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Mike O’Hearn Interviews Johnathon Schaech About Acting, Addiction, & Bodybuilding


In the July 14, 2023, episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, O’Hearn interviewed actor Johnathon Schaech about his most recent accomplishments, including what made him pivot into competitive bodybuilding at age 53. They delve into Schaech’s trials, tribulations, and triumphs throughout his childhood and acting career to ultimately become a and how he became a bodybuilding champion in middle age.

Check out the full interview below, courtesy of Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel, to hear O’Hearn and Schaech dissect acting, addiction, dyslexia, and bodybuilding:

[Related: Discover Men’s Open Bodybuilder Hunter Labrada’s Push Day Six Weeks Out From Competition]

How Dyslexia Led Schaech to Acting 

Just like O’Hearn, Schaech grew up with dyslexia. However, Schaech wasn’t diagnosed with the condition until he was 47. Despite this diagnosis and dyslexia being termed a “disability,” Schaech views it positively.

“We kind of think out of the box. So we’re really good at sculpting or art or material reasoning skillsets…the narrative skill of a storyteller,” says Schaech. However, it was traumatizing for Schaech in his youth. He relayed a story of how he tried wetting his pants so he could go home to get out of reading in front of the class.

When Schaech was 19, he had a roommate from Africa whose first language wasn’t English. Schaech asked his roommate to read an English textbook, and the roommate did so easily, something Schaech had never been able to do. This led Schaech to acting classes to improve his speech, which led to him quitting college to pursue acting as a career in Hollywood.

Johnathon Schaech’s Addictions

Because of his learning disability, Schaech felt immense shame, as the school system was structured in such a way that made him feel dumb. That, a hard breakup, his father’s shame from his mental disability, and getting molested as a young adult propelled Schaech into addiction, harming himself with drugsalcohol, and sex as coping mechanisms. 

Six years ago, Schaech finally escaped that lifestyle and moved to Nashville, TN. He became sober and seeks to help others overcome those vices the same way he managed to.

Schaech’s Bodybuilding Background

O’Hearn and Schaech grew up around Gold’s Gym in the ‘90s, when bodybuilders reigned supreme. When Schaech began filming for the TV show Blue Ridge, he cast O’Hearn. Once filming was over, Schaech asked O’Hearn for help preparing for a bodybuilding competition mere weeks away.

Schaech competed in the bodybuilding competition for a host of reasons. The two primary reasons were a tribute to Tonya Knight, an American Gladiator alum who passed away in February 2023, whom Schaech previously dated, and celebrating his sixth year sober.

Schaech didn’t realize how hard the training and preparation would be but committed himself. He was responsible for his meal prep and training with O’Hearn’s help. O’Hearn never eased the bodybuilding training plan and the dedication paid off — at 53 years old, Schaech won his first bodybuilding competition.

When asked why and how he jumped at this bodybuilding opportunity, Schaech offered this advice: “Opportunities aren’t always going to be there. You have to be in the right place in mind, in body, and in spirit…To find the courage to do so, and also not to have any expectations. If I had lost this contest, I still would’ve won just by doing it.”

Featured image: @johnschaech on Instagram

The post Mike O’Hearn Interviews Johnathon Schaech About Acting, Addiction, & Bodybuilding appeared first on BarBend.

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