John Goodman Explains The Inspiration Behind His Dramatic Weight Loss

John Goodman is about half the man he used to be… literally.

Goodman’s newest film 10 Cloverfield Lane just debuted in theaters this weekend, and fans will probably notice a major different in Goodman’s appearance. According to ABC News, the filming for the movie wrapped up nearly a year and a half ago, and since then, John has lost a significant amount of weight. Now, for the first time, Goodman is sharing his inspiration for his dramatic weight loss.

“I just stopped eating all the time,” the 63-year-old actor said. “I’d have a handful of food and it’d go to my mouth. I was just eating all the time. I was just eating alcoholically. In the old days, I would take three months out, lose 60 or 70 pounds, and then reward myself with a 6-pack of bud or whatever and just go back to my old habits. Then this time I wanted to do it slowly, move, exercise. I’m getting to the age where I can’t afford to sit still anymore. And it gives me the energy to work, ’cause work is very draining.”

The reason for the weight loss is simple. John said he simply got tired of looking in the mirror and hating what he saw looking back at him. He realized it was time for a change, and made that change happen. It wasn’t easy by any means, especially since he relates his struggles with overeating with his past troubles with alcohol.

“I think you’re trying to fill a hole that can’t be filled unless it’s filled with goodness, some kind of spirituality, not saying religion,” Goodman explained. “But just a belief in something higher than yourself, a purpose. But instead of filling it with booze or cocaine or food, you just acknowledge that it’s there. You can’t fill it. And you go on and live with it.”

Goodman’s role in 10 Cloverfield Lane was unlike anything he has ever done before. According to a film review by The Hollywood Reporter, the film follows a woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who finds herself chained to a makeshift bed in an underground bunker with Howard (John Goodman), after she crashed her car while fighting with her fiance.

“The script was different, different from anything I’d ever read. It had all kinds of new elements to me — survivalism, preparedness,” Goodman told ABC News. “This guy has problems with loneliness. But he wants to be 10 steps ahead of everybody else. He’s got some delusions. He’s got some loose wiring. But in his mind I think he means well.”

Aside from 10 Cloverfield Lane, Goodman has been working on several other projects.

“I just worked on ‘King Kong’ with Sam Jackson and Brie Larson who kicked it up again for me. She’s so charismatic, so enthusiastic about what she does, so passionate,” Goodman said. “It kind of kicked up again why I’m doing this and it reminded me of what I was like when I was her age.”

According to Slash Films, CBS Films and Lionsgate announced that Goodman has officially joined the cast of Patriots Day, which is a film about the Boston Marathon bombing that took place in 2013.

“This specific dramatization of the events will be told through the eyes of Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis and is being crafted with the help of 60 Minutes, who chronicled the events of that day for a segment on the news program,” the site reads.

[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]