"I don't regret anything," Roseanne Barr tells PEOPLE of her controversial past
Roseanne Barr has never been one to shy away from what’s she’s thinking or what she believes in.
“I’ve learned that there’s a big difference between public and private,” Barr, 65, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, on stands Friday. “I always walked a line between those two things, but I think it’s better to just put everything out there.”
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With 35 years in show business, the comedian has found herself at the center of plenty of controversies, divorces, mental illness woes and family strife. And while she admits that she may have chosen to do things differently, she doesn’t regret a thing.
“I’m smarter now,” she says. “If I was as smart then as I am now … well, that’s not possible. I don’t regret anything. All those good stories, it all brought me here.”
And she’s used to taking the heat (in 1990 George H.W. Bush called her rendition of the national anthem at a baseball game “disgraceful”). “It comes with the territory,” she says of being slammed by opponents. “Like free drinks. It’s worth it.”
Barr, who currently splits her time between Hawaii, Los Angeles and San Francisco, made a name for herself an early age.
From 1988 to 1997, Roseanne — a groundbreaking sitcom about a blue-collar family — made her very famous and exposed her volatility, rocky personal life and political views. Now, with the Roseanne revival in full swing on ABC, Barr is ecstatic that the show will continue to touch on modern-day topics.
“It’s important to talk,” says Barr, whose namesake character voted for President Donald Trump.”Now, it seems like every topic is being discussed, and I’m happy with that.”
A longtime political progressive, Barr campaigned for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2012, but in 2016 she voted for Trump to “shake up the status quo.”
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“I think we need to converse more, but more than anything we need to get involved and run our government for ourselves instead of sitting back and wanting somebody else to do it,” she says. “Even voting isn’t enough. You have to be involved. I talk about this with my grandkids – you have to get in there and get your hands dirty if you want things to go the way you want them to go. We’re lucky in this country that we can do that. We can really get our hands dirty and put our big collective shoulders to the wheel and change and fix things. I think that’s what’s exciting about our country right now.”
“People are mad,” she adds. “But just being mad doesn’t do anything. You’re just a toad. But if you’re mad and that propels you to get involved to run for office — that was a lot of the reason I ran, just to show other grandparents. We’re the most educated, rich generation that ever was, so if we can’t do it, nobody can. I like to see that.”
- For more on Roseanne, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
And while Barr is currently enjoying her life in Hawaii with her boyfriend of 15 years, Johnny Argent, and spending time with her five kids and six grandchildren, she says running for president again is “never off the table.”
“I’m going to keep running until I win,” she says.
Roseanne airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.