The actor turned to alcohol after breaking up with longtime girlfriend Katie Holmes and found himself behind bars following a second DUI arrest in June, 2010.

The drama was a real wake-up call for Chris, who vowed to turn his life and his fortunes around.

Now sober for six years and married to travel agent Laina Rose Thyfault, the actor became a first-time father in July (16) when little Frederick Easton Klein was born, and he's committed to making sure everything that came before marriage and parenthood stays in the past.

"Anything that came before this is a wonderful learning experience," Klein tells news show Entertainment Tonight. "We all have growing pains going through our twenties, and I was no different. Hopefully, the negative experiences that you go through, you learn from and they help make you a better person down the line.

"I believe that is the case for me. I believe that I learned some things that I needed to learn, and I'm using those things to my advantage today to be a better man."

And he's grateful to Thyfault for agreeing to be his wife and the mother of his kids: "We have this beautiful experience together sharing this healthy baby boy, and the amount of gratitude I have as a husband is just incredible. It's just a really beautiful time in our lives.

"The baby has got to sleep; baby has got to eat; diapers have to get changed. Then there are these beautiful moments in between. And during all those, where the whole world just stops and there I am with my son, it's just remarkable, and I'm told it only gets more incredible as you go."

Chris managed to find time to spend the first month of his son's life at home in Austin, Texas before hitting the road to promote his new film Game of Aces, and he admits he's glad he got that special time with his family.

"It was a great place to go through the pregnancy process with Laina and a great place to have our child," the actor says of his wife's native Austin.