Andie MacDowell opens up about caring for her alcoholic mom from the age of 10, saying she 'felt responsible' all her life

Andie MacDowell has 'felt responsible' all of her life as she was a young carer for her alcoholic mother, Paula Johnson.

The Four Weddings And A Funeral star insists she always had a 'great relationship' with her mom but felt she had to look after her, even from the age of 10, when she would check the house to make sure there weren't any cigarettes left burning.

'I always felt loved,' Andie, 61, told The Guardian in an interview published on Monday.

A vision in white: Andie MacDowell, seen at Build in NYC last month, has 'felt responsible' all of her life as she cared for her alcoholic mother, Paula Johnson, when she was just 10

A vision in white: Andie MacDowell, seen at Build in NYC last month, has 'felt responsible' all of her life as she cared for her alcoholic mother, Paula Johnson, when she was just 10

'There was this old-fashioned can opener attached to the wall and she'd be in the kitchen drinking and I'd clean the oil off the can opener and talk to her and ask, "Why do you drink?"

'There were burn marks all over the floor and on the couch; it's amazing we didn't burn down. I think I've felt responsible all my life. But I'm good at it. I've been in training for a long time.'

Andie tried to get help from the doctors for her mom's alcoholism, but when one prescribed her Valium, she lost all communication.

She added: 'That was a bad decision because then I couldn't communicate with her. And I communicated really well with her.

Always on the lookout: The beautiful actress, 61, talked about checking the house to make sure there weren't any cigarettes left burning

Always on the lookout: The beautiful actress, 61, talked about checking the house to make sure there weren't any cigarettes left burning

'We could have committed her; we just didn't have the guts. The doctor told us she would die in five years. The strange thing is, she did.'

Paula was just 53 when she died of a heart attack. The actress received a letter from her mother in the last year of her life, where she told her daughter she was 'proud' of her.

She explained: 'She said she had quit drinking and that she was so proud of me. That was the last year of her life and I didn't really get to be around it, which was super sad.

Always caring : Andie even tied co-star Hugh Grant's bow tie in 1994 romantic comedy Four Weddings And A Funeral, her breakout movie

Always caring : Andie even tied co-star Hugh Grant's bow tie in 1994 romantic comedy Four Weddings And A Funeral, her breakout movie

'I think about going back to Gaffney,' her hometown in South Carolina. 'I'd like to go back and try to find out from other people what that year that I didn't get to experience was like.'

Andie also opened up about her experiences in the modelling industry when she was starting out, admitting she had a 'small experience' with drugs at the beginning but 'hated' it.

'There was a lot of cocaine around. I had a small experience at the very beginning and hated it. I hated it! It was only, like, a month. I really didn't like the way it felt. It didn't make me feel good and I couldn't sleep.

Check her out: Andie, who wore a blue plaid suit in NYC last month, said she had a 'great relationship' with her mom but felt she had to look after her

Check her out: Andie, who wore a blue plaid suit in NYC last month, said she had a 'great relationship' with her mom but felt she had to look after her

'I actually went into my agency and said I wanted to go home, and they said, "You need new friends. You're around the wrong people." I don't even remember [who they were], honestly. I wasn't around famous people at that point.

'It was not what I intended to do. This young man showed up at the agency [in Paris] who didn't drink, smoke or do drugs, and it was like, I had a boyfriend.

'I don't know if they prearranged the whole thing, but it sure did work out well for me. I started working non-stop and my whole life opened up. I was about to go home for a few seconds there.'

Suited up in scarlet: Andie MacDowell looked stunning in her red two piece at the HFPA Philanthropic party, at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May

Suited up in scarlet: Andie MacDowell looked stunning in her red two piece at the HFPA Philanthropic party, at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May

 

Andie MacDowell opens up about caring for alcoholic mom from the age of 10: 'I felt responsible'

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