John Goodman Recalls Drinking at Work While Battling Alcoholism

Actor has said he got drunk a couple of times while working on The Big Lebowski and also drank vodka on set of Roseanne

By Corinne Heller Mar 30, 2018 7:10 PMTags
John GoodmanDimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

At age 65, John Goodman has much to celebrate. He's back on a rebooted Roseanne, which just received top ratings for the premiere and got renewed for another season. He's also 10 years sober.

In 2007, the actor spent time in rehab to treat alcoholism, a month after wrapping filming on the film Speed Racer. In an interview on Sunday Today with Willie Geist, he recalls drinking alcohol at work and how his wife helped him get sober.

"I got so lucky because I was still getting hired for things but the fact is, I was drinking at work," he said. "My speech would be slurred. I thought I was fooling people. My cheeks would turn bright red when I was liquored up and I just looked like a stop sign."

The Roseanne star said he hit his tipping point after "a long weekend playing golf with my friends," a weekend in which he won his first and only Emmy award, for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for a role on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

"I had to go accept an Emmy award. So I missed the rehearsal because I was drunk. By the time Sunday morning rolled around, I was shaking, I was still drinking but I was still drinking," he continued. "I called my wife, which is like, turning myself in to the Gestapo, and she made some phone calls. We got me into a treatment center and I detoxed there and decided I like the feeling. And it's been 10 years." 

Celebrity Rehabbers

Goodman had also talked about his past alcoholism during an interview on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM in 1016.

"I was drunk a couple of times during [The Big] Lebowski, but that's like, way too many for me," he said. "That's something I swore I'd never do in my life, is drink at work."

He said he drank vodka on the set of Roseanne

"I felt good, but 'Hey! Let's feel better,'" he said.

"You're...losing a lot of other things like brain function, memory function, inhibition, control," he said. "You wind up doing things you'll regret later and develop an attitude. But I use to think I was free and clear, nobody knew I was drinking, I was living on Altoids. My cheeks had turned bright red."

Goodman said his Roseanne co-star Roseanne Barr was "really annoyed with it," adding, "But she had her own problems with Tom [Arnold]."

"I got sober in L.A. and I was really worried about going home," he said. "But you gotta figure, as many drunks as there are down there, there has to be as many sober people. So I found a good community and good support." 

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