Demi Moore has come forward about her struggle with drug and alcohol addiction in a major way these past few years, bravely sharing her story both in memoir Inside Out and through broadcast conversations with close family and friends. Moore’s close friend and former co-star Rob Lowe invited her for one such conversation on podcast Literally! With Rob Lowe, where the two talked about their time starring in cult ’80s classic St. Elmo’s Fire in their 20s. Both Moore and Lowe went on to find sobriety later in their lives, but Lowe describes their behavior in the St. Elmo‘s days as “f*cking wild.” And Moore admits that director Joel Schumacher hired a 24/7 paid companion to keep her sober on set, who stayed with her all day, every day — for the entire shoot.
Moore has spoken out about the pivotal role Schumacher played in her sobriety before, and describes again to Lowe what it meant to her to have this director really devote himself to her health, safety, and sobriety, at a time when the 22-year-old Moore felt utterly disposable to both the movie industry and herself.
“Joel was doing for me what he couldn’t do for himself, because he got sober so many years later,” Moore says. “I had never had somebody really champion me, like there was no reason, I didn’t have any huge box office for him to really be sticking his neck out — it was an ensemble, they could have definitely filled that with any number of young and up-and-coming actresses.”
But Schumacher took an entirely different approach: he invested even more into the young actress, and paid for her to have support both during the production and in the days leading up to it.
“The fact that he allowed me to start the movie with 15 days of sobriety, that they paid for me to have a companion — and that companion, they had to pay for 24/7 for the entire shoot, it just was not heard of,” Moore recalls. “I think anybody else, there’s a good chance I would have just been looked at like a liability.”
Schumacher’s actions weren’t just a lifeline to Moore — the ripple effects of Lowe seeing Moore eventually achieve sobriety affected his recovery journey too.
“You were the first person I ever knew who got sober,” Lowe confesses to Moore. “I can’t tell you what that’s meant to me and what that did mean to me, when it was time for me to get sober, I was like, ‘I know somebody who it worked for.'”
“For people to know people who it worked [for] — because let’s face it a lot of times it doesn’t, and it doesn’t take,” Lowe continues.