Actor, rapper and child of Hollywood royalty are words one can use to describe Chet Hanks. These days one can add three more: “clean and sober.”
Hanks, son of actress Rita Wilson and A-list actor Tom Hanks, says he’s been this way for two years now.
In an Instagram post in 2014, Hanks admitted he had a substance abuse problem since he was 16 and had entered rehab for an addiction to cocaine, as reported in a People magazine article at the time.
He wrote, “Finally at the age of 24 I decided to get some help. With 50 days of sobriety under my belt, I can honestly say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.” He added the 5o days included alcohol.
Sometimes children of those with enormous success feel pressured to do the same and turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. The elder Hanks first found moderate success as an actor in the TV series, Bosom Buddies, but rocketed to stardom in the 1984’s feature, Splash. Since then he’s become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors, and a successful producer as well.
Wilson has also had a long acting career.
Regardless of the reason for the younger Hanks’ addiction, it appears he’s kicked the habit.
“Anyone who was born in some kind of shadow of success of their father or mother can share this journey of a growing process,” he says about being born into his famous family in this week’s People magazine. “Not by denying who you are, but by embracing who you are. This is who I am, and I’m not running away from it.”
Regarding his sobriety, he added, “I wouldn’t trade it for anything because all I did was subtract a few elements from my life, and just by subtracting a few simple things, so much has been added that I don’t even think about going back.”
Hanks began his own career in entertainment as a rap artist, using the stage name Chet Haze. He was given the moniker “frat rapper” because he created his own rendition of his Northwestern University’s anthem, White and Purple as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
This year Hanks has played the recurring role of Blake in five episodes of the Fox Broadcasting musical drama series, Empire. The series is about a fictional hip-hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the members of the founders’ family as they fight for control of it.