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Melissa Leo on John Goodman: A Great TV Marriage Lives On

Thesp earns cheers even when he's playing the bad guy, says 'Treme' co-star

John Goodman is the “best movie husband” Melissa Leo ever had.

After shooting the pilot for her HBO drama “Treme” in 2009, Leo returned to film the season order and found that Goodman had been cast as her college professor hubby, Creighton Bernette. Leo says Goodman was such a “goddamn serious actor” that he began thinking like Creighton and even speaking like him. “He would come up with a one-liner, usually at the close of the scene, that was the best line in the entire episode,” she recalls.

The two crossed paths again after Goodman was killed off the show at the end of season one. Although they didn’t share scenes, both starred in Kevin Smith’s 2011 thriller “Red State” and Robert Zemeckis’ 2012 drama “Flight.”

“A cheer comes up in every audience I’ve ever seen, (when he) comes down the hall with his illegal bunch of drugs to ‘save the day’ while Whip Whitaker is once again drunk,” she says. “But here, Dr. Feelgood, he’s got a cure in his bag. Those shots of him coming down the hotel hallway happened, the audience cheered. That’s a drug pusher and they were cheering. That’s because it’s John Goodman playing the part.”

Leo says the two still speak to each other as family. “Our greeting is ‘Oh, poppa,’ I say to him. ‘Oh, mamma,’ he says to me. He will always be my Creighton Bernette forever and always.”

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