She’s been playing Darlene since the ‘80s, yet “The Conners” star Sara Gilbert is somehow the most unassuming, most-constant character of the past few decades to pop up on our T.V. screen.
It’s also a numerical fact that seems kind of crazy, considering that, if you’re over 40 (yes, this is even before the time of streaming), Gilbert—she’ll be 50 next year—has certainly had some kind of effect on your life since she first appeared on “Roseanne.”
We recently chatted with this calming force, who makes us remember why we cut coupons and love to come home.
Congrats on the new season. What are you most excited for fans to see with the return of the show?
That’s a good question. We have some returning guest stars, Sean Astin, who plays Becky’s boyfriend, and Estelle Parsons, who plays my grandma. She’s 96 and just in incredible health and shape, and we love that.
We have a surprise, I won’t say what it is…but we’ve got a surprise big guest star coming up that I’m super excited about…that’s just a teaser.
But I really love coming to work. Obviously, this is like my family. We’ve done it for a million years, so it’s always exciting when there’s a fresh face and fresh voice.
That was my next question: I know it’s changed over the years, but what is it like to work at a job for so long?
Because we took such a long break, it was kind of like when you go back to your elementary school…you just think, “Wow, these desks are small.”
There’s things that, at first, looked familiar, but also felt different because of the perspective of time. Now, we’ve done this [second part] for so long, it’s all starting to blend together. This is the new normal.
I think the main thing I feel right now is that I really want to appreciate it—because I know we won’t do it forever, and it’s so meaningful to me that a lot of this cast and crew has been in my life for 35 years. I don’t want to take it for granted, because I know we’re not always going to be on the same soundstage.
I’m sure you have people on the street come up to you. Is anyone ever surprised that you’re not a kid anymore when they see you?
No! They’re not surprised that I’m not a kid anymore, because they’re also old, too! And that’s O.K.
Since we talk about beauty, would you be able to share any wellness things you do after work…anything that helps you wash the day away at night?
I think the thing that works the best is being hydrated, honestly. You can put a million things on topically, but I’m not sure that does much….
I’m not great about drinking water. Sometimes, I drink herbal tea, and that helps me, but I’ve added electrolytes recently, and it also helps with headaches. If I do water with electrolytes in it, it serves two purposes.
Look, I’m not sure anybody should be coming to me for beauty tips, but that’s what I got.
I like it. My last question: What are you excited for as we get into the new year, either professionally with the show, personally, or anything else project-wise?
I love coming to do the show every episode—it’s honestly really fun; I’m also excited to be developing other projects. I’ve got a show that I produced called The Pradeeps of Pittsburgh that’s on Freevi, which is part of Amazon, so that should be airing sometime this year, although there’s no drop date yet announced.
After work, I’m excited to spend time with my family…and maybe travel.