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Jonathan Rhys Meyers had some extra incentive to stay sober while filming the current season of Dracula. The Irish actor has openly struggled with substance abuse issues for years and NBC executives expressed concerns about his ability to not drink. The network reportedly paid Meyers a per diem and declined to give him his full salary, roughly $100,000 per episode, until the entire season was shot so production delays could be avoided.
The actor was considered to be a liability after several alcohol-related incidents delayed the filming schedule of his previous show, The Tudors. Sources claim Meyers allegedly had an alcohol-fueled “meltdown” on set that required hospitalization; after being discharged, he completed filming with the help of a sober companion and returned to rehab after the remaining episodes were completed. He has acknowledged his struggles with alcohol, admitting that “when I do drink I’m like Bambi. I’m all over the place like a 16-year-old kid.”
Meyers has reportedly been in rehab four times for alcohol abuse, most recently in 2011, when he spent 10 days in a London clinic. He also entered inpatient treatment in 2010 after launching an obscene tirade at United Airlines staff because they felt he was too drunk to fly. His long-time girlfriend, Reena Hammer, gave him an ultimatum afterwards to get help or she would leave.
The actor has also faced trouble with the law due to his drinking. Meyers was arrested at Dublin Airport in November 2007 for being drunk and in breach of the peace, but those charges were later dropped. He was also detained by police in June 2009 at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris after allegedly attacking a bartender while drunk.