescence to becoming a big star so I had nothing and then I had everything,’ he says.
‘To have everything, a 24 hour cook, a 24 hour maid, the whole ball of wax. Several million dollars in the bank and job after job after job, then to have it so abruptly stop.’
Sizemore compared his experience to that of close friend Robert Downey Jr.
He recalls visiting Downey in 1999 at California State Prison in Corcoran – otherwise known as the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison or Corcoran II.
‘I remember walking into that prison and thinking, how in the world did the finest actor of my generation end up like this.
If somebody had killed me he would have gotten some kudos, “I killed Tom Sizemore, that actor.”
‘He’s the most inventive and creative actor I’ve ever met and now this guy is flat broke, hopelessly addicted to heroine and crack and he’s doing two years in California State Prison.
‘And I walk in there and the sobering reality of what had happened to his life and I said to myself, I will never let this happen to me.
‘And then lo and behold in 2005 I’m there too, I had a brief stay at Corcoran.’
Sizemore details his hell behind bars and how – targeted because of his Hollywood status – he had 11 fights in his first week in a bid to stay alive.
‘I grew up in a tough area, I’m not afraid to fight, I don’t wanna fight, but I had to fight,’ he recalls.
‘I didn’t really win any fights but I didn’t back down,
‘It was so scary, I was gonna get hurt.
‘If somebody had killed me he would have gotten some kudos, “I killed Tom Sizemore, that actor,” and he’s like a hero.’
Sizemore’s hair transplant surgery was carried out by Dr. Ben Talei, facial plastic surgeon and medical director at the Beverly Hills Hair Group . Dr. Talei uses a refined version of the revolutionary procedure called follicular unit extraction (FUE), which gives a natural look, without scarring and costs between $5,000-$20,000
Sizemore says he stayed alive by listening to one of the old timers on his row who told him not to leave his cell.
‘He was right, the inmates want to break your heart because they’re hearts have been broken, so I didn’t leave my cell for the next seven months,’ he said.
He recalls passing the time by writing film scripts, from memory, down on paper.
‘It kept my mind sharp. My favorite was Hamlet, I’d recite Hamlet in my cell.’
Sizemore said he didn’t start taking drugs seriously until his early 30s – after arriving in Hollywood.
As a teenager his mother had always told him to stay away from drugs.
The star recalls the first time he ever took cocaine was at a party at the home of an A-list actor (whose name he won’t divulge).
Cocaine was being passed around the room and he took it because ‘everyone else did.’
‘I walked out on to the balcony and it really felt like Christmas and my birthday and the first time I got a piece of a** all rolled up into one.
He admits he already had a drug problem when he filmed Natural Born Killers in which he played the part of Detective Jack Scagnetti. He decided he had to stop doing drugs – but that proved difficult
‘My head exploded, everything was more colorful and I was like, “this is what I’ve been missing, this is why everyone is so happy.”
‘It made me feel like this is who I am, I’m with it now, I’m connected, I’m excited.’
But two weeks later, after continually taking the drug, Sizemore found himself in the throes of addiction.
His next role was Natural Born Killers – in which he played the part of Detective Jack Scagnetti – and he decided he had to stop doing drugs – but that proved difficult.
‘I threw all my drugs away, I didn’t want to mess this up, but the next morning I couldn’t get out of bed. I immediately called my drug dealer,’ he said.
At the same time, Sizemore also tried to tell his mother, Judith, about his addiction.
‘I ran all these things through my head what I was going to say to her, but then I saw her face, I just couldn’t ask her for help, I couldn’t tell her about the drugs,’ he said.
Sizemore – who is the eldest of four brothers and a sister and admits to being a mommy’s boy – speaks to his mom two to three times a day.
The 71-year-old retired member of the city of Detroit ombudsman staff, lives in Dearborn, Michigan and is her son’s biggest fan.
‘I got away from talking to her when I was using, when I did call she’d say, “Tom you are doing those drugs baby, I can hear it,” I’d say, “no I’m not mom”, then of course I’d get caught doing them and test dirty and I got tired of lying to her, that was awful, I never lied to my mother my entire life until I was using. I love her more than my own life.’
Letting his mother down is Sizemore’s biggest regret.
‘It’s hard to think about how much I disappointed her, although she never said one word to me, she never said Tommy you let me down, or Tommy you made me unhappy,’ he said, his voice breaking and tears welling in his eyes.
‘My mom has never said a bad word to me my entire life.’
Fit and sober Tom Sizemore, pictured at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills
Sizemore’s drug problem worsened after Natural Born Killers.
He realized he could still function while filming a big picture and before long he progressed to taking heroin and crystal meth.
Over the years he has been in and out of rehab several times and was arrested in 2007 and 2009 for drug-related charges, spending 16 months in total in prison.
The star was even caught attempting to fake a drug urine test using a prosthetic penis known as a Whizzinator.
He chronicled his harrowing drug tales in his memoir By Some Miracle I Made It Out Of There, after getting clean briefly in 2010 on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.
While he seemed to get his life back on track after the show, two videos of the troubled actor smoking drugs emerged.
It wasn’t until 2013 that he finally got clean for real.
Sitting in a luxury suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills – the scene of many a drug-induced meltdown in the past – the actor is now slim, tanned and sporting a noticeably thicker hairline after having surgery to battle the effects of age.
Every day that goes by I feel better, and having my hair done gives me the self-confidence every actor needs.
To demonstrate his transformation from one time drug-addled Hollywood pariah back to tinsel down darling, Sizemore invited DailyMail.com to see his surgery at top cosmetic clinic, the Beverly Hills Hair Group.
The state-of-art medical procedure, which involves removing hair follicles from the back of his head and implanting them where his hair is thinning leaving no scars, has worked wonders.
‘Every day that goes by I feel better, and having my hair done gives me the self-confidence every actor needs,’ he said.
‘I don’t care who knows about my hair I’m very proud of it.
‘I feel great, I’m exercising five times a week, I’m in good shape and I’ve not looked as well as I have for some time.
‘But mostly, I like myself again and I feel good again, for an actor that’s so important, if you don’t have self-confidence you can’t act, if you don’t believe in what you’re doing.’
Sizemore is set to appear in an upcoming movie called Felt alongside stars Liam Neeson and Diane Lane.
The spy thriller is based on the true events around FBI agent Mark Felt who became an anonymous source, known as Deepthroat, for reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and helped in the investigation leading them to the Watergate scandal.
Sizemore plays Bill Sullivan in the movie, one of two of Felt’s rival FBI agents.
He is also one of the leads in the Twin Peaks re-boot and appeared on the USA Network drama Shooter.
His road to recovery was marred briefly in July last year when he was arrested following an incident with a woman at his apartment in LA.
In January he pleaded no contest to two domestic violence charges in a deal that allows him to avoid a 210-day jail term.
Sizemore says, with a wide Hollywood smile: ‘I’m back, I’m so excited about the future, I’m clean. I was an actor, then I was a drug addict, and now I’m an actor again. I’m a son and a father and I’m gonna stick there. I’m embracing Act II of my life’
Sizemore is realistic about his progress.
‘Felt, Twin Peaks, Shooter, f*** up, back good,’ he says.
Before adding that he was targeted by a friend of an ex-girlfriend over money. It’s a subject that angers him.
‘I have never hit a broad in my life. I don’t know why she did it, she wanted to get on TV and sue me, or something.
‘It’s over, it was thrown out because they didn’t believe her, but I had to do six months of anger management.’
Sizemore says his lawyer advised him to take a plea deal rather than go to trial and be dragged through the press again.
One of the other things the actor is in the process of repairing is his relationship with his 12-year-old twin sons, Jayden and Jagger, who live in Palm Springs with their mom Janelle McIntire.
HAIR TODAY, AND TOMORROW!
Tom Sizemore’s hair transplant surgery was carried out by Dr. Ben Talei, facial plastic surgeon and medical director at the Beverly Hills Hair Group.
Dr. Talei uses a refined version of the revolutionary procedure called follicular unit extraction (FUE), which gives a natural look, without scarring and costs between $5,000-$20,000.
He says his clinic has done hundreds of transplants for the rich and famous.
‘The classic world of hair transplants involved doing big cuts on people’s heads, moving skin around, trying to chop up hair follicles and putting them back in as big plugs or patches,’ he explains.
Sizemore’s hair transplant surgery was carried out by Dr. Ben Talei, facial plastic surgeon and medical director at the Beverly Hills Hair Group
‘We are way beyond that now and we are doing much more minimally invasive procedures where we extract the hair follicle by itself with nothing else around it.
‘We re-implant those into tiny microscopic needle sites that mimic the exact hair growth you’ve had on your scalp the rest of your life. So the hair growth becomes completely natural and normal.’
Dr. Talei said Sizemore had been losing hair over years and was ‘thinning out diffusely’.
‘Our plan for him was to reinforce the entire hairline to make it look better, not only in person, but when he’s doing movies, TV or any kind of media photography, you would not be able to tell anything was done no matter how closely you look.’
The doctor also says the recovery time for hair transplants has been significantly reduced, with most people back at work within three days of having the procedure.
‘With Tom our goal was to keep it age appropriate but much more virile looking, he’s very happy with the result.’
‘We’re cool, I like being a dad,’ he says. ‘But I can’t believe I missed out on a bunch of stuff in their lives.
‘I wasn’t present when I was on drugs, I couldn’t hear you, I couldn’t read what you want, everything becomes kind of grey and flat. That’s no way to live, it didn’t make me an a**hole, it made me an invisible man when I was around people I cared about.’
Sizemore feels that at times it seems like someone else lived the past 12 years of his life.
But finally he has learned to ‘forgive’ himself.
He says, with a wide Hollywood smile: ‘I’m back, I’m so excited about the future, I’m clean.
‘I was an actor, then I was a drug addict, and now I’m an actor again. I’m a son and a father and I’m gonna stick there. I’m embracing Act II of my life.’