EXCLUSIVE: ‘Every time I looked in the mirror it was a reminder of what I had done.’ Terminator 2 star Edward Furlong, 44, reveals he’s four years sober and working again as he shows off new set of teeth after his own rotted from years of meth use
- Actor Edward Furlong has opened up about his recovery from drug and alcohol abuse in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
- The former child star, now 44, was only 13 when he was plucked out of obscurity and cast as John Connor in the 1991 action film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- But with fame and fortune came partying and addiction and Furlong’s twenties saw him descend into meth and heroin addiction and saw multiple arrests
- Now four years sober, he revealed he just finished filming a new project with director Brad Keller and has a new set of teeth after his rotted from meth use
- ‘Every time I looked in the mirror it just bummed me out as a reminder of what I had done for all those years. It’s nice to get a second chance,’ he said
- As a successful child star who ‘was left to run wild’, Furlong said he ‘was almost destined for [drug addiction]’ and never felt like he fit in
- However successful he appeared, he said he always felt like ‘I was pulling something over on everyone’
Former child actor Edward Furlong, 44, spoke of his decision to get sober and relaunch his film career in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
He was a child star who shot to fame as John Connor in Terminator 2 and Danny Vinyard in American History X and appeared alongside Hollywood greats, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meryl Streep, Ed Norton and Liam Neeson.
But Edward Furlong’s twenties saw him descend into a hell of meth and heroin abuse that persisted through the birth of his son Ethan, now 15, and led to multiple arrests.
Now, over five years after his last brush with the law – a 2016 conviction for being under the influence of drugs – Furlong, 44, is sober and has been for over four years.
The dad-of-one is also relaunching his movie career and recently finished filming in Texas with Brad Keller – a producer and director who worked on 1991 thriller JFK – on a project called Charlie’s Horse.
His new lease on life also includes a fresh set of teeth: his own had rotted due to years of meth use and he describes his new ones, which he got from LA experts Global Implant Dentistry, as being part of his ‘second chance’.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Furlong said: ‘It feels great to be back on set and sober too.
‘I didn’t feel hungover when I went to work. There’s other sober people at work which is weird because if you’re not sober, you’re not hanging out with the other sober people. It was cool.
Furlong was just 13 years old when he was plucked from obscurity and cast in 1991 action film hit, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger
His role in the blockbuster film would catapult him to stardom and see him go on to star in other huge films including American History X and Detroit Rock City. He is pictured above at the premiere of Detroit Rock City in 1999
The actor shared before and after photos of his smile and described his new pearly whites as being part of his ‘second chance’
‘I really enjoyed it and I feel like I can be more in the moment. I love to work. We’ll see what happens.’
Joking, he added: ‘Hopefully I won’t end up having to be a prostitute or something like that.’
Furlong says it took him some time to come around to the idea of having his teeth ‘ripped out’ and replaced but admits it has been worth it.
The 44-year-old said: ‘It sounds weird for me to be talking about teeth because I don’t live and breathe the way I look but every time I looked in the mirror, it just bummed me out as a reminder of what I had done for all those years.
‘It’s nice to get a second chance. It was a no-brainer, I’m super glad I did it.’
Furlong was just 13 when he was plucked out of obscurity by director James Cameron to take on the central role of John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
He said: ‘The whole thing was a shock. I don’t know if I ever completely absorbed it. Picked up from nowhere, just auditioned for it and before I knew it, I was doing it. I was in the movie.
‘When I look back on it, I’m like damn, that’s pretty crazy. When I was younger, I was pretty driven and somehow manifested that into my life.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Furlong said it felt great to be back on set ‘sober’ and not ‘hungover’
Years of meth use saw Furlong lose most of his teeth. But his new lease on life includes a fresh set which he got from LA experts Global Implant Dentistry
‘It was pretty awe-inspiring. I loved movies and I’d seen Terminator but had no idea how it was made.
‘I remember the first day like it was yesterday – getting up at four in the morning and really hating life.
‘Getting to set and just seeing how a hundred people are doing different jobs. There’s so much that goes into it and learning very quickly that this is actually a really boring process.
‘When you’re running away from a piece of tape or whatever and then you see it all together with the music – you’re like wow, these people really know what they’re doing. It’s pretty wild!’
But the instant fame and slew of awards masked trouble behind the scenes.
Furlong says however successful he appeared, he always felt like ‘I was pulling something over on everyone’ and was terrified people might find out who he really was.’
‘I had a lot of awesome things happen but everything comes with a price, nothing is free,’ he added.
‘When I was younger, I didn’t have too many people looking out for me and I was left to run wild.
‘I didn’t know how to manage my money. If I was older, I wouldn’t have made so many bad decisions.’
First came marijuana, alcohol, and magic mushrooms. Then, as he hit his twenties and embarked on near-daily parties, cocaine and heroin were added to the mix – one to help him stay awake, the other to get him to sleep.
‘I was never a normal teenager. I had a very un-normal life. I was almost destined for [drug addiction]. In a weird way, I never really felt like I fit in,’ he said.
‘So, when I was high, I had camaraderie with other people. Just drinking and partying. All of a sudden, I felt like I was with people and I fit in somehow. That’s how it started.
Furlong was thrust into the spotlight as John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991 playing alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger
Furlong (pictured left in Terminator 2, and right with Jeff Bridges in 1993’s American Heart) said his descent into substance abuse began as he felt like he didn’t fit in or know how to manage his money as a famous child actor
Furlong, pictured in 2000, believes he would not have made ‘so many bad decisions’, had he found fame as an adult
‘It worked for a long time. I will say, I used to love tripping and psychedelics. There’s some cool good stuff that comes out of that.
‘But it’s a whole other thing when you get to the hard drugs. In my twenties, I was partying and wanting to go out every night, but I was so tired and I’d be drunk and want to do more cocaine so I could wake up and drink some more.
‘But that all spirals into, now I’m whacked out of my head and want to go to bed, so now I need something to put me to sleep which would be Xanax or heroin.
‘Then I’m not even going to parties anymore – I’m just wanting to do the coke and come down and I’m sitting there alone.
‘I know it doesn’t turn into that for everybody. I’m not anti-drugs or anything. I know it turns into that for me.’
Furlong managed to stay off heroin for a bit after his son’s birth in 2006, but by 2013 descended back into addiction and was arrested for domestic battery against then-girlfriend Monica Keena
In 2006, he married actress Rachael Bella – best known for her role in horror movie The Ring – and their son Ethan was born the same year.
Furlong says he was able to kick heroin and ‘maintain’ on a diet of alcohol, weed and the occasional snort of cocaine for a period of time after his son was born.
But by 2009, his marriage was floundering with Bella filing for divorce, followed by a scandal in 2012 when Ethan, then six, tested positive for cocaine after a visit with Furlong, leading to a judge ordering only supervised visits with his son.
Infamously, he was robbed the same year while on Skid Row – a Los Angeles neighborhood notorious for drugs and homeless people. At the time, he claimed he was just asking for directions.
Behind the scenes, Furlong had descended back into heroin and meth addiction which culminated in him being arrested for domestic battery against then-girlfriend Monica Keena in January 2013 and being sentenced 180 days in jail.
Despite spending 61 days in the pen and completing a 90-day drug program, Furlong still couldn’t kick the habit – despite becoming increasingly desperate to do so.
He said: ‘Towards the end, I was shooting loads and loads of heroin, meth, smoking DMT [a psychedelic drug] all the time. That’s the way I was all day.
In 2006, he married actress Rachael Bella – best known for her role in horror movie The Ring – and their son Ethan was born the same year. The couple divorced in 2009
As a Hollywood star who shot to fame before reaching adolescence, Furlong admitted he didn’t ‘have too many people looking out for me’ and was ‘left to run wild’. He is pictured above walking the red carpet with Paris Hilton and Natasha Lyonne
Actor Edward Furlong attends a court hearing after being charged with assaulting his girlfriend in 2013 in Los Angeles Superior Court
‘It’s amazing I’m still alive – there were a couple of close calls. I definitely OD’d but that’s the cycle you know.
‘Once you get in there, it’s so hard to see a way out. That’s what I’d want people to understand – there is a way out but it’s hard.
‘It’s the bravest thing I’ve ever done in my life to not use. I’m not someone who likes to be controlled by anything or anyone and I didn’t want to be a slave to it anymore.’
In August 2016, he and a friend checked into a hotel in Ventura, a small town 40 miles north of LA, with the intention of kicking heroin.
Furlong says the pair showed up carrying a bag of meth aimed at ameliorating the pain of heroin withdrawal which was discovered after they were asked to move rooms and staff found used syringes in the room they had shared.
Booted out of the hotel, they were attempting to check into another when they were arrested for being under the influence of an illicit substance and booked into the Ventura County Jail.
Despite describing the cop who arrested him as a ‘d***’, Furlong says his unlikely benefactor was also a blessing in disguise.
‘It was actually getting arrested for such a bulls*** thing that it ended up getting me sober,’ Furlong told DailyMail.com.
‘I was hating life. I thought it was so not fair what had happened. But it led to what’s happening today.’
At sentencing in February 2017, Furlong was handed a suspended sentence of 36-months on probation that would kick in if he didn’t complete a six-month drug rehab.
With money and fame came partying, drugs, and addiction. The actor’s twenties saw him descend into a hell of meth and heroin and multiple brushes with the law
Furlong is now four years sober and is making his return to movies, having recently wrapped up a film project with director Brad Keller, he says. He is pictured above at Wizard World Comic Con in 2019
In the event, he spent a year at Wavelengths Recovery – a drug rehabilitation center in Huntington Beach, California – and he hasn’t looked back since.
He said: ‘I’ve learned as time goes on, it’s easier than I thought it would be. I like myself better, people definitely like me better sober.
‘My son and I have a wonderful relationship. I like how simple my life is these days. I get to wake up and not worry I’m going to go to jail.
‘I’m not hungover and wondering what I did last night. There’s so many awesome things and reasons I do it for. I hope to keep it up.’
‘It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done,’ he added. ‘I’m blowing myself away every day. It’s cheesy when I get those year chips but I can’t wait to get my five-year chip.’
Furlong says his goal now is to get his old life back. He said: ‘Things are slowly turning around and I just want to get my life back to what it was and what I was doing in the first place.
‘I f***ed over so many people when I was on drugs, gaining back the trust of the people that work with you when you’ve flaked on them so much is a long process.
‘It’s like the friendship that happens after a bad breakup – people are learning to trust me again. It’s great and things are slowly starting to get going again.’
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