John Goodman talks new film, Bruce Willis and "Roseanne" revival

Actor John Goodman attends the Los Angeles premiere of Warner Bros "Kong: Skull Island" at the Dolby Theatre, on March 8, 2017, in Hollywood, California. 

Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images

Everyone enjoys a fun summer movie, including John Goodman. 

That is how the longtime TV, film and stage star would best describe his latest project. He stars alongside Bruce Willis in the action-comedy "Once Upon a Time in Venice," in which he plays the best friend and sidekick to Willis' character as they embark on a quest to retrieve a stolen dog. 

It's the first time Willis and Goodman have teamed up onscreen, despite being friends for more than three decades.

Ahead of the film's premiere, Goodman caught up with CBS News to discuss his new role and working in Hollywood today. 

How did you come to work on this film?

It was just goofy and it meant working with Bruce. I've known Bruce since 1979 and we've never worked together. I worked on "Moonlighting," but the two of us never actually worked together on the project.

So why was this the right movie to pair up with him if you've known each other for so long?

I honestly didn't know if I'd have the chance to do it again. I also liked the directors and the writing.  It just seemed like a fun summer thing to do.

Given that you and Bruce have known each other for so long, what was it like being on set with him? 

We didn't miss a beat. We jumped right into it and it was just very relaxing, which mostly was the battle, I think. Bruce's producer Steven used to bartend with him at the Café Central in New York, and now he produces for him. So for me it just felt like hanging around with the home team again.

Is it easier to get into character on a set that is very relaxed or do you prefer when you have a bit more of a challenging environment around you?

Well, it always feels challenging, but I think if you feel relaxed it's even easier to be challenged. When you are physically relaxed you can do a lot more. I think it's a lot easier and you can react a lot quicker to things when you are relaxed. So in "Venice" we could risk more and be a bit goofier for that reason.

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John Goodman and Bruce Willis in "Once Upon A Time in Venice." 

Gregory Smith

Audiences get to watch you in so many different roles today. How do you decide what you do and what you don't want to do?

I don't! I get approached by a lot of people, and so it's really all in the script for me. If there is something I have never done before, I will try it. I just try to do something a little different every time.

Throughout your career you've taken on roles in film and television, and you recently wrapped up a run on Broadway. Is there one you prefer over the others?

I really loved Broadway because I got to watch some actors I've really admired every single night. I couldn't just go away when I wasn't on stage and tried to just stay invested in the play. I loved watching the group and learning their approach to the audience every night of the show. 

They are master actors, so it was just a pleasure to watch them. But really the longer I am away from home the tougher it has been, especially since I've gotten older. I don't know why that is, but I've felt that way recently. I like my home time. I haven't been able to work in my hometown for several years, so when I do work on a film I mainly have to go out of town which is tough.

So many people were thrilled to hear about the recently announced "Roseanne" revival. Now that it is confirmed, what are you looking forward to most?

I'm just so excited to get back together with this cast. I have no idea where we are going to pick up or what our circumstances are. I don't know if we still own the house. I mean, all the kids are gone so we are going to have the kids and the grandkids this time. It's just going to be totally new from the last time we left these guys. Last time we were seen we were in our 40s, and now we are not.

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Roseanne Barr played a brash, but caring mother on "Roseanne" from 1988-1997.


Did you know for a fact you wanted to be a part of the revival? I think several fans were surprised to hear that your character would definitely make a return.

Oh yeah, I was all for it. It was just kind of a look back on fond memories because we are all sort of a family. It always felt safe coming to work every day. To go in and have a nice routine and be with people who make you laugh was great.

I can only hope that people will like the new show. It's a bit of a risk jumping into this because we left with such a good memory. I think we'd all hate to disappoint the fans, but we can only hope they like it.

"Once Upon A Time in Venice" is in theaters and on VOD Friday.