Slater Looks Back on Life of Turmoil, Wiser

Christian Slater "The Forgotten" ABC photo

Christian Slater "The Forgotten" ABC photo

There was a time when Christian Slater was quoted as saying “Work is my hobby, staying sober  is my job.”

That’s not true any more, says the star of ABC’s new “The Forgotten” series.  Christian, who plays a detective haunted by the disappearance of his daughter in the crime drama, wants us to know he has been sober for over four years.  Now, he says, “Work is my job, and having adventures with my kids.  My kids are all-important.”

His son Jaden is 10, his daughter Eliana is eight, and he hopes they’ll profit from his mistakes.

 Christian, who was a Generation X heartthrob on a fast track in the 80s, says he wouldn’t change anything about his past because, “You pull on one thread of tapestry and the whole thing can unravel.”

However, he points out freely that drugs and drink “can create the illusion of being very cool, that drinking is the hip thing to do and that you’ll seem like Clark Gable. You go to a party and have a drink and feel like a super hero when the truth is you’re looking rather foolish.  Showing up for life 24/7 straight and sober can be tough if you’re riddled with insecurities.  Actually, the fastest way of knowing who you are is to know who you’re not.”

Christian notes that his offspring “will be going into high school in the next couple of years, and  that will be the time to have some serious discussions with them about his own experiences,” to give them an awareness of what’s the right and wrong thing to do.”  In other words, do as dad says not as dad did.

MEANWHILE: Christian Slater reveals he had little time to prepare for  his new ABC “The Forgotten” crime thriller.  He admits that his role of a detective haunted by the disappearance of his daughter was offered to him at the last minute, “after producer Jerry Bruckheimer had another guy set for the part.  I don’t remember the fellow’s name, but when they changed the casting and offered the role to me it was a little bit like diving into  a pool without having learned how to swim. It all turned out great, though.  As soon as I read the pilot, I knew I wanted to do the show.”

DOG DAYS:  Mario Lopez is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after bachelors but before he gets a good woman, he tells us, “I’ve got to get a dog first.”

That’s one of the reason the actor/host is currently on a puppy hunt on his show “Extra.”  For the next five months, “Extra” will follow Mario’s journey as he meets with pet organizations, companies, experts, and shelters in the weekly segment “Mario’s Great Puppy Hunt.”  “I thought it was a good time to have responsibility for something other than myself.  It’s a big jump because I don’t even have real plants in my house,” he admits.  “It’s been a good way to raise awareness for all of these dogs that need homes.  Everybody’s really getting into it.  When I was at the Emmys at the red carpet, people were asking if I had found a dog.  They were like, ‘I think you should get a bulldog or a German Shepherd.’  There are a couple of breeds I like, but I’m taking my time so I make the right choice.”

When not working on “Extra,” Lopez has plenty of other things on his plate.  He recently wrapped season four of his hosting duties on “America’s Best Dance Crew.”  “We got picked up for another season so I’m excited about that,” he says of the MTV show.  “I’ve been doing some broadcasting for HBO’s boxing fights.  I did a triathlon recently.  I can see how it can be addicting.  It’s tough to train properly with the schedule I have but I hope to do it again next year.  I’ve got a healthy diet book and a kid’s book coming out.  The new season of ‘Nip/Tuck’ is coming out in October, I believe.  Of course it makes for long days so it throws a little bit of a wrench in the social life, but that’s all right.  I love what I do.”

 NO SMALL PARTS: No sooner was it announced that Robert Zemeckis would be turning his motion capturing ways to a remake of The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” last summer than a cacophony of complaints, dire predictions and rebuttals over the idea began.  But proceeding he is.  With plans to begin shooting still nearly a year away, casting forces are already looking at candidates to play John, Paul, George and Ringo.  Kind of.  What’s required are actors in their mid-to-late twenties with resemblances to the Fab Four.  Their voices and performances will be captured – and then, of course, altered via Zemeckis’ computer wizardry into final fab 3D form.  The process will be “very non-technical and liberating” for the performers, promise casting notices.

With the Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis “Dinner for Schmucks” going before the cameras this fall, the call went out for a child actor to play a cocky, eight-year-old boy named Kyle who will be seen shrieking in terror as a vulture sweeps down on him at a bird show in Griffith Park.  What a movie this is bound to be.  It’s the remake of a French comedy about an incredibly stupid man who has the power to ruin the lives of those with whom he comes in contact.

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster