For nine years during the late 1980s and most of the 1990s, 40 million viewers tuned in on a weekly basis to watch the Conner family in Lanford, Illinois keep it real. From unemployment to domestic assault, moody teenagers to taboo topics like same sex couples and racism, there were few tough subjects that Roseanne Barr and co. didn’t take on. In a new interview with Barr and her co-star John Goodman, the pair revealed that this tough love attitude continued once the cameras stopped rolling as well, with Barr confronting Goodman about his drinking.
During an interview this week with Howard Stern, Barr and Goodman talked about the early days (1988 to 1997) of Roseanne. It was during this time that Barr confronted her co-star and TV husband Goodman about his drinking. Having dealt with her now ex-husband Tom Arnold’s alcoholism, Barr knew the warning signs. “She was scared for me, but she was more confrontational,” said Goodman. “She’d already had a husband go through the process.”
Speaking about seeing her friend deal with the disease, Barr added “It’s hard to watch.”
Goodman has previously admitted that he drank during the filming of Roseanne, as well as during his time on set of the cult classic film The Big Lebowski. Speaking with Howard Stern in 2016, Goodman said “I was drunk a couple of times during [The Big] Lebowski, but that’s way too many for me. That’s something I swore I’d never do in my life, is drink at work. In Roseanne I started doing that… I felt good, but ‘Hey! Let’s feel better.’”
During Tuesday’s interview, Goodman said that his drinking got out of hand at some points during the filming of Roseanne. “The last four years were pretty bad, and I was drinking at work and [Barr] was scared for me,” said Goodman. “I was ashamed of myself, but I couldn’t stop.”
Goodman has now been sober for eight years, with Barr saying the pair’s on-screen friendship continued when the cameras stopped rolling. “Me and John, we have a friendship off the show, too.”
During the interview with Stern, Barr revealed that Goodman wasn’t the only cast member she became involved with on a personal level. She also took an active role in the lives of her on-screen children, including Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goranson. “Like, I found out the crew was letting Sara Gilbert smoke pot with them and I was f–king furious over that. I called her mom, I called everybody’s mom. Lecy was having trouble, too. I called her parents. I’m Jewish and I’m a mother. What do you want?”
We would expect nothing less from Barr. Now if she could just ease up on the pro-Trump stuff.