Movie star Ed Harris credits director Philip Kaufman for helping him kick his alcohol addiction, after the moviemaker warned him he was ruining his career.

Harris hid a crippling drinking problem during the early part of his career and filmed several scenes for Kaufman's 1983 movie The Right Stuff with a huge welt on his head after falling off a luggage cart in a hotel while drunk.

Harris says, "It was interesting to me because at that time Philip Kaufman said to me, 'You know Ed, you've got to watch your drinking.' It took me a while to go, 'Oh, I see what he's talking about.'

"It's true. I'm very lucky to be sitting here in a lot of ways. You've got to chuck that stuff out because it will kill you and it won't help you work.

"I'm not saying you can't have a good time but you've got to be careful. It has messed up a lot of people."

28/10/2003 09:19