For nine seasons, “How I Met Your Mother” was fan-favorite television show, prompting countless legen-wait for it-dary quotable moments.
But for star Jason Segel, those professional heights were at odds with personal lows. The “Knocked Up” star recently opened up at the Hollywood Reporter’s Comedy Actors Roundtable about his personal struggles while navigating career highs.
“There was a period in my life and career around, like, the last couple years of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ where things were firing on both movies and TV and everyone was telling me how well it was going, and I was really unhappy,” he shared.
Segel continued, explaining that he had to “grapple with like, ‘why? What’s off about this equation?’ Because I should be feeling like I did it. And something was off.”
He attributes that emotional malaise to a lack of proximity to his creative goals, noting that he felt a shift once he began advocating for the ideas that scratched that artistic itch. “What I like is not obvious, unfortunately. Or fortunately. I had to fight hard to put a Dracula puppet musical at the end of [Forgetting Sarah Marshall]. And all of the ideas are often people being like ‘no, that’s stupid.’”
Segel continued, explaining that “it’s a battle of summoning the will to say ‘I have an idea and I believe in it and it won’t leave me alone and now I’m gonna do the three years or four years of fighting through all the permissions and pushing the boulder up the hill.’”
A part of the “big equation is getting to the point where you ask yourself, ‘what is worth trading my time for? What am I gonna give over nine months or two years or three years for, and is it worth it?’ Because I look back at the ones I didn’t like and I was like, ‘that was not worth age 28,’” he shared.
Earlier this year, the star and creator of the Apple TV + series “Shrinking” addressed his mental health on “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” noting that despite his relatability and seemingly happy demeanor, it doesn’t come without effort.
“Personally, I have to work a little bit hard at happiness, like internally, and so that manifests outwardly. I wake up and have to work a little harder to get to zero, and then I push it a little past,” he said.