Cary Grant's LSD trips explored in new documentary

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer
Grant… used LSD over 100 times and claimed he was ‘saved’ by the drug – Credit: MGM

Screen legend Cary Grant’s penchant for mind-bending psychedelia is to be explored in a new movie about the iconic Hollywood Star.

Grant, who was born and raised in Bristol, is thought to have used the drug over more than 100 sessions from 1958 to 1961, and said that the experience resulted in his ‘rebirth’.

‘Becoming Cary Grant’, which is to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next week, explores the actor’s use of the drug, and how it changed his life.

Of one experience he had while using the drug, he noted: “In one LSD dream I imagined myself as a giant penis launching off from Earth like a spaceship.”

“Like all documentary makers, we started out looking at the construction of Cary Grant,” producer Nick Ware told The Guardian. “But we ended up deconstructing him through the LSD sessions.

“This was the time of ‘North by Northwest’ and ‘Charade’. So all that period when he is the biggest box office star in the world is also the period when he’s taking LSD. He has reached this incredible level of total minimalism, inner peace. I’m sure the acid informed the acting.”

(Credit: AFP)

“He claimed he was saved by LSD,” added director Mark Kidel.

“You have to remember that Cary was a private man. He rarely gave interviews. And yet, after taking acid, he personally contacted Good Housekeeping magazine and said: ‘I want to tell the world about this. It has changed my life. Everyone’s got to take it.’

“I’ve also heard that Timothy Leary read this interview, or was told about it, and that his own interest in acid was essentially sparked by Cary Grant.

“I’m part of the 60s generation. I’ve taken acid myself. Not a lot, but enough to think, ‘Wow, someone who’s taken it 100 times would have had really felt the effects’. He would have had a lot going on.”

‘Becoming Cary Grant’ will be aired in the US in June.

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