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04th Feb 2016

This is what Hollywood actors are actually snorting and smoking in the movies

Hollywood secrets revealed...

Ben Kenyon

If you’ve ever wondered what Hollywood actors are snorting or smoking  in blockbuster movies, then wonder no more.

It turns out Al Pacino wasn’t hoofing a real pile cocaine in Scarface and Seth Rogen’s joints in Pineapple Express didn’t have one bit of marijuana in them.

The secrets of showbusiness has been revealed by veteran prop master Jeff Butcher who worked on films like dark psychological addiction movie Requiem for a Dream.

Jeff gave Upvoted a breakdown of the substitutes film studios use for cigarettes and illicit substances….


Back in the good old days of Hollywood everyone smoked like chimneys. Actual cigarettes too. But smoking real cigs on screen died out in the 90s.

Butcher said: “You used to be able to call up a company and say, ‘I’m doing a movie and need cigarettes,’ and they would send you a case.

“For the movie Mystery Train, I remember getting a giant case of Silk Cut cigarettes and we all smoked them.”

Now actors will puff on herbal substitutes which contain no tobacco or nicotine. Ecstasy Cigarettes were the non-addictive smoke of choice on the set of Mad Men (no they didn’t contain any of the rave drug) and others opted for Honeyrose brand, which have flavours like strawberry and honey.

Liam Neeson just smoked rolled up chamomile tea on the film Non-Stop, according to Butcher. Whatever you’re into mate.


Surely it’s okay to smoke a joint on set now weed legalisation is gathering pace in the US? Nope. These actors are professionals don’t you know!

Butcher says he’s bought in fake marijuana from International Oddities which claims to deliver ‘high grade, low priced legal bud.’

Seth Rogen and James Franco’s ‘spliffs’ in Pineapple Express were packed with it – and it was Franco that recommended the company to him, Butcher says.

Does it get you high though? Butcher claims he “smoked an enormous amount of it” to try and season a bong for the film Going The Distance but “didn’t really feel anything”.


Surely Hollywood wouldn’t lie to us about the showbiz sherbet? Wrong again. While Al Pacino peerlessly pulled off the deranged coke-head gangster act, it certainly wasn’t piles of the Class A drug he had his face in.

Powdered sugar, powdered milk and even baking soda have long been the cocaine subsitute of choice for movie prop masters.

But Butcher said he always used inositol, a vitamin B powder that is actually a common cocaine cutting agent. It might give actors a “slight energy lift,” Butcher says.

Mickey Rourke wasn’t a fan of it while filming The Wrestler and Butcher claims he started to “freak out” when he started to feel the effects.

“He was like, ‘I have anxiety issues—now you tell me?’” Butcher says. “He was truly upset. But he was okay a couple minutes later.”