It was my greatest challenge as well as my greatest honour.
Justin Morgan of Home and Away suffered with a painkiller addiction after a surfing accident.
Justin (James Stewart) has been suffering from severe back pain and has been taking medicine to alleviate it. Things quickly deteriorated, and he became dependent on them, to the point where he nearly died from an overdose.
James told Digital Spy exclusively that Justin felt like a fool after his surfing crash, adding that he didn’t go out on the water expecting to get injured.
This plot, according to James, is one of the most important subjects he’s ever portrayed in his acting career.
To be honest, my first response was that it was an honour to hear the stories of people who had really been through it, and there was a long list. It doesn’t matter whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter medicine, according to James.
Some of the world’s most successful people have suffered. Being given this storyline on Home and Away was both a burden and a privilege. I worked really hard on this one!
When asked if Justin has thought about the risks of overmedicating, James said that he hasn’t, citing the fact that when he takes the drug, he can go about his regular life.
It doesn’t seem like a consequence to him, James said, and that is the really difficult issue. That is the source of the problem. You have to suss out the pain, let the pain come, learn to deal with that pain, because it must be pure torture for some of those guys, as any great doctor or recovery professional would tell you. I don’t know why you were addicted to painkillers, but I can understand why you did.
When it came to tackling a serious subject, James expressed his admiration for the plot.
I’m used to big scale topics and big voices because I co-founded a Shakespeare Company in Australia with Geoffrey Rush, and Shakespeare wrote some pretty big topics, so I’m used to big scale topics and big voices, James explained.
I don’t mind being in the back of a scene, making a cup of tea, and then going out the back door, but I also enjoy sinking my teeth into something that could, even if just marginally, change someone’s life.