Danny Dyer admits things "weren't going so well" a few years ago - but he is now back on track.
The "Football Factory" star has portrayed Mick Carter on BBC One soap "EastEnders" since 2013, but he took a short break from the show in early 2017, and has now admitted it can be "easy" to take your eye off the ball at times.
He said: "A few years ago it wasn't going so well. If you break it all down, you've got to work hard.
"And you've got to take your job seriously and all that. You've got to keep your eye on the ball.
"Sometimes it's easy to take your eye off it."
But the 41-year-old star showed just how much he is back on track on "EastEnders" earlier this month by scooping Best Soap Actor at the TV Choice Awards.
He added to the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: "It's nice to get an award. It's been a while for me. I've been watching other actors winning, which was disappointing.
"So to now win one, it's just lovely. And the fact it's voted for by the public is a nice bonus.
"I'm happy. People are loving Mick Carter. And for as long as people are loving him, I'll keep playing him."
In February 2017, the BBC confirmed Danny was taking a break from the soap, but insisted the rest period "was not enforced" by producers.
A BBC spokesman said: "Danny is on a short break from EastEnders. This was not enforced by bosses nor has he quit the show."
While Danny is happy on the show, the same cannot be said for his alter-ego Mick, who is behind bars for the attempted murder of Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) after the calculated character claimed his former pal shot him.
But the actor is "really pleased" to "delve into the darkness" of prison life in his latest storyline.
Danny recently said: "What I was really pleased about was we don't just leave it at the gates, we actually delve into the darkness of what it's like to try and survive in prison.
"I'm happy to be focused on that. With Stuart all bets are off, anything can happen, so it's tied in lovely with that storyline."