“I’m not worried what someone might write about me or say about me, because it’s already been done,” says Nick Stahl. “There’s a freedom in that.”
You’ve surely seen Stahl’s work—as a scared-shitless private in The Thin Red Line, the troubled son of In the Bedroom, the menacing thug in Bully, the grotesque Yellow Bastard of Sin City, and the hero in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and HBO’s Carnivale. He’s been acting since the age of four, and landed his first major role at 13, when Mel Gibson personally cast him in his directorial debut, The Man Without a Face.
But in 2012, Stahl’s struggles with drugs and alcohol landed him on Skid Row, which was captured by paparazzi vultures. His then-wife reported him missing—twice. He eventually checked into rehab, stepped away from acting for a number of years, and moved back to his native Texas, where he worked in a coffee shop, delivered food, and spent some time as a roofer.