Johnny Galecki Felt 'Very Emotional' About Returning to 'Roseanne' : 'It Was Much More Personal'

Johnny Galecki, who joined Roseanne during season 4 in 1992, first reprised his role of David Healy in April

For Johnny Galecki, the Roseanne reboot is a homecoming.

The 43-year-old actor, who also stars in The Big Bang Theory, first reprised his role of David Healy last month when he reunited onscreen with Sara Gilbert, who plays his on-off again girlfriend Darlene Conner.

“It’s nice that people have been asking, everybody’s been asking if I’m gonna be on the show, which is so very sweet, everyone from my mother to the taxi cab driver,” Galecki tells PEOPLE.

“For me, it was much more of a personal experience,” says Galecki, who joined Roseanne during season 4 in 1992.

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When he started filming for the revival in October 2017, it was the first time Galecki had been with the entire cast in one sitting.

“It was a wonderful week, it was an emotional week for all of us. Not only because we were back together again, but also due to some of the content in that episode,” he says.

In the April 17 episode, titled “Darlene v. David,” Galecki’s character pays an unexpected visit to the Conner family home, where Darlene and their two children, daughter Harris (Emma Kenney) and son Mark (Ames McNamara), live with her parents, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (John Goodman).

“It was creepy to learn a character that’s been dormant for 21 years deep in the inner folds of your psyche can emerge,” Galecki jokes. “Like, ‘Wow, I’m around these people and on the set again in this wardrobe, he’s still in there!’ ”

Johnny Galecki (David Healy)
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Since the original Roseanne program ended in 1997 after nine seasons, Galecki has continued to keep in touch with a few costars.

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“Soon after we wrapped, me and Laurie Metcalfe did a play at the Steppenwolf in Chicago and became very close through that, and she since has been on Big Bang Theory, obviously as has Sara,” he says.

“John and I had a couple of chats and a dinner in New Orleans a couple of years ago on my birthday,” he remembers, adding, “I ran into Roseanne at a shopping center once and ended up going to my house and ordering a pizza and catching up a couple years ago.”

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“It’s really been Sara and Laurie that I’ve remained closest with not due to any sort of lack of relatability with anyone else, we’ve been continuing to work together,” Galecki explains.

“That’s especially with Laurie because we had so very little to do together on Roseanne despite the five seasons I spent there. Our storylines just didn’t crisscross. She’s one of the best actors we have alive. It was really wonderful to work with her afterward and get to know her,” he says.

Roseanne airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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