In a new interview with GQ Hype, published on Wednesday, the 30-year-old actor spoke about his battle for the first time, revealing that he learned he had an alcohol addiction while shooting the 2021 Netflix western, "The Harder They Fall," in 2020.
"This is something I never really had talked about before, but I think it's something that I need to talk about, because I want people to understand that it's something that you can get through, that it's something that you can get past," Stanfield told GQ. "And I want people to feel empowered by the fact that the person they're looking at on that screen has gone through addiction and survived it."
The "Atlanta" star shared that he discovered something wasn't right when he went to get a massage around the same time he was filming "The Harder They Fall." During the massage, Stanfield said he suddenly got anxious.
"I just got up, canceled the massage, and told [the masseuse] to leave," he recalled. "And she was probably like, What the hell is going on? And I didn't really know what was happening either. I just thought, I'm anxious, let me just drink some wine. As soon as I drink the wine, the anxiety goes away."
While he initially believed his symptoms were due to anxiety, Stanfield said he later realized It was the "onset of alcohol withdrawal," adding, "I had become completely dependent upon it. To the point where I wasn't able to move or function a whole day without having it."
After going to rehab, the Oscar nominee said he later received support from fellow stars, such as Paris Jackson and his "Knives Out" co-star, Jamie Lee Curtis, who inspired him to quit smoking and later helped him with his sobriety journey.
Curtis -- who has been sober for over two decades -- recalled her first meeting with Stanfield on the "Knives Out" set, saying the two met when Stanfield was taking a cigarette break -- and Curtis had some words for Stanfield.
"I probably said something to the effect of 'You're a gorgeous, talented, smart, young father with huge opportunities ahead of you: Don't f--- it up by dying of cancer that you can prevent,'" she recounted to GQ, which noted that Curtis and Stanfield both cried after their encounter, and Stanfield stopped smoking.
As noted by GQ, Curtis, 63, contacted Stanfield after learning he was considering sobriety.
"My experience is that when you feel you are alone, that’s a very scary feeling," she explained. "So what I was trying to say to him was, 'You are not alone. And if I can be a source of comfort or understanding, then I hope you will allow me to do that.'"
Stanfield said he did, and he and Curtis stayed in touch with texts and phone calls. The "Sorry to Bother You" star shared one particular exchange that has stayed with him.
"She asked me, 'How old are you?'" Stanfield told GQ. "I was like, 'Uh, about to be 30.' And she said, 'No, how old are you from when you became sober?'"
Stanfield recalled saying in reply, "Oh, I'm about seven months," to which Curtis responded, "You're seven months old. I am 23 years old."