Roseanne Barr was replaced by Rosie O'Donnell at the last minute on SMILF
Roseanne Barr was recently fired by ABC after posting a racist tweet on May 28 — but there’s another job the actress recently lost out on.
SMILF star and creator Frankie Shaw has revealed Barr was originally to play Shaw’s character’s mother, Tutu, on her Showtime series. But a severe fall and knee surgery left Barr unable to shoot on location in Boston and Rosie O’Donnell was later cast in the role.
Shaw spoke on the “secret” casting at an ABC Studio’s For Your Consideration event Sunday night, Variety reports.
“We did offer Tutu to Roseanne, and she was going to do it and then she broke her knee and had surgery,” Shaw said.
The revelation surprised her costar Connie Britton who said onstage, “I didn’t know that, that would’ve been so fascinating. You and Roseanne, are you kidding me? Let’s talk about it.”
Shaw went on to recount a brunch meeting with Barr, where she asked the legendary comedian, her “hero,” to play her mom.
“And she said yes and I went to Boston and then I got this call that she had fallen in a park and had like 45 stitches and wasn’t allowed to travel,” Shaw said.
Adamant about the casting, Shaw sent Barr and package and offered to rewrite the character.
“I was like, ‘She’ll be in a scooter, we’ll just scoot you around you won’t even have to walk.’ And her doctor said she can’t fly,” Shaw said.
Barr’s poor health also inspired a plotline on Roseanne this season where she needs knee surgery. ABC canceled the show Tuesday after Barr made a racist Tweet attacking former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
SMILF was renewed for season 2 for season 2 after a Golden Globe-nominated first season.