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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Whatever Happened to Tom Sizemore?

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix
 

I'd never forget Sizemore as Hungarian Sgt. Mike Horvath in Saving Private Ryan, even if I'd only seen it once. He had the visceral intensity of a young Brando, and should have been up for the Best Supporting Actor. My hunch was that too many of Hollywood's lefties wanted Jeremy Davies, who was likewise brilliant as the unit's impotent, stupid, liberal intellectual, and thus there was insufficient support for either man.
 

Action star Tom Sizemore recounts his rise and fall from fame and his battle with sobriety in new memoir

By Some Miracle I Made It Out of Here documents Sizemore's interactions with A-list girlfriends and co-stars, like Elizabeth Hurley, and being on the cusp of superstardom. The actor also talks candidly about his battle with drugs and multiple attempts to sober up.
By Sherryl Connelly
March 16, 2013, 9:50 P.M.; updated: March 17, 2013, 12:00 A.M.
New York Daily News
Comments (59)

Sizemore starred in the short-lived CBS series 'Robbery Homicide Division.'

Tom Sizemore's career spiral, famously greased by addiction, took the tough-guy actor from stellar movies like “Saving Private Ryan” to a highly publicized season on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

There was a prison term along the way.

His new memoir, “By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There,” reads as a brutal cautionary tale. The fallen star spares no detail, ugly or beautiful. The coke, the heroin, the meth were ugly. The women were beautiful.

On one of his early movies, “Passenger 57” from 1992, he made his move on co-star Elizabeth Hurley just ahead of co-star Wesley Snipes, who also had her in his sights. Sizemore writes that he was too intimidated by her beauty to do more than cuddle on their first night — so Hurley took it on herself to move the matter forward.


Elizabeth Hurley, who starrred in 'Passenger 57' with Wesley Snipes and Tom Sizemore, was the object of interest for both men, but she ultimately dated Sizemore.

The next night she excused herself to change into lingerie that made her most provocative screen getups seem tame, then jumped on the coffee table and stripped for him.

“It was a g------- good routine too,” he writes.

After that, Sizemore basically moved in with her — even after he learned she had a boyfriend, Hugh Grant. He would have to vacate when Grant, whom he thought of as just another out-of-work actor, came to town.


Tom Sizemore dated actress Elizabeth Hurley after the two met on the set of 'Passenger 57.'

“Hugh is coming: when do you think you should move your things out?” she’d ask.

Eventually, Sizemore had to end it. He loved her, and just couldn’t take it anymore. When he told her, he cried.

It was searing ambition that had brought him to Los Angeles in 1991, leaving his girlfriend, Edie Falco, behind in New York.
He’d already worked on Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July” in 1989. The roles kept coming — and he was tasting fame.

On an evening out with Robert Downey Jr., Sizemore writes, he joined the party and snorted cocaine for the first time. He got the name of Downey’s dealer and within two weeks was a daily user.

Action star Tom Sizemore's forthcoming memoir, 'By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There.'

Still, life was good. When in New York, he was hanging out with the likes of Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis, guys whose literary cool was closely associated with Brazilian marching powder. In fact, Sizemore claims a bindle of his coke disappeared when he was in a bathroom with Ellis.

The writer denied taking it, though the actor believed otherwise. “And he wouldn’t give it back!”

Not long after, he was introduced to heroin and cocaine became a distant memory. He writes that he started hanging around the notorious Viper Room and Bob Forrest, who’d fronted the rock band Thelonious Monster, became his dealer. It would later be Forrest, working with Dr. Drew Pinsky, got him sober.

RELATED: TOM SIZEMORE PROMISES HE WILL BE 'EXONERATED'


According to Sizemore, Elizabeth Hurley was dating both him and Hugh Grant at the same time. Sizemore eventually broke off the relationship.

Sizemore writes that the professional opportunities blew his mind, including the call from the assistant to the “biggest star in the world at the time,” whom he doesn’t name. She wanted to take a meeting at her home. The superstar walked in and said, “So tell me about yourself.”

By then he’d figured out what was going on and replied, “Um . . . I’m old enough.”

Upstairs, he took a shower — and ended up sleeping with her for three years.

Sizemore fought his way into Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” in 1994. He got clean of heroin for the role of Detective Jack Scagnetti, but it wouldn’t last. On the set he started an affair with the much younger Juliette Lewis, who had her own substance abuse issues. She was 19; he was 32.


Juliette Lewis was 19 when she began dating a 32-year-old Tom Sizemore. By his account, the pair had a drug-fueled relationship.

But first he got the okay from her former boyfriend, Brad Pitt.

He claims Pitt said: “I’ll drive you there! I want to be your agent on this one!”

Sizemore writes that even though Lewis broke up with Pitt after he’d made them late to the Academy Awards the year she was nominated when he couldn’t decide on a pair shoes, she’d been bothering him with phone calls.



Sizemore, left, star alongside Tom Hanks in 'Saving Private Ryan.'

Sizemore all but moved in with Lewis, sharing her her huge, unfurnished Hollywood mansion. She never wanted to leave the house and a big TV was always on, always playing porn. He’d want to turn it off, he writes, but she would protest, “But I like the music.”

“Essentially,” he writes, “we were really high and really rich.”

After their relationship ended he got a call to meet with Robert De Niro. “Do you know what a wonderful actor you are?” the older actor told him.

Sizemore was cast in “Heat,” the 1995 Michael Mann movie that paired two legends, De Niro and Al Pacino.


Tom Sizemore dated Heidi Fleiss, who he says introduced her to several of her friends who were hookers.


After the movie wrapped, De Niro was part of a successful effort to get Sizemore into rehab. He told the weeping actor, “I love you like a son,” and Sizemore was convinced he had to go.

Life afterward was pretty great. He married actress Maeve Quinlan and they moved into a 2,500-square-foot home they loved in Benedict Canyon. Their friends included De Niro and his wife, Grace, Mann and Sean Penn.

Sizemore tells a good story about the night Penn introduced him to Warren Beatty. When Sizemore asked him why he didn’t smoke or drink, Beatty said matter-of-factly, “Because of the way I look.”



While filming 'Paparazzi,' producer Mel Gibson told Sizemore he was about to be arrested because 'Heidi says you hit her, though Sizemore contends she was lying and manufactured evidence. He was convicted on four counts.

Sizemore had a solid stretch of sobriety when Steven Spielberg called him in to talk about “Saving Private Ryan” (1998). He insisted the actor bring his wife with him, and asked her, “Can Tom stay clean and sober?”

He made it through the grueling shoot without resorting to drugs. He filmed Martin Scorsese’s “Bringing Out the Dead” (1999) with Nicolas Cage and got into it with Marc Anthony. The two were fighting, in character, in an ambulance when the heavy IV equipment fell onto Anthony’s groin. The actor blamed Sizemore, and production staffers had to pull the two apart.

Soon enough, he was strung out again, ending up in the hospital after overdosing on methadone and heroin. Still, he made it through the filming of “Pearl Harbor” (2001) where, he writes, he delivered a pep talk to Ben Affleck. The star appeared to be cracking under the pressure of carrying a Michael Bay extravaganza.

On the set of “Red Planet” (2000), it got ugly with Val Kilmer, who’d been an on-and-off friend. Kilmer grew irate when he realized that production had paid for Sizemore’s elliptical machine to be shipped to Australia.


After being jailed in 2007 for a methamphetamine bust, Sizemore said he fought off a rape attempt and was afraid of being murdered by other inmates during his 16-month stint.


Kilmer shouted, “I’m making ten million on this; you’re only making two.” Sizemore threw a 50-pound weight at him but missed.
Things got so bad that one of the producers asked that Sizemore not hit Kilmer in the face when the big fight finally happened. The day came, and Sizemore cooperatively landed a knock-down blow on Kilmer’s chest.

When Sizemore got back from Australia, his wife filed for divorce. She just couldn’t take his struggles with sobriety anymore. It was then he hooked up with Heidi Fleiss. The infamous Hollywood Madam had done her prison time, and though embittered, she was trying to put her life back together.

It was a relationship no one close to Sizemore wanted him to pursue. His manager told him he was “in line to be the next Gene Hackman or De Niro” and that being with Fleiss would dim his rising star.

RELATED: TOM SIZEMORE QUESTIONED BY COPS OVER MISSING FEMALE FRIEND


Dr. Drew Pinsky (right) comforts Tom Sizemore during an episode of the third season of 'Celebrity Rehab.'

But by then, he writes, he was hooked on meth, which Fleiss introduced to him, and he became a walking libido, having sex with as many women as possible. His house became “a well-appointed flophouse for hookers,” all of whom he’d met through Fleiss, though they had huge fights about other women.

The movie, “Black Hawk Down” (2001) didn’t do much for his career. A Michael Mann television series he starred in, “Robbery Homicide Division,” was canceled in 2002.

He was working on the film “Paparazzi” (2004) when producer Mel Gibson told him, “You’re about to be arrested ... Heidi says you hit her.”

Sizemore still contends Fleiss was lying and manufactured evidence, but he was convicted on four counts. In 2003, he was sentenced to six months in jail, but the judge ruled he could cut the term in half by entering rehab.

Then came a turnstile of rehabs. On the outside, he passed mandated drug tests using a device known as the Whizzinator, a fake penis and dry urine. Eventually he was caught. A woman he’d only been casually involved with gave birth to his twins.
Still he drugged on, at times ending up homeless, so desperate for money he did a sex tape with six women.

After another bust for methamphetamine in 2007, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison for parole violation.

The guy who had been “just a couple mistakes away from glory” in Hollywood writes that he fought off a rape attempt and spent his last weeks in jail holed up in his cell, afraid of being murdered by other inmates.

Upon his release in December after six months served, he chased meth and degradation like he once chased movie roles. Finally he was talked through the door of “Celebrity Rehab” (2008), where he found a recovering Fleiss as well as Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who overdosed in 2011.

For the still-sober Sizemore, there’s been movie work but nothing major, nothing memorable. He was a Hollywood tough guy who fell hard. Now, at 51, he’s just trying to pick himself up.

sconnelly@nydailynews.com



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now, at 51, he’s just trying to pick himself up.

Oh gee. I feel so sorry for this guy.

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Anonymous said...

As long as Tom Sizemore stays clean and sober he is successful.
And he'll stay alive.
Good for him. Way to go Tom.

Anonymous said...

Tom, please come back to the big or small screen..those of us who appreciate real talent miss you. I wish you all the luck in the world.