Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan has spoken about his battle with addiction and battling his inner demons in a new all-encompassing documentary from David Beckham’s film company.
Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Edge of Everything follows this flawed genius of an athlete as he attempts to win a record-equalling seventh world title at the Crucible last year.
O’Sullivan, 47, battled alcohol and drug addiction as well as depression early in what has become a long and distinguished career.
In the trailer he says: “My addiction is good in many ways because it drives me – but it has to be managed.”
“People could see I was imploding.” I wasn’t very good at keeping this stuff locked up inside me.
Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan has spoken about his battle with addiction and mental demons in a new documentary about his extraordinary career
The Edge of Everything, which will air on Amazon Prime Video next month, follows O’Sullivan’s bid to win a record-equalling seventh World Snooker title
The documentary was produced by David Beckham’s production company Studio 99
“I never want to go to those dark places, but sometimes you have to.”
His wife Laila says: “There’s just so much self-criticism and it’s just soul-destroying.”
‘The Rocket’ allowed cameras to follow him wherever he went as he attempted to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of seven modern-era Snooker World Championship titles.
This included attaching a microphone to his vest during games to capture his monologues under pressure.
The documentary, which will air on Amazon Prime Video next month, was produced by Studio 99, the production company of England and Manchester United legend Beckham.
Her other credits include the recent Beckham Netflix documentary and the Paramount+ series Fever Pitch: The Battle for the Premier League.
O’Sullivan’s documentary features interviews with his close friends, including artists Damien Hirst and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, and snooker legends Hendry and Jimmy White.
Using never-before-seen family footage, it traces his rise to snooker stardom from precocious teenager through struggles with mental health issues to the accomplished and revered player he is today.
In the trailer for the documentary, O’Sullivan questions whether he has what it takes to win a seventh world title ahead of the 2022 tournament at the Crucible
O’Sullivan gave camera crews access to all areas as he pursued fame at the Crucible
Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, a close friend of O’Sullivan, appears in the documentary
The filmmakers saw their dream finale as O’Sullivan defeated Judd Trump 18-13 to win his seventh world title.
O’Sullivan said: “My ups and downs have been well documented by the media, but I felt now was the right time to do something more specific – something I can look back on and think about when I do thinking about retirement.”
“Going into my seventh World Cup I wasn’t sure I had what it took, but letting the cameras in pushed me forward in a lot of ways and gave me a different perspective.”
Director Sam Blair said: “While making this film, Ronnie made his charisma, complexity and contradictions seem natural – he was deeply himself, raw and unfiltered, and this made the often uncomfortable and complicated situation of making a film, easy for me.”
“My job, as I explained to Ronnie, was to do justice to his story and his experience, and to do that we had to find ways for the audience to capture the full range of his experience – from rapture to collapse. “
Artist Damien Hirst, another good friend, also appears in the film, released in November
O’Sullivan has managed to control his inner demons throughout his career
“I see the film as a collaboration with Ronnie to achieve that goal, and I think its strength is that we can see the full range unfold in the present tense.”
“It’s a film about a great artist at work, but also about a person struggling with himself and the factors in his life that are beyond his control.”
Nicola Howson of Studio 99 said: “Ronnie is a complex genius who has defied convention and captured the hearts and admiration of snooker fans over many years.”
“His story is simply remarkable and will resonate deeply with audiences.” “We are grateful to Ronnie and Sam for creating this unflinchingly honest and raw account of what it takes to be a champion.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Edge of Everything is available exclusively in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on November 21st and launches on Prime Video on November 23rd. The theatrical release includes LIVE Q&A with Ronnie and very special guests.