Will Arnett Opens Up About His Struggles With Sobriety And The Pain Of Bad Reviews

Features Writer
03.31.16 4 Comments

Will Arnett has had his fair share of career ups and downs. While he found critical and creative success with shows like Arrested Development, 30 Rock, the first season of Up All Night, and Bojack Horseman, other projects have been less well received, like Running Wilde, The Millers, and the second season of Up All Night. Unfortunately, his latest project, Flaked, hasn’t had an easy time connecting with audiences and critics… including me.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Arnett is a bare nerve, speaking candidly about his frustrations over the bad reception surrounding Flaked. Arnett, who created and stars in the show, poured a lot of himself into the Netflix series, so the bad reviews can’t help but feel personal.

“Some guy tweeted at me, ‘From Arrested [Development] to BoJack[Horseman] to this?’ Like, shaming me,” he says, a smile unable to mask his frustration. “It’s like, was that guy with me for the 15 years where it was disappointment after disappointment? And when was it that I made a deal with everybody that I had to do what they wanted me to do?”

Ouch. Can we all make a pact to not tweet mean stuff at people, especially people that we don’t know? Cool. (I know this will never happen because people are jerks.)

Part of what stung so deeply was the dismissal of his own personal experiences and how that influenced his work.

“When you have a [reviewer] say, ‘It’s not even a good depiction of sobriety — that they do a better job on [CBS’] Mom,’ you’re like, ‘What are you talking about?’ ” he says. “This is actually f—ing happening [to me], you asshole. This is actually happening in real time — as quickly as we can shoot, it’s happening.”

Getting into the mindset of Chip on Flaked seemed to take its toll on Arnett as well, so much so that he even struggled with alcohol again, after being sober since 2000.

“It became this tough, uncomfortable process,” he says. “And because I was putting a lot of stuff about my own life in there, I noticed it really starting to affect my mood and my behavior.”

The whole interview is well worth a read, and gives fans insight into a side of Arnett that often gets overlooked because of his comedic chops. While Flaked may not ultimately be the success that Netflix, Arnett, and his creative partners hoped for, here’s hoping Arnett finds the success he craves.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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