Belfast Telegraph

Ronnie Wood film ‘brutally honest’ about drink and drugs battle

The biopic features new interviews with Rolling Stones bandmates Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts.

Ronnie Wood (Jane Barlow/PA)
Ronnie Wood (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Ronnie Wood talks about his battles with drink and drugs in a new film about his life.

Somebody Up There Likes Me is billed as the “first in-depth film biography” of the Rolling Stones guitarist.

The “intimate portrait” of the rocker, who has also made his name as a painter, has been filmed over two years.

Producers said Wood, 72, is “brutally honest” about his history with drugs, “disclosing his three-year battle to beat freebase addiction”.

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Ronnie Wood (Eagle Rock Films)

The film features new interviews with bandmates Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, as well as his partner in former band Faces, Sir Rod Stewart.

Leaving Las Vegas film-maker Mike Figgis, who directed Somebody Up There Likes Me, said he was “intrigued” by Wood.

“The combination of his eclectic musical range and his love of painting seemed like a promising start to a documentary,” he said.

“I decided to jump in and we began talking, the first of a really interesting series of conversations.

“We covered so much ground in these talks and that led to interesting encounters with the likes of (artist) Damien Hirst and then a lovely music session in a studio.

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Sir Mick Jagger appears in the film (Jane Barlow/PA)

“The remaining Stones chimed in with interesting stories and the result is the film. Ronnie Wood is a very interesting guy, so many personas.”

Wood also talks about “overcoming lung cancer” in the documentary.

And he said it was “such an incredible feeling to look back on my life and discuss key moments along the way that I remember vividly as if they were yesterday”.

The film also features interviews with the rocker’s wife, Sally, mother of his youngest children, while the title is inspired by the musician “surviving his chronic smoking habit”.

“When they operated on my cancer, they took away my emphysema. They said my lungs were as if I’d never smoked,” the guitarist says.

“I thought ‘How’s that for a Get Out Of Jail Free card?’ Somebody up there likes me, and somebody down here likes me too.”

Somebody Up There Likes Me will premiere at the London Film Festival on October 12.

PA

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