The real reason you don't hear from Jason Segel anymore

During his nine-year on the smash hit How I Met Your Mother, Jason Segel was one of the biggest stars on television. With the success of the sitcom, Hollywood came calling, and Segel transitioned into movies with roles in Knocked UpForgetting Sarah MarshallThis Is The EndThis Is 40Bad Teacher and The Muppets.

Segel looked poised to take the "Comedy Straight Guy" mantle for years to come, but since the series about a group of Manhattan friends ended, the actor has kept a relatively low profile. In 2017 interview with The New York Times, Segel revealed his surprising decision to relocate to a decidedly not-Hollywood locale, but more on that later. Combined with a few other interesting career moves, that big life change definitely shifted Segel away from being high-profile sitcom and summer comedy movie star. 

Let's take a look at a few of the reasons you don't hear from Jason Segel anymore.

There is no cute couple name for Jason Segel and his lady

Lindsay Lohan. Serbian-Australian actress Bojana Novakovic. Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams. Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Michelle Trachtenberg. English actress Michelle Ryan. Chloë Sevigny. Drew Barrymore. Former Freaks and Geeks co-star Linda Cardellini. Segel has quite the dating history.

Per the Daily Mail, Segel's last high-profile relationship with a celebrity ended in 2013 when Michelle Williams "wasn't ready to commit." Since that breakup, Segel has seemingly sworn off famous girlfriends, and at the time of this writing, he's dating a non-celebrity, photographer Alexis Mixter.

Not much is known about Mixter, but in a 2017 Instagram post, she gushed about her beau on the four-year anniversary of their meeting. "It has been the absolute best four years of my life since, not because it's all been easy and smooth but because it's all been worth it," she wrote." The kind of worth it that's soul changing. It's been full of love, growth and learning. ... Thank you for having my back, for loving me in a way I never dreamed possible and making me laugh while encouraging me to dream. You are my partner and I love you."

Was fame a trigger for Jason Segel's addiction issues?

Following his breakup with actress Michelle Williams in early 2013, Jason Segel entered an alcohol treatment program "in a desperate bid to win his battle with booze" according to Radar Online. Before his journey to tackle sobriety, Segel was often photographed and videotaped outside Los Angeles nightclubs, and he was once caught on camera, seemingly intoxicated, serenading a fan in 2011.

While taking on the role of late author David Foster Wallace, who also suffered from alcoholism, Segel used his experience battling the disease to help his performance. In a 2015 interview with NPR (via Page Six), talked about how the role allowed him to talk through his alcohol issues through another person. "I felt like, 'Oh, thank God, here's somebody else who's willing to talk about these things,” he said. "I was very hopeful my experience wasn't unique. I think most people [feel that] when they're going through a hard time."

Jason Segel's major movie flopped

Sex Tape (2014) was supposed to be a blockbuster, but it bombed hard — with both box offices and critics. This may have been particularly damaging to Segel's career (and ego) because he not only starred in the movie but was also a co-writer of the script. It earned only 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with one reviewer griping, "It's strange to watch a comedy full of talented people that does not work from the opening scene. It's like eating food and not tasting anything."

Even though the movie failed as a whole, critics didn't necessarily blame Segel, nor his co-star Cameron Diaz. The Village Voice noted, "Sex Tape is warmer and more amusing than its ads would lead one to believe. In fact, it's almost good enough, leaning a little too hard on the innate likability of stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel." Unfortunately, they weren't likable enough to sell tickets, and in Hollywood, like anywhere else, money talks.

Jason Segel took himself out of the rat race

Although Jason Segel was a busy bee throughout How I Met Your Mother, simultaneously writing and starring in flicks such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), The Five-Year Engagement, and Sex Tape, after the show came to its finale, he decided to dial down his career momentum because he realized the fast pace wasn't taking him to any supposed finish line any time soon.

In 2015, he appeared on Variety's "Actors on Actors" series with Bryan Cranston and explained that he was in his mid-twenties when he landed How I Met Your Mother, "so these are pretty formative years. And I think that you spend your 20s trying to get somewhere, like I'm on the road to there. And then, I think in my in early 30s, especially as the show was coming to an end ... you have this realization that there is no there. ... So, what I realized three or four years ago is I need to find a model that's sustainable, where I'm not constantly feeling like I have to arrive or I'm in a state of waiting for this thing to happen."

As a result, rather than starring in strings of back-to-back comedies like he'd been doing, Segel began holding out for more serious material that "moved him," which resulted in a noticeable career lull. 

There were a few quiet years after Jason Segel's hit sitcom ended

How I Met Your Mother ended in 2014, and since then, Segel has kept a relatively low profile. His acting career has as well. In 2015 (his only project of that year), Segel starred as author David Foster Wallace in the The End of the Tour which garnered considerable critical acclaim and Oscar buzz for the former sitcom star. "Buried beneath Wallace's fame is an insecurity that extends beyond unkempt hair and signature bandanas. Segel's performance is a master class in capturing layers of expression with one's eyes," wrote HuffPost's Matthew Jacobs. At the time of this writing, this remains Segel's masterpiece. 

Per Jason Segel's IMDb page, 2016 was also a quiet year for the actor. He didn't log any acting, producing, or writing projects, but still kept his face in the public eye with appearances at the Academy Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards. In 2017, starred in the Netflix sci-fi film The Discovery alongside Rooney Mara and Robert Redford. The film was met with generally bad reviews and went down as Segel's only performance of that year.

2018 and 2019 were a bit of the same for Segel, meaning few projects that were met with middling reviews. However, Variety did note that the former funnyman's somber turn in 2019's The Friend "taps into his exceptional relatability." So, that's... something, right? 

Jason Segel is not a token anymore

When Segel was heavier, he, like his pal Jonah Hill, was often viewed as a character actor specializing in slightly schlubby guys. Now that he's lean and toned, casting directors may not know what to do with him. He's not Brad Pitt, but he's not Seth Rogen. Since Hollywood tends to deal in stereotypes, a genuinely normal-looking person such as Segel may not have a place in a lot of scripts.

Segel told former Late Show host David Letterman in 2012 that he was forced to lose 35 pounds for The Five Year Engagement (2011). "I was told that it had to be conceivable that Emily Blunt would ever choose me to be her husband," he said (via Us Weekly), adding, "Which is fair." 

In 2013, Segel told Us Weekly his weight loss was a result of "living healthy, exercising, eating right — no more midnight pizzas."

Is Jason Segel mean to his fans?

Premieres are usually a good time for stars to show off on the red carpet and mingle with their adoring fans. However, according to Radar Online, Jason Segel and his Sex Tape co-star Cameron Diaz were "awful" and "disgusting" the whole time during the film's New York City debut in 2014.

"When a 20-something fan asked Jason for a photo as he left the premiere he said 'no' and literally slammed the car door right in the fan's face. People gasped, that's how bad it was," an insider told the publication. "Cameron was as unfriendly as can be and it was really disappointing. And Jason was downright nasty to his fans," another eyewitness claimed. "There were literally only four of five fans waiting and asking for them when they left. It was not a huge crowd and would have taken less time for them to sign an autograph or take a picture rather than giving a lecture about not doing it."

If you're trying to remain a star, it might not be the best idea to treat fans like garbage. Allegedly.

Jason Segel got 'off the hamster wheel'

As part of his recovery process, Segel said goodbye to the Hollywood lifestyle and moved to a small town with a much smaller pool of paparazzi to catch him on that morning coffee run or out pumping gas. He told late show host Jimmy Fallon in 2015, "I moved out of L.A. a little while ago, and I moved to a small town that's very healthy — they almost shame you into being healthy." He added in a 2017 chat with Vogue that he regarded the decision to ditch LaLaLand and live on an orange grove to a college student being "ready to live off-campus" and "get off the hamster wheel" that is the Hollywood circuit.

That new living location may have provided him some much-needed peace and distance from the Hollywood nightlife scene, and it also stopped him from potentially becoming a full-on recluse. "It's an impulse I've always had, which is, I'm going to move to the mountains, and no one's ever going to see me again," Segel told The New York Times, adding, "I found the healthy version of that."

Healthy, sure, but it also means he's not one of those celebs whose A-list status is maintained by constant magazine features.

Maybe Jason Segel is trying to avoid this guy?

We've established that it's fairly obvious Segel voluntarily retreated from the spotlight and is intentionally pursuing headier projects. That said, there could be a more insidious reason for his noticeable Hollywood absence. And that reason could be that Segel is being held internet-hostage by Canadian YouTuber, Noah Maloney a.k.a. Dog Shirt, who has pledged to eat a printed out photo of Segel's face every day until the American funnyman eats just one photo of Maloney's face in return. Yes, this is a real thing that is happening.

According to The Daily Dot, Maloney started this gastronomical nightmare in February of 2017, and according Geek Tyrant, threw in the towel at day 100. Maloney even claimed he almost died doing the silly stunt but persevered nonetheless. The Daily Dot also pointed out that Segel had a great opportunity to address the whole #EatingHisFacePhotoGate during a March 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show, but he didn't, leaving two possible explanations. 1.) He had no idea, as he rightfully shouldn't, that this was going on. 2.) He successfully Maloney out, beating the troll at his own game. Either way, this might be the best little-known Jason Segel-related internet thing that's ever happened.

Jason Segel a best-selling author and series creator

Segel keeps busy on his orange grove by writing young adult novels. According to Entertainment Weekly, Segel co-wrote "the best-selling middle grade series Nightmares!" with Kristen Miller, and the duo penned a YA trilogy, Otherworlds. "Part mythic adventure, part sci-fi love story, entirely cautionary tale — we wanted to reach the new generation of potential players before this 'game' becomes a reality," he told the publication.

In additional to novels, Segel created the 10-episode anthology series Dispatches From Elsewhere for AMC. According to Deadline, the show "is about a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined." The impressive cast includes Richard E. Grant, Sally Field, and Eve Lindley. At the time of this writing, filming is taking place in Philadelphia and is set to debut in 2020.