John Goodman says he nearly had a ‘nervous breakdown’ dealing with recent career struggles

Even celebrities with storied careers have their struggles.

“The Conners” star John Goodman appeared on the “SmartLess” podcast June 3 and opened up to hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes about how he doesn’t have the same level of motivation in acting now as he did when he was younger.

“It’s much different now. I feel like I’m still learning,” he said. “The last couple of years have been goofy for me because I’ve been trying to be good — and it doesn’t work that way.”

John Goodman in “The Conners.” ABC via Getty Images

“You know, like planning things way too much,” Goodman added.

The 71-year-old accomplished actor, who recently lost 200 pounds, explained that “the fear of losing trust in myself” has been his core issue lately in his life and career.

“I overcompensated by working way too hard. I’ve just kind of come out of that in the last year or so,” he shared. “And there’s so much to learn.”

When asked how he’s gotten past that, Goodman said it was by “practically having a nervous breakdown.”

John Goodman at the Golden Nymph Awards ceremony on June 20, 2023. AFP via Getty Images

“It was bad with everything. It just purged out of me when I went to the therapist one day. And then for the rest of the day it was horrible. Nothing worked,” he said.

However, Goodman managed to find internal peace and ended up in a good place again.

“You’ve got to be relaxed when you do stuff. And open and listen,” he shared.

Katey Sagal and John Goodman in “The Conners.” Disney

The “Argo” star was also asked if he’s looking to do different acting roles as he changes as a person the older he gets.

“I don’t know. I’ve been doing the same same two roles for the last four or five years, and I haven’t really had much of a chance to do everything else.”

John Goodman in “The Conners.” Disney

Katey Sagal and John Goodman in “The Conners.” ABC

Goodman confirmed he was talking about the “Roseanne” spinoff “The Conners,” which premiered in 2018, and the HBO crime series “The Righteous Gemstones,” which premiered in 2019.

Later on in the podcast, Goodman mentioned that he chooses to be open about his struggles to help others, such as by talking about his sobriety.

“I’ve been clean about 16 years now,” he said. “The last 16 years I’ve had to grow a lot into my normal age, and it’s been a lot, but I’m glad I did it.”

John Goodman in “Sesame Street” in 1994. ©PBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

Goodman previously opened up about his addiction and how it’s been impacted by his struggles with confidence in an interview with The Guardian in 2015.

“I had a problem with it and… I drank for a while and towards the end of that, the lines would not come,” the Emmy Award winner said. “And it was like a snowball. It just built up a lack of confidence that I could even learn lines.”

He continued: “And I was punishing myself more than anything else and even using my energy wrong and it’s just a matter of being relaxed with it, and knowing [the lines] are going to come, have patience. It’s my personality disorder that I want everything right now. I gotta have it now, now! Mr Now! I mean, you can’t do that [on stage]. It’s a process.”

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