Star of screen and stage Richard E Grant has told The Big Issue his father became “a violent alcoholic” after his parents’ divorce.
Speaking in a Letter To My Younger Self this week, Grant described a personality switch at night which culminated in his father attempting – and failing – to shoot him at close range after Grant “emptied a crate of [his father’s] Scotch whisky down the sink”.
The Withnail and I actor added: “There was no treatment nor AA meetings available, and the social stigma was such that everything was kept secret.
“Christmas was invariably a nightmare, with everyone on tenterhooks. So I have made up for it as an adult by celebrating Christmas to the max.”
However he said that some of the most invaluable advice he has received was from his late father, who told him: If you have five true friends, consider yourself a rich man.
Still reflecting on his childhood, Grant said that being teased for wanting to be an actor helped prepare him for the “derision and rejection that is part and parcel of an actor’s life”.