Kit Harington opens up about struggles with alcohol

In 2019, the Los Angeles Times revealed that Kit Harington attended a “wellness retreat” after finishing filming on Game of Thrones, where he played Jon Snow. At the time, we learned that he went to the retreat to address “personal issues.” Now, Harington has confirmed that he was seeking treatment for substance abuse.

“This is a very addictive job,” Harington told The Guardian, about being an actor. “In a week’s time, I’m going to go out, stand on stage and get applause, and it’s going to be a huge rush and a high. The trouble is, I never really wanted to come down from that high. Now, I’ve learned how I do that and I’m much happier for it.”

Although these problems came on during the production of Game of Thrones, Harington says he looks back on his time with the HBO show with “great fondness.”

I feel very privileged to have been in it, and I’m continuing to get to be in the theatre, in large part, because of that show. There’s a baby boy downstairs and my wife, who I met on the show. I looked at it from a perspective of tortuousness and anxiousness a lot when I was in it. I’ve got no reason to be doing that now.

Indeed, Harrington married his onscreen love interest Rose Leslie (Ygritte) in 2018. They welcomed their first child last year. Harington has been sober for three years now. “I’m well on my path to recovery, and all I can say to anyone thinking about it is it’s a wonderful way of living your life. It saved me, for sure…I feel like a much more grounded, settled person. I’m so grateful that I got sober before having a child.”

Kit Harington exercises his demons with Shakespeare

Harington has since moved on from his most famous role and will be playing the title character in Shakespeare’s Henry V. The actor says that doing the play “a way of exorcising demons…But I think all acting is in some way.” He thinks the role is about addiction:

What happens to a person when they put down one lifestyle and cross to a different thing? And if that different thing is power, what does that look like? …addiction gone wrong is a very selfish trait. Even a sober addict can be a very selfish person. It’s a self-centered disease.

Kit Harington will be appearing in Henry V at the Donmar Warehouse in London until April 9. The performance will be broadcast as part of National Theatre Live.

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