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Will Arnett Reflects on His Alcoholism, Sobriety and Recent Relapse: ‘I Was Filled With Shame’

Will Arnett attends the red carpet of Netflix presentation at the Matadero Cultural Center on October 20, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.
Will Arnett attends the red carpet of Netflix presentation at the Matadero Cultural Center on October 20, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.

Coming clean. In a candid new interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Thursday, March 31, Will Arnett opened up about his secret struggle with sobriety.

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While working on his new TV project, Netflix’s Flaked, the 45-year-old actor and comedian found himself slipping back into bad habits.

"I started to write this character based on things that I loathed in other people and the sort of injustice of the world," Arnett revealed of the series, which he wrote, produced and co-created. In the show, the 30 Rock alum plays Chip, a character whose story line is loosely based off of Arnett’s own battle with alcoholism.

"It became this tough, uncomfortable process,” he said of making Flaked, which happened to begin filming on the 15th anniversary of Arnett’s sobriety. “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."

"As I was writing all this s— [on Flaked] and I start shooting it, I started getting confused about where I was at," the divorced dad of two admitted to THR. "Hardly anybody knows this, but I started drinking again."

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Arnett explained to the outlet that he originally thought of the concept for Flaked in the late summer of 2012, a point in his life that he described as “a tricky place.” Not surprisingly, that time perfectly correlates with the end of his marriage with ex-wife Amy Poehler.

As Us Weekly previously reported, the couple — who share two sons, Archie, 7, and Abel, 5 — separated in September 2012 after nine years of marriage and officially finalized their divorce two years later in 2014.

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Now, Arnett says he is several months sober, focusing on his health and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly.

"I was filled with shame," he reflected. "I just know where this path goes, and it's a dead end. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm smart enough to know that this is not where I want to live…I'm a dad now, a parent first and foremost.”

Flaked is now available to stream on Netflix. 

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