Roseanne Barr is voting for herself for president. (Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Give Roseanne Barr the chance and she will rail against presumed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but that does not — I repeat, does not — mean that she endorses Donald Trump for president. No way, no how.
So when I recently asked Barr about her reported support for the Celebrity Apprentice star, she gave a heated response.
“I did not endorse Donald Trump,” she said. “Did you read the article? Oh, my God.”
The article she was referring to was published by the Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, featuring an interview with her about many things, one of them being the presidential election. It teases that she “comes out for Trump” under a headline of “Roseanne Barr on Trump ‘Playing the Heel for Hillary,’ Pot and Being a Farmer.” In the piece, Barr was quoted as saying, “I think we would be so lucky if Trump won. Because then it wouldn’t be Hillary.”
The Roseanne creator and star gave that interview for the same reason she agreed to a telephone chat with Yahoo Celebrity, promotion of her documentary, Roseanne for President!, arriving in theaters and on-demand July 1. The film follows her 2012 run for president on the ticket of a third party.
Barr ran on the Green Party ticket in 2012. (Photo: Sundance Selects)
But back to my conversation with Barr, which was not going well.
“Have a lot of people thought that?” I asked nervously about the misconception that she was backing The Donald.
“Just people who only read headlines and nothing else. They gave a very sensational headline for a great hourlong interview in which I discussed the corruption of our election system, and I’m so offended that they did that,” she said. “There I was speaking about the press and how it’s so corrupt, and that’s what they did. Of all the corrupted, the most corrupt is the press. It’s just typical.”
She continued, “I endorse myself. I will be writing my name in until I win, and I’ve said that 10 million times. You’re the 10 million and one-th person I’ve said that to in the last two weeks. I will be writing myself in in every election from now until I win. I don’t endorse. It was just a way to further diminish me and my contribution.”
When asked for comment, a Hollywood Reporter spokesperson said: “The headline of ‘Roseanne Barr on Trump “Playing the Heel for Hillary,” Pot and Being a Farmer’ accurately represents the content of the piece. We enjoyed the interview as much as our audience did and always love and welcome an interview with Ms. Barr.”
Barr finds this year’s race “ridiculous.” (Photo: Twitter)
As for my interview, I needed to think fast, try to get at why Barr doesn’t approve of Trump. “So you wouldn’t support him… ?” Oh no. My question wasn’t even all the way out, and I could already sense that I had said the wrong thing.
“Are you kidding? I just answered that,” she said. “I’m gonna hang up. I can’t continue this interview.”
“Oh, please don’t do that. I have a few other questions.”
“Well, I just answered you and then you responded by asking the exact same question that I’ve just answered,” Barr said. “I did not endorse Donald Trump. I don’t endorse people. … I said the press was corrupt and that Hillary owns the press and that people in this country are not allowed to say anything except for that they love Hillary, or they’ll be harassed, especially on social media, until they leave or hang their head in shame. Because if you don’t endorse Hillary, then you’re anti-American, a racist, a sexist, or whatever names her robots throw around. She did the same thing to Bernie [Sanders] that she’s now doing to Trump.”
She added, “I won’t vote for Clinton. I’m voting for myself. I don’t endorse Trump because I say Clinton is corrupt. I don’t endorse either one of those parties, because they’re both irrelevant to voters. I hope that answers your question.”
Fortunately, Barr stayed on the line and calmed down as we talked about her hobbies. Safer subject, right? During the aforementioned THR interview, she said every person should have a minimum of five hobbies.
“You have to develop your inner resources in order to exercise your own intelligence, for God’s sake,” she explained. “Having inner resources helps one mind one’s own goddamn business.”
So how does Barr keep herself busy?
“Well, mostly my hobby is reading and writing,” she said. “I like to write too but, oh, I love to read. I read about… Well, I read all day, every day, a variety of opinions. I never read fiction, but I like opinion of all sorts.”
She continued: “I like to draw, and I collect art. I decorate things and all kinds of stuff like that. I like to create art projects in the home. A couple of things I’ve done, for instance, is … I bought a condemned building and I fixed it up the way I want to with my own two hands. I do it with stones and tile. I do a lot of that, that kind of stuff. I have five children and six grandchildren, so I like to play with them and listen to music and all kinds of stuff like that.”
In fact, out of all the public things Barr has done — coming in sixth in the 2012 presidential election, creating a groundbreaking show that ran for nine seasons, among other things — the ones she’s the most proud of are personal.
“Well, honestly, I’m not just saying this, but I’m very proud that I have five children, all of whom are really decent, productive members of society,” she said. “I’m most proud of my family, of course. Also, I’m very proud that I can look myself in the mirror. I’m proud of that, too.”
Barr will have more time to spend with her family now that her doc is out there. The funny lady had been working on it for six years. Her agenda also includes the as-yet-unscheduled opening of Roseanne’s Joint, a pot dispensary in Santa Ana, Calif. Barr is slowly losing her eyesight due to glaucoma and macular degeneration and smokes marijuana to ease pain due to pressure in her eyes.
The marijuana advocate will soon open Roseanne’s Joint. (Photo: Sundance Selects)
“I hope that it would be the center of a lot of people coming together and discussing a lot of things and having a good time too, as well as supplying medicine to people who need it,” she said of her venture.
Barr also has plans to hit the road and leave her home in Hawaii for just a little while.
“I’ve been doing really limited standup and, oh, I just love that,” she said. “I wouldn’t call that a hobby, but that’s what I love most of all: writing jokes and telling jokes in front of audiences. I like stand-up comedy so much, and I am going to go on like a two-week tour pretty soon, and I haven’t done that for years.”
Roseanne is headed back to the stage. (Photo: Instagram)
For the first time in a long time, presidential politics will drop into the background for Barr. Well, as soon as she finishes promoting her film.
“You know, nobody’s ever 100 percent happy with the things they do, but I like it quite a bit,” she said of the project. “There are still some things I would want to go back in and tinker with but, you know, we just ran out of time. But it was the perfect time, I think. … I like it a lot, and my family likes it.”
Now is the perfect time for her to do stand-up, of course, because Barr’s own campaign had the same anti-establishment sentiment that voters are seeing in the 2016 election cycle.
“Oh yeah, they all lifted my s***, definitely,” she said. “I do think it influenced the conversation and, obviously, it did — all three of them, or four, including [Libertarian candidate] Gary Johnson — but that’s good. I’m happy.”