Man of the Week: John Goodman is Just Like the Rest of Us

John Goodman is just like us
Photo: Nathan Congleton

For those of us who grew up watching Roseanne, you probably feel like you’ve known John Goodman most of your life. With a ton of TV and film credits under his belt, it’s not a stretch to imagine the actor as confident and comfortable in any situation. it turns out, he’s like many of us when it comes to meeting people in real life. Last week, on Howard Stern, Goodman told a story about trying to chat with comedian Kristen Wiig at a party:

“She was talking to somebody else, and I was just — I think she’s so great, and the social barriers broke down and I interrupted the conversation,” Goodman said. “And I would just hate for somebody to do that to me. And she goes, ‘Yeah, I’ll talk to you in a minute.’ It was like The Atom. I shrunk down to Atom size. … I really like her, and it was embarrassing, so I’ll never speak to her again.”

In his eagerness to chat with her, he jumped into the middle of an ongoing conversation without thinking, and was embarrassed. Chances are, most of us have done something similar. Goodman went on to talk about experiences hanging out with the cast of The Monuments Men, and feeling like he didn’t have a lot to bring to the table when it came to hanging with A-Listers like George Clooney and Matt Damon, particularly because he stopped drinking years ago.

John Goodman
Photo: Alan Light

“I don’t really drink and I don’t bring a lot to that party, because George and Matt, they’re super A-Level guys.”

There was one person in the cast that Goodman got along with well, and that was none other than Bill Murray. If you’re going to hang out with someone while you’re filming a movie, you could do a lot worse. On Murray:

“I wish I had that sense of place that he has. He knows who he is and he’s very comfortable in his skin.”

In all, John Goodman seems like a really down to earth, regular guy without a lot of the ego you’d expect from someone so accomplished. He seems to have the same quirks and concerns we all do, and the fact that he’s so open about them is refreshing. In the Stern interview, he talks about it taking some time for him to get to that point. You can listen to parts of the interview with John Goodman over at EW.com, and catch him in 10 Cloverfield Lane, in theaters now.