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She's back! Roseanne Barr talks reboots, parenting and how her political views affect her home life

The TV star is back on her own terms.

By Jenny Cooney Carrillo

The feisty American comedian rose to fame more than 30 years ago as one of TV's biggest stars. But Roseanne Barr is still making headlines today.

Most recently, the actress came under fire for portraying her title character as a Donald Trump supporter in the 2018 reboot of Roseanne.

The Emmy Award and Golden Globe-winning actress was a tabloid staple during the original run of her sitcom, which aired from 1988 to 1997.

And in 2012, she even found herself in the political spotlight when she chose to run for president. Now, her political stance is again a contentious topic. But it seems there's one big supporter of her character's pro-Trump views.

The actress received a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump himself when Roseanne earned record ratings on its US return. But does she get hurt when critics push back?

"I need to have really thick skin," she responds. "I have thin skin, but a lot of it – so it works out."

"We have 30 years of history," Roseanne explains. "It was like coming home."
"We have 30 years of history," Roseanne explains. "It was like coming home."

In the reboot, we're reunited with couple Roseanne and Dan Conner (John Goodman). They're now living with their adult children: daughters Becky (Lecy Goranson) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert), who's returned home with her two children, and son DJ (Michael Fishman), who's moved in with his daughter, Mary (Jayden Rey).

The return of the series was first suggested by Roseanne's co-star Sara Gilbert when John Goodman appeared on her TV talk show, The Talk, last year.

"As soon as Sara told me John was in, I was in," Roseanne recalls. "And a week later, we had a deal."

It seems to have been relatively smooth sailing for the show's stars ever since.

"We have 30 years of history with the characters," Roseanne says. "It was like coming home."

Throwback to 1988 with co-stars Sara, Michael, Lecy, Laurie Metcalfe and John.
Throwback to 1988 with co-stars Sara, Michael, Lecy, Laurie Metcalfe and John.

Not surprisingly, the reboot will continue to push boundaries, with storylines about healthcare, ageing, discrimination and racism.

In the show, Roseanne has an African-American granddaughter, Mary, while grandson Mark (Ames McNamara) identifies as gender-fluid and wears a dress to school.

"I think people will see it as groundbreaking and as brave as the original," the star says.

The *Roseanne* cast is all grown up.
The Roseanne cast is all grown up.

Meanwhile, Roseanne's own parenting struggles sound more like a soap opera than a comedy.

Married three times, the actress has five children. She gave birth to eldest daughter Brandi, now 48, when she was just 17. She gave her up for adoption, but the two reunited years later.

Roseanne went on to marry hotel clerk Bill Pentland and had daughters Jessica, who's 43, Jennifer, 42, and son Jake, 40.

Estelle Parsons and Shelley Winters played Roseanne's mother and grandmother in the original series.
Estelle Parsons and Shelley Winters played Roseanne's mother and grandmother in the original series.

Following their divorce, she married actor Tom Arnold. After their brief and tumultuous relationship ended, Roseanne wed her bodyguard, Ben Thomas. She and Ben, who were married for seven years, share 23-year-old son Buck.

"I became enraged with my daughters when they were teens," Roseanne says.

She explains she'd taught her girls to be too aggressive and it had caused problems.

"I put them in adolescent treatment centres," she says. "They tried to teach them it's all about being part of a team and it's not just about you."

The sitcom star now lives the good life with long-time partner, Johnny Argent.
The sitcom star now lives the good life with long-time partner, Johnny Argent.

But it appears to be a case of like mother, like daughter when the star is asked why she never backs down.

"Gee, I wonder where my daughters get it?" she replies.

Roseanne goes on to admit her political views have often caused conflict at home too.

"My daughters are fighting me over it," she admits. "But you have to have compassion for people, not just anger, or life sucks."

Roseanne encourages her family to see things from the perspective of others.

"It's sad, because I say, 'Why won't you guys try to see why these people feel the way they do?'" she explains. "But they tell me to go f**k myself, so, whatever."

Pick up a copy of TV WEEK for the full interview with Roseanne Barr. On sale now!

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