Not easy watching my life unfold in documentary, says Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton attends a press conference to promote the film  Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, on Sept 11, 2017.
Eric Clapton attends a press conference to promote the film Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, on Sept 11, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO (Reuters) - A documentary about the life of renowned guitarist Eric Clapton does not attempt to whitewash over the darker side of his life, even though it is directed by longtime friend, film-maker Lili Fini Zanuck.

Zanuck directed Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars, following the life of the 72-year-old British guitarist from childhood to international stardom, through his struggle with drugs and alcohol and the 1991 death of his four-year-old son.

"To watch myself going through that was not easy," Clapton told reporters on Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"Right up until the time I stopped drinking, everything I said was complete blather," he added, to laughter from the audience.

In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton described a 20-year drug and alcohol addiction.

The death of his son Conor, in a fall from a New York high-rise, was the trigger to sobriety.

The musician, who is a producer on the film, spoke about his struggles with having his life documented on screen and doing interviews with Zanuck in a film that does not shy away from examining his faults.

"I do not like having my picture taken, I do not like talking to journalists. I love to play music," Clapton said.

Zanuck, who won an Oscar for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy, said Clapton did not second-guess the responsibility he gave her in telling his story.

"For me, the movie is about redemption - personal redemption, not necessarily what society thinks," Zanuck said.

"No one got him out of despair, he did it himself," she added.

Clapton has won 17 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.