If you’re a fan of the Twilight saga, then you’ll know that a major theme throughout the films is the tragic effects of drug and alcohol addiction. The actors who play the role of Bella Swan and her love interest, Edward Cullen, are well known for their on-screen connections to these substances, with Kristen Stewart being the latest addition to the Kardashian sisterhood upon her marriage to actor and producer, Kanye West.

Though they’ve managed to stay away from drugs and drinking for much of their time in the spotlight, the stigma that surrounds these substances means that many of our favorite stars remain tight-lipped about their addictions. If we had to guess, it would be safe to say that many of Hollywood’s biggest stars are either struggling with an addiction themselves or have had to watch someone they love suffer from a substance abuse issue.

While many of our favorite stars have remained silent on the issue, it seems that times have changed. The stars are no longer afraid to come out of the closet and share their addiction stories, and one of the most prominent voices among these is the enigmatic, Robert Pattinson. Mr. Pattinson has been open about his drug use since at least 2014, and even shared a painful firsthand account of his addiction in a 2015 Vanity Fair piece. Though he’s made some encouraging strides in terms of his recovery, it’s still an issue that plagues him, and he’s still clearly in the process of finding peace with this part of his life. Mr. Pattinson took some time out of his schedule to speak to Marie Claire about his addiction, sharing his story in a fresh and candid manner.

The Struggle Of Growing Up In The Industry

“I was surrounded by drugs and alcohol on set. You name it, I guess it was there,” Mr. Pattinson told Marie Claire, referring to his adolescence and early 20s, when he worked as an extra on films such as Twilight and The Hunger Games. “I was around a lot of people who were doing drugs, and it did seem like a cool thing to do. I remember being in a club with my best friend and seeing this girl taking something, and I asked her what it was and she said it was ecstasy. I said, ‘Do you want to try some?’ and she said, ‘Well, maybe later.’ That was all it took for me to grab two tablets and wash them down with a bottle of wine.”

Though he managed to stay away from drugs and alcohol during the height of his Twilight mania, it was a different story once his career took off. In the mid-2010s, he was inundated with film offers and worked tirelessly to keep up with the demand, appearing in a number of prestige projects including the comedy Nightcrawler and the blockbuster Gone Girl. Mr. Pattinson credited this phase of his career with giving him the boost he needed to finally kick his addiction. “[After] a while of being really lucky, being in amazing films, and making a lot of money, it was a wake-up call to say, ‘OK, now I have to deal with my problems,’” he said.

Addicted To All Things Twilight

While Mr. Pattinson managed to keep his drug and alcohol use under control during the height of his Twilight mania, that all came to an end once the film franchise ended. Not only did he have to deal with the sudden rise of a fan base that felt entitled to his time, but he also had to contend with the ravages of time. Wherever he went, people remembered the actor and wanted to talk to him about his time in the spotlight, often bringing up his drug use and, in some cases, asking for help. Mr. Pattinson struggled with this new notoriety, unsure of how to handle his newfound celebrity.

“I didn’t see myself as a role model, to be honest,” he said. “I didn’t think I deserved to be called a superhero just because I wore a mask. It made me feel a little bit bad.”

This is one of the reasons why he agreed to do the Vanity Fair article in the first place. Mr. Pattinson wanted to set the record straight and tell the stories of his personal struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, which he says led to him being “very, very unhappy” for a period of time. He also wanted to show fans that he was “not the guy from Twilight” and would never put them in a situation where he was competing for their attention with his substance abuse issues. While many people in his position might not have shared these reasons, Mr. Pattinson’s candor made him a role model for those struggling with addiction, and even encouraged those around him to seek help. “I was lucky that my own personal journey intersected with this incredibly important moment in time when so many people were open to talking about these issues,” he said. “As a result of that, I feel like I’ve been able to make some progress, and I want to keep on moving forward in my life and in my recovery.”

His Desire To Help

One of the most astounding aspects of Mr. Pattinson’s journey is how much he’s done in the name of helping those around him with addiction issues. Though he clearly still suffers from these issues, he’s actively sought to get help for those he cares about, something that couldn’t be said for many of his fellow celebrities. Most notably, he reached out to the fashion designer, Elizabeth Taylor, when his close friend and bandmate, Elton John was battling with prescription drug addiction.

“I saw that he was in a really bad place, and I didn’t want to let him down,” Mr. Pattinson said about Mr. John. “I wanted to try and help him, so I called Liz. She said, ‘Yes, dear, but he needs to want to help himself. Tell him to go to Narcotics Anonymous.’ And she was right.”

Though he wasn’t successful in getting Mr. John to undergo treatment, he clearly tried. It’s also worth noting that Taylor ultimately reached out to Mr. Pattinson herself, asking for help with an unknown addiction problem. Perhaps it was the fame that came with being the heartthrob in Twilight, but this is one instance where he may have actually done some good. For those he cares about, he wants to be there for them, whatever it may be, offering support and assistance if they need it.

A Powerful Reminder

Ultimately, Mr. Pattinson’s decision to speak openly about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction is a strong one, not only for those who know or have known him, but for anyone who cares about these issues. It will be interesting to see how much his experience has changed since he first spoke about it, and how much it means to those around him. Though it’s only been a few years, it’s still a battle that he’s clearly not won, and one that he’ll continue to face as he moves forward in life. This isn’t to say that he’s forgotten about his fame, as he readily admits that he can’t help but feel that his career is something that was meant to be, but it’s still a sobering reminder of the darkness that consumed him for so long. While many of our favorite stars have managed to stay away from drugs and alcohol, it’s clear that not all of them have been able to conquer their addiction issues. In some cases, these substances have even resulted in the loss of loved ones. It’s a dark issue, one that these stars continue to struggle with, and one that they’ll have to find a way to live with no matter what.”