[Pics] John Goodman loses a ton of weight, is awesome regardless

I don’t know that there are any chicks who grew up in the 80s that don’t have a crush on John Goodman, whether they admit it or not, even when he was severely chubby.

The actor has famously struggled with obesity, and reportedly weighed near 400 pounds in the mid-00s. And while Goodman looked much the same as he always has during the first season of HBO’s Treme, which is airing now, pictures taken of the 57-year-old actor looking dramatically thinner at last night’s AFI Tribute to Mike Nichols in LA have drawn a lot of attention.

The two pictures above show Goodman in 2004 on the right, and last night on the left. In the earlier picture, Goodman looks not only heavier, but markedly less healthy than the more recent shot. Goodman addressed his struggles with weight loss as far back as 1992 in an EW interview that’s getting a lot of linkage today:

”As my attitude got worse,” he says, ”my weight increased.” The irony is that it wasn’t until Goodman put on the weight that he got his big break, the role of Huck Finn’s hard-drinking father in the 1985 Broadway musicalBig River.

Goodman is sensitive about his weight, which now hovers around 300 pounds. Compliment him on his grace (several films, such as Stella and Always, have allowed him the space to improvise a short dance number), and he’ll shrug it off with, ”Oh, yeah, right — like the hippos in Fantasia.” (His fans are sensitive to fat jokes too: When good pal Jay Leno ribbed Goodman on a recent Tonight Show, NBC got hit with angry calls and cards.) ”I lose it, I gain it back,” he says. ”No big deal.” But if it’s no big deal, why does he keep trying to take it off? He smiles. ”I dance better when I’m thin.”

Goodman’s publicist didn’t specifically discuss the actor’s strategy for weight loss, and only cited “diet and exercise” as the reason for the change.