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Andrew McCarthy on the ’80s women who snubbed him — and his near-fatal addiction

With his brilliant blue eyes, boyish body and child face, actor Andrew McCarthy appeared like the sort of man a woman might carry dwelling to mother. However as he shot to fame as a member of the ’80s Brat Pack, he secretly led a lifetime of debauchery, sleeping with strippers and nursing a coke behavior that almost gave him a coronary heart assault. 

And whereas he had a crush on many well-known actresses at the time, few would give him the time of day, he reveals in his new memoir, “Brat: An 80s Story” (Grand Central Publishing), out Could 11. 

His position in the 1986 movie “Fairly in Pink” marked McCarthy’s entrance right into a glamorous Hollywood life. Stays at the Chateau Marmont and events at Sammy Davis Jr.’s home quickly adopted. At one resort occasion, the actor noticed a “cute younger lady with a pixie haircut.” 

McCarthy chatted her up, however “Courteney Cox was having none of me,” he writes. 

As an alternative, the actor was rising nearer to a stripper he’d met after co-star James Spader took him to an LA jiggle joint. 

McCarthy (center) reveals his long struggle with alcohol and drug addiction in his memoir, "Brat: An '80s Story."
McCarthy (heart) reveals his lengthy battle with alcohol and drug addiction in his memoir, “Brat: An ’80s Story.”

There, McCarthy attached with a woman named Glitter. After spending the evening together with her, he confirmed up for work on the “Fairly in Pink” set the subsequent day. 

Throughout a take, the cinematographer all of the sudden stopped quick. 

“Lower!” he yelled. “Specks on his face!” 

On nearer inspection, it appeared the aptly named Glitter had sprinkled her marks throughout McCarthy’s clean-cut cheeks. 

Raised in Westfield, NJ, McCarthy was one among 4 brothers, and fell in love with appearing whereas performing a Pingry College manufacturing of “Oliver!” 

He turned decided to check appearing and to do it in New York Metropolis — “graffiti-scarred, smelly, exhilarating.” Regardless of middling grades, McCarthy was accepted to NYU, with the stipulation that he keep a B common. 

In his first 12 months at NYU, a buddy confirmed him an advert in Backstage journal in quest of an 18-year-old to play an “extraordinarily clever, however insecure” prep faculty scholar. 

A new-on-the-scene McCarthy once spotted young starlet Courteney Cox at a Hollywood party and tried to hit on her.
A brand new-on-the-scene McCarthy as soon as noticed younger starlet Courteney Cox at a Hollywood occasion and tried to hit on her.
Getty Pictures

McCarthy took the subway to the Higher West Facet’s Ansonia resort, the place the open audition was being held. 

The casting director preferred the younger actor sufficient to ask him to in the end file an audition on videotape — a brand-new know-how at the time. 

McCarthy writes that he bombed the on-camera audition and was crushed, sure {that a} life in present enterprise had simply slipped via his fingers. 

However then, a couple of weeks later, the movie’s inventive group assembled in Los Angeles to view the audition tapes. When McCarthy’s section appeared, the director needed to skip it, however nobody in the room knew the best way to quick ahead the tape. As the group was pressured to take a seat via McCarthy’s audition, one among the producers famous an “Anthony Perkins high quality” and recommended he audition once more. 

McCarthy in the end gained the half in the 1983 film “Class,” which launched his profession. 

One of McCarthy’s first acting gigs was opposite Elisabeth Shue in a Burger King commercial. He asked her out for a drink, and she obliged — then never spoke to him ever again.
One in all McCarthy’s first appearing gigs was reverse Elisabeth Shue in a Burger King business. He requested her out for a drink, and she obliged — then by no means spoke to him ever once more.
Getty Pictures

That ought to have been his massive break. Quickly after, he let his grades slip and was kicked out of NYU in his second 12 months. He went with out work for greater than a 12 months, dwelling in his walk-up residence in the West Village, till he ultimately landed a Burger King business reverse an “lovable” unknown actress — Elisabeth Shue, who would quickly star in 1984’s “The Karate Child.” 

McCarthy was immediately smitten with Shue, and after the business shoot, he invited her out for a drink at his favourite Village hang-out, Nook Bistro. 

“Elisabeth, a brilliant mild of youthful optimism, endured my jaded pronouncements — and the drunks surrounding us — so long as she might,” he writes. 

“Then [she] was gone,” he writes. “I by no means noticed [her] once more.” 

Not lengthy after, McCarthy bought the cellphone name that might change his life — from director Joel Schumacher, who needed to solid him in a coming-of-age drama referred to as “St. Elmo’s Hearth.” The solid included a who’s who of younger Hollywood — Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez. 

McCarthy lucked out with the John Hughes (center) teen drama “Pretty in Pink.” But he didn’t become friendly with Hughes or co-star Molly Ringwald (left) — and found Jon Cryer (right) irritating.
McCarthy lucked out with the John Hughes (heart) teen drama “Fairly in Pink.” However he didn’t turn out to be pleasant with Hughes or co-star Molly Ringwald (left) — and discovered Jon Cryer (proper) irritating.
Paramount (2); Getty Pictures

Although “St. Elmo’s Hearth” obtained a middling reception in 1985, it solidified McCarthy’s place as a member of the Brat Pack. Although the identify gave the actors a sure stature, it was initially coined in a vicious New York journal article as an insult to a younger group of up-and-comers at the time. 

Although McCarthy was shortly lumped in with the Pack, he writes, he was not significantly pleasant with its members and his identify is just talked about as soon as in the article when an nameless actor predicts, “I don’t assume he’ll make it.” 

However McCarthy, who had smoked weed since highschool and drank socially, totally embraced his new Hollywood standing. To have fun the begin of filming “St. Elmo’s Hearth,” the producers gifted him a bottle of pink wine. He ultimately took that bottle again to New York with him, and one evening, determined to open it. 

I attempted to look as if I had simply woken up as a substitute of as if my coronary heart had been about to blow up.

Andrew McCarthy, on being pulled over whereas snorting cocaine

“It marked the first time I’d drink alone,” he writes, starting a descent into substance abuse that might final years. 

However his profession saved ticking. In 1986, McCarthy auditioned reverse Molly Ringwald as her love curiosity in the John Hughes teen drama “Fairly in Pink.” 

The half initially referred to as for a jock kind, and nobody in the room “confirmed a lot curiosity,” McCarthy writes. 

However after he left the room, Ringwald turned to Hughes and exclaimed, “That’s the sort of man I’d fall for.” 

“That wimpy man?” Hughes requested. 

McCarthy gained the position however, he writes, he by no means grew near both Ringwald or Hughes, whom he describes as “a non-public, cautious man.” He says he didn’t get together with co-star Jon Cryer both, who had “a nervous chuckle I discovered irritating.” 

On the set of 1987’s “Less Than Zero,” McCarthy's coke habit spiraled out of control.
On the set of 1987’s “Much less Than Zero,” McCarthy’s coke behavior spiraled uncontrolled.
20th Century Fox

“Fairly in Pink” was an enormous success, and Hughes invited McCarthy to do one other movie, 1987’s “Some Sort of Great.” 

However when McCarthy mentioned he wasn’t into the half and turned it down, Hughes by no means spoke to him once more, he writes. 

By the time McCarthy was filming 1987’s “Model,” he was “ingesting to extra on a close to every day foundation” and additionally turned hooked on cocaine. 

On 1987’s “Much less Than Zero,” he writes that his coke behavior practically gave him a coronary heart assault. Earlier than one scene during which he dove right into a pool, he took a success, and when he splashed into the chilly water, his chest “constricted in a method I hope to by no means really feel once more.” 

Quickly after, he took a drug-fueled cross-country highway journey with two pals, punctuated by too many drinks in miserable resort bars and a close to bar battle in Colorado. 

As the group drove via Missouri, a cop appeared and flashed his lights to tug over. The motive force hit the brakes, and “the small mound of cocaine” McCarthy had unfold out in the again seat flew all over the place. 

McCarthy checked into rehab in 1992, and has since turned to directing and TV acting and is now a father of three.
McCarthy checked into rehab in 1992, and has since turned to directing and TV appearing and is now a father of three.

The actor tried to smell up as a lot as he might as the officer approached. 

“The cop flashed his mild via the automotive, into the backseat, and throughout my face,” the writer writes. “I attempted to look as if I had simply woken up as a substitute of as if my coronary heart had been about to blow up out of my chest.” 

Conscious that alcohol had gone from an “adolescent amusement” to “the dominant pressure” in his life, McCarthy determined to go chilly turkey simply earlier than he began capturing the 1989 comedy “Weekend at Bernie’s.” To remain sober, he stopped going out. 

Then, whereas capturing 1990s “Jours tranquilles à Clichy,” McCarthy’s co-star supplied him a beer. As he raised the can to his lips, his palms started trembling, realizing he was “placing a match to kerosene.” 

Andrew McCarthy book

The following three years had been “misplaced and painful” till one morning McCarthy awoke in his residence “violently hungover, wracked by convulsions.” He stumbled into the lavatory and dropped to his knees, crying for what his “life had turn out to be.” 

In 1992, at 29, McCarthy lastly checked into rehab and “started a life with out alcohol or medicine that has continued, day in and day trip,” he writes. 

At the similar time, his Hollywood heartthrob standing started to wane, and he turned to directing and appearing in TV exhibits like “Good Ladies.” A father of three, he nonetheless lives in the West Village and is married to his second spouse. 

And at last, some 25 years after the “Brat Pack” label was minted, he’s lastly made peace with his place in it. 

“The ability of the group label in the end enlarged all of our statures,” he writes. “It was a stigma that in the end remodeled right into a loving moniker.”

About the author

Tina Sanders

Tina is the mind behind, and she ideated it when she was working for an online magazine company where she used to cover US-based headlines news. She holds a degree in journalism and has more than 4.5 years of experience in an online magazine company. She had the idea while working there but when she was quite sure about starting something on her own, she took the risk and left the job to start Gruntstuff. Since then she added a few team members, and along with them, she creates General US news content on the site.

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