How We Talk About John Goodman's Weight Loss Is Important
John Goodman cut a dashing figure at the BFI London Film Festival on Thursday. Despite the many talented entertainers who joined forces at the event, all anyone can talk about is the fact that Goodman lost a lot of weight and looks healthy and slimmer. The 63-year-old actor attended the screening of his new film Trumbo alongside co-stars Helen Mirren and Bryan Cranston. And it's true: He looked great in a pinstripe navy suit. But the Roseanne alum's undisclosed weight loss is a victory for him for reasons that have a lot more to do with his health and well-being than his ability to conform to conventional standards of attractiveness.
Goodman hasn't had an easy life. His father died when he was two and his mother worked as a waitress in St. Louis to make ends meet. Against all odds, the talented actor made his way to New York City, lived hand to mouth, and was fortunate enough to be given a break by the Coen Brothers, who cast him in Raising Arizona in 1987. From there, it really was impossible to deny his appeal and, of course, being cast opposite Roseanne Barr in a long-running and beloved sitcom certainly didn't hurt his career.
But Goodman told The Guardian there were periods of his life in which he drank heavily. In his own words: "I mean, there’s many times I could have gone under. Not overdosed, but… well… misadventure.” He has reportedly been sober since 2007, but told the paper that there are still nights when he said he dreams about alcohol and that he acknowledges it is something that probably won't leave his life and mind for good anytime soon.
The star is also transparent about battling depression, reports The Guardian, which he called "a chemical thing, a brain thing." He reportedly said that in those times he suffers from a "general dissatisfaction with everything. I don’t want to do anything, nothing seems right. I have to be doing something else, but I don’t want to do anything else.”
If you're a Goodman fan, it probably hurts your heart to hear that he suffers from depression and doesn't realize how truly amazing he is and how viewers feel watching him take on every character he plays while making it all seem so effortless. Knowledge of his struggle also makes his weight loss and the fact that his weight has fluctuated so much in the past — Goodman famously once said he was "pushing 400" pounds, according to People — take on a whole new meaning.
So while we can say that yes, Goodman looks great in his suit. Appearance really isn't what's at stake here. This happy, glowing, and, fine, slimmer appearance seems to signify health and, hopefully, wellness. Goodman has a rare gift that I hope he continues to share through film and TV work for years to come.