May 16, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Troubled Facts About Christian Slater, A 90s Heartthrob Hooked On Drama

Christian Slater was born into showbiz. Unfortunately, he fit the young Hollywood stereotype a little too well. While making headlines as a troubled teen, success came with a price for Slater. The hard-partying heartthrob had a dark film persona that spilled into reality, wreaking havoc for his entire life.

Christian Slater Facts

1. He Was A Child Actor

Destined to be in show business, Slater came from a family of fame. His mother, Mary Jo Slater, is a casting director and film producer. His father, the late Michael Hawkins, was a well-known soap actor.

Although his mother seemed well put together, his father struggled with depressive schizophrenia and alcoholism—which later became a driving force for family drama.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

2. He Came From A Dysfunctional Family

Slater’s father had an episode when Slater was only three years old, which involved Hawkins making horrific threats against his wife and young son. What happened next would haunt Slater forever: Hawkins was secured in a straitjacket and taken away.

His parents officially split when Slater was just five years old.

Growing up around this sort of dysfunction proved unsettling for Slater in many ways—and it ultimately contributed to the events that soon conspired.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

3. His Love For Acting Was Instant

Slater’s first acting job was a small role in a soap opera at just eight years old. He only had three lines, but the moment the audience clapped for him, he was hooked. This tiny role lit a fire under him even at such a young age. But that little boy didn't know just how dangerous show business could be.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

4. He Started Drinking At Age Nine

Since Slater started his acting career at eight years old, he found himself around things that most kids his age typically wouldn’t—like champagne. It didn’t take long for Slater to start sipping, and he had his first real drink at age nine. This was the first step down a dark path.

By the time he reached his teen years, he had a serious problem—and it involved more than just beverages. He soon fit the stereotype for troubled teen actors in other ways too.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock


5. He Dropped Out Of Highschool

Although Slater attended a few professional children’s schools growing up, he ultimately did what any other famous teenager would do—he dropped out of high school. Slater now refers to this period as when he “delayed adulthood”.

Still struggling with substance use, Slater used this time to push his career forward and invent his on-screen persona. After all, he had a very distinctive look.

Christian Slater FactsBroken Arrow (1996), Twentieth Century Fox

6. He Has A Trademark Feature

You may already know that Christian Slater’s most distinctive feature is his eyebrows, and of course, we must never underestimate the power of the eyebrow.

Slater’s brows have an unusual, batwing arch to them. You either think they’re totally rad or they’re totally weird. Some people were even obsessed, going as far as creating an appreciation group on Facebook for his infamous brows.

But the distinct expressive shape has had people wondering for years whether or not they’re natural. In fact, the rumor of how his brows came to be is nothing short of amazing.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

7. A Halloween Costume Gone Wrong

A serious Star Trek fan, Slater once dressed up as Spock for Halloween. As part of his costume, he shaved his eyebrows—which never grew back the same.

At least, that’s the long-standing rumor about Slater’s frantic forehead fuzz. It stems from an interview years ago, where he joked about it, and a reporter mistakenly printed the story as fact. It has followed him since. In truth, Slater’s eyebrows shape is actually all-natural.

Along with his infamous brows, Slater also has a distinctive voice—quite similar to another Hollywood star.

Christian Slater FactsGetty Images

8. He Had Inspiration

Slater’s iconic Hollywood persona had people comparing him to the young Jack Nicholson, which is what he wanted. He considered Nicholson “the best actor around”. Slater’s mischievous smile and the slight hint of danger behind his eyes have all been characteristics inspired by Nicholson—which worked well for him and maybe even boosted his ego a bit.

He wasn’t the only one who enjoyed his looks, though.

Christian Slater FactsGetty Images

9. He Became A 90s Hollywood Heartthrob

Slater’s bold brows did wonders for accentuating his seductive eyes. Add in that low voice, and you’ve got that bad-boy charm that made ladies swoon. He had dark, luscious hair and a soft smile. Everyone adored him. He even made it to Empire Magazine’s 100 Sexiest Stars list.

Slater was in many big-budget films that got him noticed quickly. He had a smart mouth and an edgy attitude that helped him ease into the darker roles seamlessly.

But some people would say he went a little too dark.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock


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10. He Played A Sociopath

At age 18, Slater became instantly famous for his role in the cult-classic film Heathers—a dark satire about troubled teenagers. A film that, in today’s world, would most definitely come with a long list of trigger warnings.

Slater played the main character Jason Dean, a witty, good-looking high school kid with dark, sociopathic tendencies and a disturbed childhood. The plot is outrageous, yet it brought in fantastic reviews.

Once again, people obsessed over Slater’s performance. Even with all eyes on him, Slater found himself completely enthralled with someone special.

Christian Slater FactsHeathers (1988), New World Pictures


11. He Fell In Love On Set

Slater was smitten with Winona Ryder from the moment he met her, but that spark has never fully sizzled.

Rumor has it that their on-set romance continued heating up after the film, but not for long. Slater will always hold a candle for Ryder, referring to her as the woman of his dreams.

Perhaps Ryder wanted someone a little less intense. Slater was taking his bad-boy façade a little too far—and it was just about to get so much worse.

Christian Slater FactsHeathers (1988), New World Pictures

12. He Led A Car Chase

When Slater was just 20 years old, he led authorities on a car chase into the early morning hours. The pursuit halted when Slater crashed into two telephone poles—miraculously unhurt. He then jumped out of the car and attempted to scale a fence before he was caught. Not surprisingly, he also blew over the limit.

This was Slater’s second time getting a DWI in two years, so he was forced to do time—but not for as long as you’d think.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

13. They Dropped The Charges

Slater only did 10 days for his infamous car chase. But he was also charged with evading arrest, which placed him on five years’ probation. His driver’s permit was suspended for 18 months, and he handed about $1,400 in fines.

His cooperation served him well, as the prosecutors agreed to drop the charges of resisting arrest and battery on an officer.

Unfortunately, a slap on the wrist was all-too-common among young Hollywood—but Slater would soon see things from the other side.

Christian Slater FactsHeathers (1988), New World Pictures

14. He Had Like-Minded Friends

Christian Slater was among a group of young actors who dominated the screen in the early 90s. These were handsome, outgoing guys like Johnny Depp and River Phoenix. These guys became close friends, too, as they often enjoyed a little healthy competition for similar roles.

Then tragedy struck and Slater received some devastating news.

Christian Slater FactsFlickr, Asim Bharwani

15. He Lost A Friend

River Phoenix succumbed to an accidental excessive intake of substances in 1993. As Slater himself had spent many nights risking the same fate, the news hit him particularly hard. But there was more to it than just his friend’s unfortunate departure—Slater had to make a big decision, and it wasn't an easy one.

Christian Slater FactsWikimedia Commons, Alan Light

16. He Donated His Earnings

Producers asked Slater to replace Phoenix in a film scheduled to begin in only three days. He accepted the role, but expressed how awkward and uncomfortable it was to replace his dead friend.

Slater made peace with the difficult situation by donating his entire salary from the film to Phoenix's favorite charities.

Slater had a new perspective on life after that—but it still wasn't enough to set him straight.

Christian Slater FactsMobsters(1991), Universal Pictures


17. He Was Packing Heat

A few years after the car chase and several dark crime movies later, Slater got busted again. This time, he was packing heat on an airplane. A metal detector revealed a nine-millimeter automatic in his carry-on luggage. Even prior to the Twin Towers, you couldn’t just board a plane strapped. But Slater was riding high on his success, and his fantasy world was spilling over into reality.

But that’s not all he was packing that day.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

18. He Was Going To Propose

While being searched at the airport after discovering his piece, they found that he was also carrying a large diamond ring, intending to propose to his girlfriend that night.

This romantic gesture ended up scoring points with the authorities. After gushing over the big, shiny rock, they let him go with the promise to appear in court for nothing more than a possession charge and some more community service hours.

Always seeming to get off scot-free, it was only a matter of time before karma came for him—this time, financially.

Christian Slater FactsMobsters(1991), Universal Pictures

19. His Fiancée Sued Him

Slater had an on-again, off-again relationship with writer-producer Nina Huang. Then things got messy fast. Having been doing the dance for five years, Slater knew it was truly over when Huang decided to sue him for half his earnings.

Slater promised half of everything in the event of a breakup, and she was now ready to cash in.

Slater fought back, looking for money missing from a joint bank account. Both claims were settled for an undisclosed amount.

Although the split was way overdue, it did nothing good for Slater. He soon found himself in the worst trouble yet.

Christian Slater FactsFlickr, Scott Smith

20. He Took It Way Too Far

Slater always played the bad guys. As we already know, he struggled to differentiate his work from reality. But this time, things went too far. He had been on a two-day binge involving a cocktail of substances and zero sleep. He showed up at a friend’s apartment with a girl he had been seeing, and trouble escalated quickly.

Slater severely hurt many people that night. He punched his date, beat up his friend, went after a janitor, and kicked an officer down a flight of stairs.

The judge took no pity on him this time and sentenced him to 90 days behind bars.

But there’s more that conspired that fateful night.

Christian Slater FactsDolan

21. He Tried To Off Himself

During the incident at the friend’s apartment, Slater fled after the initial brawl. He recalls walking out on the balcony on the 14th floor, scared—with intentions of ending his life.

He said the chemicals affecting his brain caused him to act without much thought. Luckily, people got to him in time.

Slater was out of control. His next step was long overdue.

Christian Slater FactsDolan

22. He Went To Rehab

Three days after his real-life nightmare, Slater checked into rehab. He received treatment for more than 100 days while out on bail. Further sentencing required three months behind bars, followed by three additional months in rehab and a year-long program for batterers.

His three months in the slammer came with more than he expected.

Christian Slater FactsBroken Arrow (1996), Twentieth Century Fox


23. He Had A Job In Lockup

During Slater’s short stay in the big house, he actually had to have a job. Slater became a trustee while incarcerated, which required him to cook and clean. He had to clean up inmates' puke on many occasions. Slater even washed the guards' cars by hand.

Finally, he knew what it felt like to get his hands dirty. Slater’s commitment awarded him an early release after only 59 days. Was he finally rehabilitated? Well...

Christian Slater FactsThe Adderall Diaries(2015), Windowseat Entertainment

24. He Got His GED

Now that Slater's life was back on track, he decided it was time to add in some credentials—well, at least finish high school. At some point after his incarceration, Slater had a child with his then-girlfriend. It was then that he decided to get his GED so that he could be a better person for his son.

But this was just the beginning. "The New Christian Slater" was just getting started.

Christian Slater FactsWikimedia Commons, Dominick D

25. He Married His Baby’s Mom

Feeling motivated, Slater went ahead and married model Ryan Haddon, the mother of his child. The couple had been together a few years already when they quickly expanded their family once more, welcoming a baby girl.

Slater sealed the deal with Haddon by promising his hard party days were behind him—a promise he would soon break.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

26. He Got Handsy On The Street

Slater's marriage eventually went up in flames—but not long after his divorce was final, he found himself in hot water yet again. While staggering the streets of Manhattan at two in the morning, Slater—who was more than a little tipsy—was accused of grabbing the rear end of a stranger in passing.

Slater denied the whole thing, but unfortunately, his word meant nothing at that point, so he was booked and charged.

Slater soon learned that his reputation was failing him.

Christian Slater FactsThe Wife (2017), Silver Reel

27. He Was Cancelled

For several years, Christian Slater’s TV shows kept getting canceled. Most were because viewings dropped dramatically after the first couple of episodes. Over six years, Slater did four TV shows, but only one made it to a second season. For whatever reason, he just couldn't catch the same attention he used to.

Slater decided to use this time to make some life changes.

Christian Slater FactsBroken Arrow (1996), Twentieth Century Fox

28. He Had A Life Changing Experience

We already know rehab did nothing to help Slater get his act together. So, this time, in an attempt to reprogram his mindset, Slater set off in search of new life experiences.

His life-changing experience was a trip to Fiji, where he dove 120ft below the surface with a bucket full of chum to get up close and personal with enormous tiger sharks.

With a newly found courage, he came out of the water a different person. If he can swim with sharks, he can do anything.

Slater began adding more healthy hobbies to his schedule.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

29. He Holds A Green Belt In Karate

With a healthier outlook on life, Slater added martial arts to his goal board. He felt a lifelong inadequacy over his height—being only 5’9”—and figured martial arts would boost his self-esteem.

Slater currently holds a green belt with a brown stripe. But that’s not the only hobby he indulged in.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

30. He's A Huge Trekker

Slater continuously bragged about his small but significant role in the sixth Star Trek film. Conveniently, his mother was the casting director. His role was short but sweet.

He has always loved Star Trek, and since becoming famous he's acquired an extensive memorabilia collection. He even owns the iconic 1963 Captain Kirk chair—the real one—and jokes about dressing up in costume for fun.

One particular costume holds the cake, though.

Christian Slater FactsWikimedia Commons, Daniel Benavides

31. He Got Into William Shatner’s Pants

Coincidentally, when Slater acted in Star Trek, he wore the same pants that William Shatner wore in the previous film. A devoted Trekker, Slater spent the day walking on air; he found it impossible to wipe the smile off his face during filming.

He often joked about being proud to have “gotten into Shatner’s pants”.

Slater’s sense of humor has gotten him out of plenty of scrapes over the years—and when he uses it appropriately, it has served him well.

Christian Slater FactsStar Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country(1991), Paramount Pictures

32. He Has A Hilarious Love Story

While vacationing in Florida, Slater had mistaken two women as a couple and thought that he witnessed a proposal when one woman knelt in front of the other. Upon congratulating them, he was corrected—the young woman was actually taking a photo...of her aunt.

This odd mix-up though, was entertaining enough to land him a date—which quickly turned to more.

Christian Slater FactsWikimedia Commons, Daniel Benavides

33. She Was Half His Age

The beautiful young woman Slater cozied up with was Brittany Lopez. She was only 21 when they met—Slater was 44. It wasn’t long until the couple became serious. The age difference was obvious, but it never mattered.

Initially, they had no plans to marry, as they enjoyed the casualness of what they had. But things change.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

34. They Tied The Knot

After five years of dating, Slater and Lopez tied the knot. They went to the courthouse just for their marriage license, but ended up going through with the whole thing right then and there. They both felt it was spontaneous and meant to be.

Everything was going well—until one awful moment when Slater dropped the ball.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

35. He Gave His Wife A Taxidermized Raccoon

Slater truly loved his wife, but when she asked for a real live raccoon for her birthday, he couldn’t comply. Instead, he got her a taxidermized one, and that's...not quite the same thing.

Lopez opened the gift to find two lifeless eyes staring back at her. She immediately broke into tears and continued to weep for a grueling 45 minutes afterward.

The couple never did get a pet, but they did get something else.

Christian Slater FactsFlickr, Curious Expeditions

36. He Got A Baby For His Birthday

Slater’s wife got pregnant five years into their marriage, and their baby girl was born just two days before Slater’s milestone birthday. The baby went home with Slater on his actual birthday. So instead of getting a 50th birthday bash, he got a precious daughter.

Family is something Slater was learning to hold close—but that's not all that was changing in his life.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

37. He Got A Golden Globe Award

Slater won the 2016 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the TV series Mr. Robot, playing the leader of a group of computer hackers.

He received another nomination for the same award again in the following two years. Mr. Robot also earned the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 2016.

Slater's life had become interesting again, and suddenly, everyone wanted an interview.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

38. He Gave Back

Slater had a rough past, no doubt. But he's since made up for that by actively supporting various charitable organizations across the globe; animal rights, children’s rights, environmental charities, disaster relief, AIDS awareness, housing in Africa, and more.

Slater even appeared on an episode of the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Building houses was his jam, but so was selling houses.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

39. He Sold His Mansion For $5 million

Slater has owned numerous properties. He actually bought his first home at age 19. He also sold one of his homes to fellow actor Tim Allen for $2.2 million. In fact, he seems to have a knack for buying low and selling high. He once sold a home for a million and a half over asking.

Slater’s most recent property sale included a 1928 Villa that sold for just under $5 million. He sold that home because he was having trouble dividing his time between two other homes he had. Turns out, things aren't so bad for this troubled star.

Even with a parade of offenses following him, Slater still managed to have a successful career and a fat bank account.

Christian Slater FactsPump Up the Volume (1990), New Line Cinema

40. He Has A Net Worth of $25 million

In addition to filming, Slater has made a good chunk of dough doing voice acting for various animated series and documentaries.

Slater has approximately 75 films under his belt and is reportedly worth $25 million today. He continues to bring in a decent salary in 2023.

With his name still in lights, Slater found himself nominated once again—but this time, the nomination sparked some controversy.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

41. He Is A Time Magazine Nominee

Believe it or not, Slater is a nominee for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2023. But putting Slater on the list has caused a bit of a stir.

While socially, people believe Slater’s past does not reflect someone who should receive such a title, panelists for Time Magazine disagree. They feel that the “potential and influence” he has now is more important than his past.

With Slater finally down the right path, he prioritized more time for relaxing by taking up an interesting new hobby.

Christian Slater FactsChupa (2023), Pimienta Films

42. He Became An Artist

Slater took up visual arts when he was in-between work, and his wife had suggested he find a hobby. He is left-handed, so he struggled with angles at first, but he spent a lot of time learning from a local artist and practiced at home by drawing his wife.

Slater encouraged his children to also dabble in various hobbies to help keep their minds healthy—especially since the unexpected arrival of one of them at his doorstep.

Christian Slater FactsPump Up the Volume (1990), New Line Cinema

43. His Teenaged Son Moved In

Slater’s two older kids lived with their mother full time, considering Slater’s continuous path of self-destruction. But not long after Slater got his ducks in a row, his 16-year-old son showed up, looking for a new place to call home.

Slater immediately took the responsibility seriously and went to work learning how to parent a teenage boy. He even practiced cooking bacon in different ways to find what his son liked best.

He believes his son is the opposite of him in almost every way—and he is very thankful for that.

With a lack of proper parenting growing up, Slater now wants to create a different world for his kids. First and foremost, a substance-free one. But being clean means a lot more to Slater than the obvious.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

44. He Found Something Else

Slater has spoken publicly many times about his struggles with getting clean. He had attempted it many times over the years and always found himself relapsing. Even after receiving various forms of help, Slater always had one foot off the wagon.

Eventually, something clicked for Slater, and he realized why he couldn’t find his way out of the tunnel.

Christian Slater FactsWikimedia Commons, Anna Hanks

45. He Was A Liar

It literally took Slater decades to become a better person. His dependence issues went deeper than substances. He was hooked on drama.

Slater shamefully admitted that he spent most of his life being a serial liar. He got so good at manipulating that it became a part of him.

Slater now practices a variety of mindfulness activities to keep him in the right mindset—which includes walking his dogs four or five times a day.

Slater now recognizes that staying clean wasn’t the hardest part of recovery, and that he is on a lifelong journey to get better.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

46. His Father Sued Him

After years of mental health struggles, Slater’s father reappeared and started causing trouble. Slater was finally getting things right in life, so he became frustrated with his father’s behavior and unintentionally said a little too much in an interview.

Hawkins immediately went after Slater for slandering his name and blacklisting him in Hollywood—even though he had not worked on a film in decades.

Slater was now facing a massive $20 million lawsuit. He knew what he had to do.

Christian Slater FactsChupa (2023), Pimienta Films

47. He Prioritized His Peace

Slater had been supporting his father for decades, both financially and emotionally. But at this point, it was costing him his peace. So, Slater decided to cut his father off completely.

The judge dropped the lawsuit, and Hawkins resorted to using food banks and working as a parking attendant for $10.00/hour—which only angered him further.

But Slater cut his father loose and continued on his dedicated path back to success.

Christian Slater FactsFlickr,

48. He Verbally Slammed a Reporter

During an interview with a reporter, Slater had said he had no regrets from his past—which was surprising considering Slater’s disturbing history. When the reporter asked him to clarify a specific incident, Slater responded with some very choice language that got him removed from the room immediately. He e-mailed the reporter later that day with an apology.

Thankfully, though, this incident was only a minor hiccup for Slater.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

49. He Betrayed His Marriage

For a while after his first marriage, it seemed like Slater had turned his life around. However, not long after the family moved to the UK, Slater fell off the wagon. Onlookers frequently spotted a buzzed Slater in the laps of several female dancers. He even got a little too friendly with a young fashion assistant.

His wife was already struggling with isolation, being away from family and friends, so Slater’s behavior was just the icing on the cake. She did something she never thought possible.

Christian Slater FactsWikimedia Commons, Daniel Benavides

50. His Wife Snapped

After several years of a messy marriage, Slater’s wife reached her breaking point. During an argument in a hotel room, Haddon threw a drinking glass at him, and it sliced open his neck.

Haddon swore it was an accident. Even though he needed over 20 stitches, Slater did not press charges against his wife. Unfortunately, authorities charged her anyway.

This certainly didn’t help their rocky marriage. Eventually, the disgruntled duo called it quits for good.

Christian Slater FactsShutterstock

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

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