Will Arnett Admits His Real-Life Issues With Sobriety Mirrored His Show ‘Flaked’

Will Arnett is an actor and comedian, best known for his work in the animated series BoJack Horseman. Arnett has enjoyed a prolific career in the entertainment business and has worked extensively to provide voice-overs for a wide variety of animated characters. Although Arnett is known as a funnyman, his real life is full of struggle and heartache. He has battled alcoholism for a big part of his life. Recently, he opened up to fellow comedian Dax Shepard about his trouble with alcohol and the heartbreaking time that he went through a major relapse. 

Will Arnett holding a microphone and talking
Will Arnett | Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Netflix

Will Arnett’s biggest roles

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Will Arnett was born in Canada in 1970. Although Arnett’s father was an established corporate lawyer, Will Arnett found himself drawn to the world of entertainment. As a teenager, Arnett got involved in acting projects and appeared in several commercials before moving to New York in 1990 to study film. In the mid-nineties, Arnett appeared on a wide variety of television shows, including Still Standing and The Mike O’Malley Show

Arnett got his first big break in 2003 when he was cast on the sitcom Arrested Development. He received critical acclaim for his work on the show and continued to act on the series for several years. A few of the other TV shows that he appeared on after his time on Arrested Development ended include 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation (opposite his now ex-wife, Amy Poehler), and The Office. In recent years, Arnett has become very popular for his work as a voiceover actor, lending his talents to films such as The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. For six years, he was the star of the animated series BoJack Horseman. However, in spite of all of his professional accomplishments, Arnett has experienced struggles in his personal life. 

When did Will Arnett go through a relapse?

Early on in his career, when Will Arnett was still struggling to find steady work, he frequently turned to alcohol to help him cope. Around the same time he began his relationship with Amy Poehler in 2000, Arnett decided that enough was enough, and he began attending AA meetings. Arnett stayed sober for years, and it wasn’t until 2012 that he started to struggle with his inner demons once again.

In 2016, Arnett began working on his Netflix comedy series, Flaked. The series protagonist bore a strong resemblance to Arnett, and he found himself spiraling into alcoholism once again. As Arnett admitted shortly after the release of Flaked, he “started getting confused about where I was at. Hardly anybody knows this, but I started drinking again.”

What does Will Arnett say about his experience with relapse and sobriety these days?

Although Will Arnett successfully battled his demons and has since emerged on the other side, he hasn’t forgotten his dark days on Flaked. Recently, he sat down with Dax Shepard for an episode of the Armchair Expert podcast and opened up about his 2016 relapse. As Arnett admitted to Shepard, his time on Flaked was “very confusing” for him. “The show is about a guy who’s sober and going to meetings, and then he’s drinking at night. One of the hardest things was being frustrated with reviews, people are saying, ‘This is not a real depiction of what sobriety is like.’ And I was like, ‘Hey, motherf*cker, this is happening in real-time. You have no idea.'” 

These days, Arnett is happily sober and working on various acting projects. Still, with the struggles of alcoholism not far behind him, it is likely that the comedian is still treading lightly, both in his personal and professional life.