John Goodman: Let the demons chase me now

Actor John Goodman says he's a "cheap blusher."
CBS News

(CBS News) He made a name for himself playing Roseanne Barr's husband on TV. Nowadays, it's "easy does it" for John Goodman, who's enjoying the good life in New Orleans, where Michelle Miller tracked him down:

New Orleans, Louisiana - famous for music, food, and letting the good times roll.

It has also been home, for the last 20 years, to actor john Goodman, who's created more than a hundred characters - funnier, sadder, smarter and more graceful than you'd ever expect them to be.

"They're colorful, they're intense, and yet not - they're like these walking oxymorons," said Miller."

"Like human beings!" replied Goodman. "I think there's a lot of that in everybody. We're all like that."

Actor John Goodman says he's a "cheap blusher." CBS News

Miller sat down with Goodman at Commander's Palace, a New Orleans landmark.

"It's globally recognized as one of the finest restaurants in the world, and it's only three blocks from my house," said Goodman. "It's family and it's down-home. I mean, you get okra and shrimp."

Goodman is getting plenty of Oscar buzz these days for his roles in two hit movies: "Argo," and "Flight," in which he plays Harling Mays, pilot Denzel Washington's drug dealer.

Why on Earth would you want to play him? asked Miller.

"It's a movie that I can relate to a lot," he said. "Denzel's character and I had a lot of the same problems that Harling does; you want to be everybody's buddy. And Harling looks like he stopped progressing around 1973."

Goodman himself stopped drinking five years ago. "If I don't pick up that first drink, I'm fine."

"Not chasing that demon?"

"Yeah, let the demons chase me, and they can knock all they want, I'm not home," Goodman laughed. "I'm learning the important things in life, which are petting my dogs, saying hi to my wife, looking at this beautiful city. Little things that I just missed or I just slept through for 30 years."

His wife Anna Beth Hartzog, a Louisiana native, is one of Goodman's reasons for moving to the Big Easy. Their 22-year-old daughter Molly is an aspiring filmmaker.

"She just does stuff that I'd be too lazy or not have the imagination to do," Goodman said.

"Sounds like you were a good father, though," Miller said.

"Well, the jury's still out on that. I could have been a lot better, let's put it that way. But the way things look now, I don't think I did too much damage."

John Goodman grew up in St. Louis, the son of a postal worker. His father died when he was two. His mother, Virginia Roos, worked lots of jobs to provide for her three children. "She did what she had to do to get by, and yeah, I miss her, I was glad I could do stuff for her toward the end of her life."

"I'm sure you did something for her every day of her life."

"She pretty much trolled the line at the grocery store going, 'You know who my son is?'" he laughed.