I Swear, This Guy Sounds Like Somebody We Know…

Fun read about a good actor, in any case. TNR reprints an interview from the New Statesman:

John Goodman can’t get comfortable. The sofa’s too deep: it dwarfs him like a giant beanbag. It’s strange to see Goodman looking dwarfed. When he was a young actor in Manhattan, his quarterback dimensions and baby face got him his first auditions. From his breakthrough role as the blue-collar dad Dan Conner in Rose­anne, where he wielded his on-screen son like a tiny rag doll, to his mad, bad Vietnam vet in The Big Lebowski, Goodman’s size and strength have defined him. At 61, he is physically deteriorating: he’s currently awaiting a second knee replace­ment. “I’ve already replaced this right knee,” he says, gesturing, “with a kitchen utensil. So I’m looking for something matching to go with the other one. Possibly an item from the bedroom?”…

There’s something in him fighting hard against being unfriendly. It’s there in his explosive laugh and in sudden punctu­ations of surprise or sympathy that come at moments you don’t expect. He is a readerly man, turning words over on his tongue: that was always clear in Roseanne, when he’d throw cod-Shakespearian pronouncements from a doorway, an American football under his arm.

“What’s funny is that when I was in high school, I tended to get kicked out of classes a lot and sent to the library and for some reason I would read plays. I never could figure out why that was. I just liked dialogue. I suppose I should have it looked into some day but I’d have to care about it enough first,” he says…

Why was he kicked out of class?

“For trying to attract attention to myself.”…

17 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:


    Too old to play Rob Ford in the inevitable TV movie, alas.

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    HIs Linda Tripp was inspired

  3. 3
    jl says:

    Nothing about putting his eye out when he tries to smear on some lip balm.. or cutting a major artery playing with a nerf toy, so.. I dunno who he reminds me of. DougJ?

  4. 4
    Geeno says:

    I always liked him – non-politically (I have no – nor do I desire any – idea of his politics). I hope the best for him.

  5. 5
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    My dad sat next to him on a plane flying to New Orleans. Early into the flight, he told Dad he was terrified of flying, and proceeded to drink – according to my father – eight scotches.When the plane landed, he grabbed my dad’s hand and made … John Goodman noises.

  6. 6
    MikeJ says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    and made … John Goodman noises.


  7. 7
    Jacel says:

    He’s somebody who should be included in every movie, because it’s going to usually be a better movie for his presence.

  8. 8
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @MikeJ: @Jacel: I’m on Facebook too much. I wanted to ‘like’ both these comments.

  9. 9
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I always loved him as Speaker of the House/Acting President Glen Allen Walken, on The West Wing.

    “Breathe regular.”

  10. 10
    themis says:


    Between this and Big Block of Cheese Day, I’m feeling a West Wing marathon about to happen.

    But does Goodman like critters?

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @themis: Never a bad time for a West Wing marathon. It does seem to have been referenced quite a lot recently.

  12. 12
    YellowJournalism says:

    How many pets does he have?

  13. 13
    themis says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Since my university is closed tomorrow (too damn cold), I have all the time in the world:) (or at least all the time in the day). Although I suppose I should be a good girl and prep lectures too… and maybe make a nice ‘all day stew’…

  14. 14
    kdaug says:

    Anne Laurie, ignore the bullshit responses above. You’ve nailed the JC to the T.

    (ETA: Didn’t actually read any of said bullshit responses above, but I’m sure they’re bullshit. And you still nailed Cole. So there.)

  15. 15
    themis says:

    @kdaug: But but but… we don’t have a critter count yet!!!

    But yes, AL nailed it.

  16. 16
    Thlayli says:

    “Quarterback dimensions”? Good ol’ TNR, trying to look with-it.

    “Defensive-lineman dimensions” is more like it.

  17. 17
    maurinsky says:

    It is criminal that he has never been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar – he should have been nominated and won for Walter Sobchak, at least!

    I had the pleasure of seeing him sing in the role of Pappy in Big River on Broadway in 1987. He stole the show.

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