The Roseanne revival will feature nearly every original cast member and recurring guest star when it returns to ABC for its long-awaited premiere later this month. In addition to Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, and the rest of the Conner clan (including Johnny Galecki’s David and both Beckys), familiar guest stars such as Estelle Parsons, Natalie West, James Pickens Jr., and Sandra Bernhard will return to reprise their roles for the revival series.
But ahead of the premiere of the nine-episode reboot, Roseanne has already caused controversy. Showrunners have revealed that, like Roseanne Barr, Roseanne Conner will be a Donald Trump supporter, while some of her family members are not. Now, Sandra Bernhard, who played bisexual character Nancy Bartlett from 1991 to 1997 on the original show, says she is able to reconcile her political differences with the series star as they deliver another round of “really fun and really smart television.”
“Roseanne has never turned on the gay community, Bernhard told PrideSource.
“Roseanne likes to stir the pot. She always has. So, I guess that’s the way she’s doing it now, and I don’t agree with any of the Trump s**t, but I think she’ll transcend that and the show will still be amazing.”
Politically, Sandra Bernhard says she thinks the Roseanne revival will “do a deep dive into where the working class is at right now.”
“I think we’re in a real crossroads in this country, and Roseanne has always been good at revealing that, and at the same time making it funny and moving and insightful,” Sandra said.
Sandra Bernhard only appears in the last episode of the Roseanne revival, so she is unsure of the exact approach that Roseanne producers will use for the political-themed scenes. But Bernhard teased that she knows “there will be very personal stories like there always were, as opposed to globalizing it.”
Sandra Bernhard explained that she dropped out of social media conversations about her co-star’s politics because “it goes nowhere.” She also revealed what it’s like to be part of a liberal-minded cast returning to a show headlined by a Donald Trump supporter. Sandra said she is glad fans are speaking out because it’s better Roseanne Barr hears it from them rather than from her.
“She should hear it. And it’s better for her to hear it from the people that have supported her and watched her show than it is from me. I mean, we’re friends, we’re friendly, and I’ll continue to do the show. But it gets underneath your skin when 20 million people who used to watch your show are like, ‘What the f**k?'”
In 2016, Sandra Bernhard weighed in on Roseanne Barr’s comment that the country would be lucky if Donald Trump ever became president. During an appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, Sandra said she didn’t think Roseanne really meant what she said.
In the PrideSource interview, Sandra Bernhard also recounted her earlier days on Roseanne when her character Nancy broke new ground as one of the first bisexual characters on network television.
“She was fun and it was a fun concept that she ran from being married to Tom Arnold into the relationship with Morgan Fairchild,” Sandra said of her Roseanne character. “It was sort of a lark at first, and of course it evolved. They wouldn’t let me kiss Morgan Fairchild under the mistletoe – we had to cut the kiss – so that’s how far we’ve come in terms of what you see sexually on TV.”
You can see the opening credits to the Roseanne revival below.
Roseanne returns March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.