‘Roseanne’ Actor Michael Fishman Talks Reprising Role As DJ Conner on ‘The Conners’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Michael Fishman grew up in front of our eyes on Roseanne. And now that little boy is a very grown adult on The Conners.

In the Roseanne reboot, D.J. is married to a girl he didn’t want to kiss back in season seven. The two have a daughter. And remember when young D.J. wanted to be a director? He hung up Steven Spielberg posters in his room and turned the basement into a mini studio.

These days, Fishman is directing episodes of The Conners. So maybe life imitates art and circles back. Fishman did an interview with MovieWeb.com, which published the story Wednesday. In the interview, Fishman looks back on his life on the 1990s sitcom Roseanne, then talks about The Conners and living his life as a grown D.J.

His story, he thinks, “is a little different from almost everybody else,” Fishman said. “And the reason I say that is, particularly on our show, I was a kid when we left. I was 15. And so, my life is so radically different, and my character’s life is so radically different, that it’s really about studying where he was and who he was, and then trying to decide who he would be now and what you would want him to be.”

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Everyone But D.J. Had Relationships When Roseanne Ended

He pointed out that his sisters on the show were older. They had relationships as Roseanne ended. Fans had an idea of who they would be as adults. Meanwhile, D.J. was just starting high school as the sitcom ended. In the reboot, he’s returned home from the military.

“In my case, all the other characters were fleshed out and had clearly defined relationships,” Fishman said. “And D.J. We got to meet him in a whole new place. We got to meet him as an adult. And we got to meet him after having served in the military, and this whole process of his life. And having a child. … being in all these dynamic relationships.”

D.J. did meet his future wife on The Conners back when he was a kid on Roseanne. The meeting between D.J. and Geena happened in episode nine of season seven. D.J. didn’t want to kiss a girl in the school play because she was Black. They end up marrying. Maya Lynne Robinson portrays Geena on The Conners.

Fishman also is directing. He was in charge of last year’s Halloween episode. That holiday was a Roseanne show favorite. It’s the same for The Conners. Fishman has directed four episodes this season.

“It’s been an incredible process,” Fishman said. “I just finished my third one this week, yesterday. And every one of them has come with its own kind of craziness. We’ve had a lot of stuff in production this year. We’ve kind of jumped around a little bit. (And) we’ve had actor availability stuff. You know, with COVID there are always hesitations, or scheduling stuff can be an issue because you have to wait to make sure people have had enough days between where they worked last and where they work here and all that kind of stuff. So we’ve really had to bounce around.”