Laurie Metcalf has had a lot of changes in her career over the past 20 years. Metcalf’s breakout role on Roseanne made her a three-time Emmy winner, and she returns for the revival of the show as an Oscar nominee for her work in the film Lady Bird. By the time the Roseanne reboot debuts in late March, Metcalf could be an Academy Award-winning actress.
Roseanne fans recall Laurie Metcalf’s character, Jackie Harris, as a devoted aunt with a complicated love life. Over the original series’ nine-season run, Jackie was in relationships with her boss Booker Brooks (George Clooney) and a physically abusive boyfriend named Fisher (Matt Roth) before her short marriage to Fred Oakland (Michael O’Keefe). Jackie and Fred also had a son, Andy. In the 1998 Roseanne finale, it was revealed that Jackie was actually a lesbian, one of several Roseanne finale revelations that will be addressed when the show picks up for its 10th season in the present day.
In an interview with New Now Next, Laurie Metcalf talked about her character’s constant flip-flopping in her career and her personal life.
“People ultimately like Jackie and wish her well, but she was always flip-flopping, struggling to find herself, struggling to find a job, and struggling to find a relationship that worked,” Laurie said.
“In the pilot of the new season, we had to address everything that happened during that last season—winning the lottery, Dan dying, Jackie coming out. The challenge was finding a way to justify all that and then move on.”
Metcalf confirmed that there would no girlfriends for Jackie in the Roseanne revival, but she pointed to the return of Sandra Bernhard’s character, Nancy Bartlett, as the LGBT representation for the reboot.
Laurie Metcalf also downplayed the politics of the Roseanne reboot. Roseanne Barr has been vocal about the fact that the reboot will address the divide in the country after the 2016 election. According to Variety, Roseanne executive producer Bruce Helford revealed that Metcalf’s character Jackie voted for Hillary Clinton. It is assumed that Roseanne voted for Donald Trump. While it has been revealed that the Roseanne revival premiere will touch on the election results, Metcalf shot down talk that the revival is pro-Donald Trump.
“Pro-Trump?I don’t appreciate that,” Metcalf said to The Guardian.
“We deal with that in the first episode because this is a family in 2018 and you have to. There has been a rift in the family about who voted for who, but it’s really about the relationship between the sisters and why they’ve always felt unequal to each other.”
Laurie Metcalf recently revealed that returning to the Roseanne set 20 years after the original finale was an emotional experience. The entire original cast has signed on for the long-awaited reunion series, including Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) and both actresses who played Becky Conner. Sadly, Glenn Quinn, who played Becky’s husband Mark on the original show, passed away in 2002.
“The feeling on the set was so surreal,” Laurie told The Guardian. “We really did make a family. It was as if we had spent a week away from each other.”
Roseanne returns for a nine-episode run starting March 27 on ABC.