June 01, 2018 at 06:42 PM EDT

Watch the full episode of Couch Surfing streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Filmmaking’s a hell of a drug.

So says actor Alan Cumming, who recently guested on PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing to look back at his earliest (and trippiest) outing behind the camera.

In 2001’s The Anniversary Party, which Cumming co-directed, wrote, and starred in with Jennifer Jason Leigh, one of the most unique challenges he faced was coaching actors to appear high on ecstasy without actually slipping them the drug. In one scene, his character distributes ecstasy to guests at a sixth wedding anniversary party, leading to an evening of wild revelations and unearthed secrets.

“I know what ecstasy is,” Cumming told host Lola Ogunnaike, a tad carefully, of accurately depicting the party drug’s myriad effects. “What was so funny is that a lot of the people in the film had not taken ecstasy.”

This, as one can imagine, did not at first make for an easy shoot.

“When we did the first read-though, I was appalled,” recalled Cumming, who’s currently starring on CBS’ Instinct. “One of my least favorite things is bad drug acting.”

Not to be deterred, Cumming hosted what he fondly dubs “an ecstasy workshop,” teaching his cast — which included John C. Reilly, Jane Adams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Phoebe Cates, and Parker Posey — how to roll in style.

Watch the full clip above to see more of Cumming’s “trip” down memory lane.

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