In a new joint interview with People, the actors speak out about how they each dealt with the fateful day in May, and what it means to continue with their new spinoff, The Conners.
Goodman -- who plays Barr's husband, Dan, in the show -- says he was in his "kitchen and maybe my daughter or my wife told me" about Barr's now infamous tweet about Barack Obama's former White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett. Barr wrote, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” referring to Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran.
“It just didn’t seem true," Goodman says. "Then it got true. I was consciously trying to accept it.”
As for Metcalf -- who plays Barr's sister, Jackie, on the show -- she says she was actually in New York performing on Broadway at the time, and found out about the tweet on the news just like the show's fans. She says she immediately wondered about the fate of Roseanne.
“And I [first] thought, ‘Oh, I wonder if we still have a show,'" she recalls. "Because of how heavy everything became.”
“[I was trying] to reconcile myself to the show being gone,” she later adds. “And you know, coming off such a high, it was hard to wrap our heads around.”
Meanwhile, Gilbert -- who plays Barr's daughter, Darlene -- says she doesn't remember how she initially found out about the news, but tried to take a more calm approach.
“It was more just, ‘OK, what are we dealing with today?’' she remembers thinking. "I was just kind of taking things one step at a time as they came.”
Of course, the cast was eventually able to continue the story of Roseanne -- sans the main character -- with a spinoff. Goodman, who says he always had hope of resurrecting the show, explains why the cast is now excited for The Conners.
“There was the feeling of not wanting it to go away until we were ready,” Goodman shares. “There was a debt owed to this fictional family. We want to finish telling this story.”
“There was a lot of risk involved,” Metcalf adds. “But we all decided as a group to take the risk, knowing that we could be judged by deciding to come back.”
“Any sadness that we feel over what we’ve lost we’re hopefully channeling in an honest way into the show,” Gilbert notes in the new interview. “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.”
But through it all, the close-knit cast remains a family.
“We’re leaning on each other when we do this show,” Goodman shares. “And supporting each other -- that’s a very strong feeling among us. It’s different, but we can create something new from it. Let us finish the story on our own terms. Come along with us and see how we do.”