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'Roseanne' revival was 'like being home again' for show's stars

For John Goodman, walking on to the "Roseanne" set after 20 years was like "being home, again."

Goodman and his fellow "Roseanne" revival stars opened up about how emotional it was to have the Conner family back together again during Thursday's special episode of ABC's "20/20" called "Roseanne: The Return."

ABC
"Roseanne" stars John Goodman and Roseanne Barr in a scene from the show's upcoming revival.

"I don't have the words to describe how it was. It was strange, exhilarating," said 65-year-old Goodman, who marveled over how well the crew members reconstructed the show's original set. "The wallpaper was reproduced from photographs. The hair was standing up on my arms when I found myself there."

"Roseanne," which followed the lives of the blue-collar Conner family in fictional Lanford, Illinois, became an instant smash hit thanks to the show's talented stars, its lovable characters and its willingness to explore sensitive issues, including racial bias, sexuality and bullying, with humor and heart.

ABC
Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and Roseanne Barr in a scene from the upcoming "Roseanne" revival.

Thursday night, the show's cast members shared behind-the-scenes memories of working together — or in some cases, growing up together.

Sara Gilbert, who was just 13 when she landed the role of middle child Darlene Conner, revealed she and Lecy Goranson, one of the two actresses who played oldest child Becky Conner, used to steal the crew's golf carts and zip around the lot.

"We were kids, so we would do little things like that," Gilbert, 43, explained.

ABC
Lecy Goranson, the original Becky Conner, shares a scene with Sarah Chalke, or "Becky No. 2.," as "Roseanne" fans call her, in the show's upcoming revival.

The actors also dished about the dozens of guest stars — including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Alyson Hannigan — who appeared on the show during its original ABC run from 1988 to 1997.

Goranson had happy memories of hanging out with future Hollywood A-lister George Clooney, who had a recurring role in Season 1 as a manager in a factory where Roseanne worked.

"He's just such a wonderful guy. He really is just fun to be around," said Goranson, who said the pair used to play basketball together. "He is that cute and charming and fun, someone you want to pal around with in real life."

Goranson and Sarah Chalke — or "Becky No. 2," as fans dubbed her — will both appear in the upcoming revival, and, in a fun new twist, they even share scenes together. This time around, Chalke plays a woman who hires Becky Conner as her surrogate.

"Roseanne" returns to ABC in a special one-hour premiere on March 27, and we couldn't be more excited.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Everett Collection

    Roseanne, Michael Fishman, John Goodman, Lecy Goranson, Sara Gilbert

    See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    Michael Fishman

    Then: Michael Fishman was just 6 years old when he began playing D.J., the youngest Conner child.

     

    Now: Since "Roseanne" ended, the actor, now 35, has continued working in Hollywood as a writer and producer.

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  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    Sara Gilbert

    Then: Sara Gilbert became a standout child star (and a two-time Emmy nominee) playing sarcastic tomboy Darlene Conner.

     

    Now: The brainy actress, 42, went on to create and co-host CBS's morning program "The Talk."

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  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    Lecy Goranson

    Then: Lecy Goranson originated the role of Becky, the Conners' oldest child. The actress left after Season 5 to attend college, but later returned sporadically, creating one of the show's best-loved running gags.

     

    Now: The actress, 42, went on to appear in the movies "Boys Don't Cry" and "How to Make an American Quilt." She'll play Becky full-time in the show's revival.

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  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    Sarah Chalke

    Then: Sarah Chalke was 16 when she took over the role of Becky in Season 6.

     

    Now: The actress, 40, went on to play Dr. Elliot Reid on "Scrubs," among other notable TV credits. She'll appear in an unknown role in the revival.

    Getty Images, AP
  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    Johnny Galecki

    Then: Johnny Galecki played Darlene's shy, sensitive boyfriend David.

     

    Now: Ever seen "The Big Bang Theory"? The busy actor, 42, is the only star on the list who's not confirmed for the revival, but rumor is he'll make an appearance.

    Everett Collection, FilmMagic
  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    Laurie Metcalf

    Then: Laurie Metcalf was an acclaimed stage actress when she signed on to play Roseanne's even zanier sister, Jackie, a role for which she won 3 Emmys.

     

    Now: The Tony-nominated Broadway star, 61, has continued to appear in hit TV shows, including "Desperate Housewives" and "The Big Bang Theory."

    Everett Collection, AP
  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    John Goodman

    Then: John Goodman charmed audiences as Dan Conner, a witty and soft-hearted family man who struggles to make ends meet. Of course, Dan's Season 9 death presents an interesting challenge for the revival's writers.

     

    Now: One of Hollywood's most respected actors, 64-year-old Goodman's resume boasts both indie films and blockbusters, including "The Big Lebowski" and "Monsters, Inc."

    Everett Collection, FilmMagic
  • See the 'Roseanne' cast then and now

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    Roseanne Barr

    Then: The show's creator and star, Roseanne Barr was a stand-up comedian before striking sitcom gold playing Roseanne Conner, a hilariously outspoken working-class wife and mom.

     

    Now: Since "Roseanne" ended, the Emmy winner, 64, has worn many hats: author, talk show host, reality TV star — even 2012 presidential candidate!

    Corbis via Getty Images, FilmMagic
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