Ted Cruz, the Hungover Thespian Years

The Boston Globe dived into Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's time at Harvard, and what they found was an amateur actor with a weakness for cheap liquor.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

The Boston Globe dived into Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's time at Harvard Law School, and what they found was an amateur actor with a weakness for cheap liquor.

We all know Ted Cruz as the disruptive, combative, two-faced freshman Texas Senator. A Tea Party hero and the bane of the establishment's existence. Turns out, according to the Boston Globe's investigation into Cruz's time at Harvard Law School from 1992 to 1995, he hasn't changed much since his school days. Cruz frustrated his former classmates and professors at the left-leaning liberal educational institution just as much as he frustrates Democrats establishment Republicans today. But there was one particular story, involving a 1992 performance of  Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and way too much Everclear, that really steals the story.

Because that Ted Cruz, all young and brash and boastful, was an actor. The Globe reports Cruz played Rev. Samuel Parris in the law school drama society's performance of "The Crucible" in his freshman year. The play, an allegory for McCarthyism, and Cruz's role were rather prescient. "Do you understand that I have many enemies?" Cruz bellows in the amazing video unearthed by the Globe showing Cruz's amateur acting abilities. "There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit. Do you understand that?" Art imitates life, the more things change, etc. The cliches fall in on themselves. But Cruz was so proud of his Harvard stage debut that his second performance suffered after the celebrations, and the libations, got out of hand:

After the successful first performance, Cruz spent the cast party imbibing so much Everclear — a powerful grain alcohol — that he couldn’t make it through the next night’s performance. His fellow actors had to coax him into going onstage, but by Act III his condition worsened.

A video of the performance shows him sitting on a bench onstage, his head buried in his hands for nearly five minutes straight. After meekly delivering a line, he walked off stage in the middle of the scene, forcing cast members to improvise around the departure of a lead character. He didn’t return for the remainder of the play.

Cruz drank too much and couldn't stay up. What a wonderful little story. The things we wouldn't learn without print media! The Globe also got Cruz's first response to the accusation he "didn't want [to study with] anybody from 'minor Ivies' like Penn or Brown," from last month's GQ profile:

“It’s complete nonsense,” Cruz said. “It’s simply not true.”

The five-member study group included one member, Jeff Hinck, who attended Northwestern.

See! A man of the people, that Ted Cruz. Watch the Boston Globe's video of Cruz's (sober) acting days here, and read the superb profile here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.