Chris Rock has revealed that he struggles with a nonverbal learning disorder, and spends several hours a week in therapy.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the comedian recalled his process during his early days in stand-up.
“I had this great combination of big ego and low self-esteem,” he said of his early career. “And the ego gets you out onstage, but the low self-esteem is the thing that makes you practice so much because you don’t believe in yourself at all.”
“You think you’re a total f–king fraud,” Rock continued. “You don’t think anybody could love you for being you, so you have to be good at this thing.”
Rock said the COVID-19 lockdown has forced him work on himself, including finally learning how to swim.
“Do you know how f–king hard it is for a grown-up to learn how to swim? You’ve got to not be scared to die.”
The star of the upcoming FX series “Fargo” went on to describe a recent swimming lesson.
“The other day, this guy says to me, ‘OK, you’re going to dive into the deep end and swim to the other side,’ and I’m like, ‘Are you fucking crazy?’” Rock said. “But then I dove into the deep end and I swam to the other side, and it’s a metaphor for what I’ve been trying to do during this time.”
Rock said he followed up on a friend’s tip that he may have Asperger’s, so he got tested. That’s when he learned he has problems picking up on non-verbal cues in communication. He was diagnosied with a nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD).
“All I understand are the words,” he said, which leads to him taking people more literally than they intended and what he described as an all-or-nothing mentality. “All of those things are really great for writing jokes,” he added. “They’re just not great for one-on-one relationships.”
You can catch Chris Rock on “Fargo” when the series premieres Sunday, September 27 on FX.
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