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John Goodman says lack of confidence led to ‘nervous breakdown’

John Goodman has opened up about the professional stress that resulted in him “practically having a nervous breakdown”.

The Emmy award-winning actor explained on a new podcast appearance that he has learnt to slow down, having worked in the entertainment industry for half a century.

“It’s much different now. I feel like I’m still learning. 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,” Goodman said on an episode of the SmartLess podcast.

“You know, like planning things way too much, and at the root of that was the fear of losing trust in myself.”

The star of The Conners, 71, added that he used to make up for a lack of confidence by working too hard, which began to take a physical toll on him.

“I overcompensated by working way too hard. I’ve just kind of come out of that in the last year or so. And there’s so much to learn,” he told podcast hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes.

Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman in ‘Blues Brothers 2000'
Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman in ‘Blues Brothers 2000′ (Universal)

Asked how he managed to overcome the tough period, he responded: “Practically having a nervous breakdown.

“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 continued: “You’ve got to be relaxed when you do stuff. And open and listen. You have to be ready to listen to yourself. You have to be relaxed. For me, that was the key. I already know this stuff, and that’s one thing I didn’t trust myself about.”

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On the lack of film roles in recent years, Goodman said that he’d been working on two TV series – Roseanne spinoff The Conners and The Righteous Gemstones – and didn’t have the opportunity to do more.

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

Goodman has been candid about his life previously, and has spoken about losing 200 pounds after he reportedly started making lifestyle changes in 2007.

In an interview, Goodman revealed that he decided to make a change to his habits after he looked in the mirror and disliked what he saw.

“I just got tired, sick and tired of looking at myself. You’re shaving in the mirror and you don’t want to look at yourself. It gets dangerous,” he told ABC’s Peter Travers in 2016.

The Big Lebowski star also said that he learnt to be open and honest about his struggles because of his journey with sobriety.

“It’s kind of to help myself and maybe to help somebody else. 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.”

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