The Conners is killing off Roseanne Barr's character and the cast has had to learn how to work without her in real-life as well. John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and Sara Gilbert recently revealed what they felt when Barr sent out the racist tweet, which ultimately killed the Roseanne revival, and how they felt about starting a new series without their lead actress. While it doesn't look easy to move on from the outside, it apparently was a lot easier than many would have expected, according to Goodman, Gilbert, and Metcalf.
Upon learning about Roseanne Barr's social media debacle, John Goodman says, "it just didn't seem true. Then it got true. I was consciously trying to accept it." As for Sara Gilbert, she says that it was a matter of taking things "one step at a time". Laurie Metcalf, who was working on Broadway, admits that one of her first thoughts was about the Roseanne revival series getting canceled. Metcalf realized right away that the news was pretty "heavy."
As for continuing on without Roseanne Barr, John Goodman says that the cast was ready to keep going with The Conners. The actor said that he immediately held out hope of "resurrecting it," adding that he couldn't believe that, "it was like easy come, easy go." Laurie Metcalf says, "it was hard to wrap our heads around." In the end, Goodman sums it up best. He had this to say about going on with The Conners.
"There was the feeling of not wanting it to go away until we were ready. There was a debt owed to this fictional family. We want to finish telling this story."
Starting The Conners sounds like it went pretty smoothly, but what about actually getting the family back together on the set? Laurie Metcalf admits that it was hard at first to get into their groove without Roseanne Barr on the set. The comedian gave her blessing for the new series to continue without her. Sara Gilbert, who also serves as the executive producer of the new series, says that turmoil has always been a part of the fictional family's life. She explains.
"Any sadness that we feel over what we've lost we're hopefully channeling in an honest way into the show. And our show has always been able to deal with heavy topics, particularly for a sitcom. It's been kind of built into the mix."
John Goodman says that it was a "big deal" that Roseanne Barr allowed them to create The Conners without her involvement, noting that she gave them "a chance." Goodman also stated that the entire cast is leaning on each other a lot, like a real family to get through the process. In addition, Goodman is hopeful for the future and happy that The Conners lets them, "finish the story on our own terms. Come along with us and see how we do." The interview with Goodman, Sara Gilbert, and Laurie Metcalf was originally conducted by People Magazine. The Conners premieres on October 16th.