Movie hunk Johnny Depp became an alcoholic to numb himself from the emptiness of his Hollywood lifestyle.

The FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS star has finally realised his dependence on alcohol was not recreational and is thrilled he is able to continue his movie career without the need of "hard liquor".

Depp explains, "My drug of choice was alcohol more than anything - hard liquor, spirits. It's very difficult to see the ignorance of it when you are spinning around in it.

"But when you are doing that to yourself, it is to avoid feeling. There is a degree of me, me, me that you can't escape. And it might have had the facade of being recreational but even then I knew it wasn't.

"I'd go to these functions, and back in those days I literally had to be drunk to be able to speak and get through it.

" get liquored up or whatever and then once you are in that spiral you don't even get hangovers any more.

"You wake up and have a drink again."

24/10/2004 20:56