Be still, pre-teen me…all of my childhood bestie goals came true when I got the chance to chat with some of my favorite stars from the 90’s about their new show, Hollywood Darlings. Pop’s newest original comedy series Hollywood Darlings, stars 90s fan favorites Jodie Sweetin (Full(er) House), Beverley Mitchell (7th Heaven) and Christine Lakin (Step by Step) and I got the chance to chat with them about their new show, which premieres on April 12, 8pm ET/PT.
I have personally watched the first 5 episodes and I found it hilarious and engaging. The comedy series focuses on their unique childhood actor sisterhood that has bonded them as real life friends. They play exaggerated versions of themselves as they navigate motherhood, careers and life in LA. It was great to see a different side of these stars that I grew up watching over and over in their 90s sitcoms.
Hollywood Darlings turns the camera on real-life friends who are bonded by a sisterhood that only they can share as former child stars who grew up in the 90’s limelight – Jodie Sweetin (“Full House,” “Fuller House”), Christine Lakin (“Step By Step”) and Beverley Mitchell (“7th Heaven”). In this improvised comedy, the three actresses play exaggerated versions of themselves in their current Hollywood lives. With the support of one another, this girl squad can take on anything when it comes to parenting, marriage, friendship and revived careers in Hollywood.
You will also see some of your other 90s favorites in the various episodes including Soleil Moon Frye (“Punky Brewster”),Andrew Keegan (“10 Things I Hate About You”), Tamera Mowry (“Sister, Sister”), Lance Bass(NSYNC), Andrea Barber (“Full House”), Nicholle Tom (“The Nanny”), Heather Tom (“Y&R”),Patrick Duffy (“Dallas,” “Step By Step”), Staci Keanan (“Step By Step”) and Wanya Morris(Boyz II Men).
Now, here is the part you’ve been waiting for you!! Find out everything we chatted about including their unique hollywood friendship, growing up as child stars, roles as real life mothers and more! Check it out in the Q&A below.
Q&A with the stars of Hollywood Darlings
What did you each bring to the show about yourselves and what did you exaggerate to make the show funny?
Jodie: We play heightened versions of ourselves, we all have you know, these little kernels and of pieces that we play and you know my character is definitely more cynical and dark than I am in real life. I have a pretty positive outlook on things and motherhood but you know, we really wanted to play it sort of the contrast between myself and Beverly and Christine. That’s definitely an exaggerated piece of who I am. I am quick to poke fun at my friends with the utmost love and make fun of myself. That’s something that’s pretty true to who I actually am.
Christine: Yeah, I’m kind of the ‘hippie dippy’ one of the group, I’m sort of a free spirit. I definitely have those qualities in real life but we exaggerated them for the show for the purposes of comedy, of course. So I’m kind of the lovable fool, [chuckles] that will go out on a limb and make these two crazy in their own respective ways.
Beverly: I kind of was the Type ‘A’ you know, the ever-organized, the label-queen and the girl who is prepared for any apocalypse, any ailment that may come your way. I think we played that up a little bit further. I would like to think that I am not as uptight and tightly wound as I play on the show. I do know how to exactly relax and take a break. However, I just got my first manicure and pedicure in four years and that is because I didn’t want Jodie to see my toes.
What can you tell me about that and what can viewers expect?
Christine: Yeah, this is what we call an improvised comedy and you know, it’s a little tough to explain because there haven’t been many of them done. This show came about when Jodie, myself and Beverly were all approached by our executive producer Jimmy Foxx who wanted to put together sort of like, a 90’s dream-team of women he grew up with on TV, felt like he maybe had a crush on. [chuckles]
Or you know, who felt like, kind of like we were like friends to people as we grew up and well he approached the three of us, and we said, “Well you know we’re actually friends in real life,” and that kinda’ like, blew his mind, the fact that we knew each other. So we sorta’ started talking and none of us were interested in reality but we thought, what if we did a show where we heightened our personality traits and we took kernels of our real life and we expanded those into episode ideas and story-line ideas. And that’s kinda’ how this show was born so everything you see on the show, there’s an episode for instance about a mini-van and it’s all sort of inspired by Jodie actually getting a mini-van in real-life. She’s really resistant to it in the show but you know, in real-life, we used hers.
Beverly: The scenes and everything you see we had story-lines laid out, we prepped with our show-runners before-hand, like three or four weeks beforehand, we really answered six-page questionnaires about who we were, what we liked, what we didn’t like, what we knew about each other, what we didn’t know about each other. We took all those little pieces of information and kinda’ created, some very rough story-lines and then within those stories, we knew where we wanted to go from point A to point B. How we got there, the lines, the dialogue, the interactions between all of us, I mean that was completely unscripted and totally on the fly. So everything you see in the show is us just playing and having fun with a very rough outline of what we wanted to do…
Will you be sharing your children on this show at all? Or is it just going to feature the three of you?
Beverly: Hollywood Darlings mostly centers on who Christine, Jodie and I are. Yes we’re mothers but we’re business woman and friends. Christine’s daughter appears for a brief second because she’s breast-feeding. But, none of our children are actually in the show because it’s more about us as adults, even though we are mothers. Our children are very much a part of our lives, but not the content.
Jodie: The content of it where there’s cursing, inappropriate jokes, things like that and while we are being mothers it is very important to us to separate our children out from some of that kinda’ stuff. We definitely talk about our kids and reference them and like I said lives as moms are really important to us but we definitely thought that some of the content might be a little inappropriate for our children [chuckles] to be participating in.
How was life growing up, being on TV with Full House, Seventh Heaven and Step by Step, and how did it affect your personal life outside of being actresses?
Beverly: That’s always an interesting question because we don’t really know what life would be like to grow up any other way. For us that is our normal, that is our everyday, yes there were unique attributes to growing up in front of the camera. There are things that we didn’t do. But, I think we’re all very grateful for the opportunities we’ve been awarded and I think we’ve survived very well. I think I was definitely sheltered, I didn’t go on as many dates but to be honest, I don’t think I would’ve even if I was in high-school. I just think I was that odd girl-friend that nobody wanted to date, until I met my husband, thank God! Thank God for college.
Christine: I went back and forth being from Atlanta. So I would come out to LA and I would film a show and I would go back to a quote, unquote, normal high-school in Atlanta. I feel like I kinda’ got the best of both worlds but, we make fun of that in a couple of episodes about cashing in on the things we never got to do with kids and trying to relive those moments. There’s definitely a shared history to the three of us because when you grow up in such unique way I think it will always bond you and it will always shape your perspective about life and I think that’s what’s so cool about our friendship.
What do you like about being in an improvised comedy as opposed to scripted?
Beverly: You get to play. I mean, you get to try things out, you get to try out jokes, you get to try out all different sorts of scenarios each time you do a take of a scene. It’s kind of like you both write and act in your own little play while you’re doing it and I think that’s really fun as an actor you always have those moments were you kind of think of things that you would want to say, or how you’d want to do a scene or something like that. This was the opportunity to really get to do that.
I think also for us, because you know us from such, family-wonderful television, to get the chance to stretch ourselves a little bit and then sort of jump a little more into the adult real comedy and humor I think was a really fun opportunity for us to hopefully have people see us in a different light. Yes you grew up with us as kids on these shows but we’re women in our 30’s and we’re adults!It’s important for people to get to see us as that, so that we’re not only known for being sort of the wholesome family comedy that we’ve known for 30 years.
How did you three actually become real life friends?
Beverly: Well it goes back several decades…Where shall we begin?
Jodi?: I was four, it was my first commercial, it was an Oscar Meyer hot-dog commercial and Beverly was doing a commercial. They used to hire a bunch of kids to do kind of the same commercial, I was four, she was five, so that’s how Beverly and I met. We would always be up against each other for the same auditions ‘cause we were blonde with little curly hair and lisps.
Christine: Beverly and I have known each other forever, and then Jodie and I met when I came out to LA to screen-test for Step by Step and I was lucky enough to do a set-visit to Full House which kind of made my life! If you wanna’ troll my Instagram I posted a throwback of the first time I met Jodie and you can just see. I have a double-chin, I’m just smiling wider than you know, a hyena, I’m so excited.
(image via: instagram)
Christine: That’s how we first met, then over the years you know, after I got Step by Step, I just thought, “Oh my God!” Like, “Where do I go from here? I’ve just made it!” I mean, I was on a night with people I was a fan of. So you have to understand it’s a very surreal experience and then I ended up doing a guest-star on Seventh Heaven which I feel like everyone did a guest-star on Seventh Heaven it was on for like more than a decade.
Christine: It’s like a weird sorority we were always seeing each other at events and upfront parties and like, Teen Choice Awards and charity events and it kinda’ becomes like your social life. You see other child-actors and you’re in this very small world together which was pretty cool.
How do you manage time, having children, making sure you’re on the set, having fun still in your 30’s and things like that…
Beverly?: I think the idea of perfect balance with your work and your life and your motherhood and all of that there is no perfect balance. You always feel like you’re really focused on your career for one moment. You’re having to ask for a lot of help and either your parents or nannies or things like that to help with your kids. Or you needed to step away from work and you’re focusing more on your family and your kids and there’s always something that you feel like you could be doing more.
I think that’s the pressure that a lot of women put on themselves isn’t really fair. For me, it’s just kind of about, staying present in whatever it is that I’m doing and not feeling guilt when there’s times when I have to be at work and I have to ask the support of family and friends to step in and help with kids or vice-versa, I think it’s really important to use that village. I don’t think that balance actually that word exists in parent-hood.
I think to be honest, it’s like we’re all trying to do the best that we can and as long as we are surrounding our children with love and we are doing the best we can, at- wherever we are in the moment, I think that’s all we can ever hope for. And being good humans at the same time.
Jodie: I’m a mom of two little girls that are nine and six and a half and I want them to see that it is possible to be a working mom. And that it’s okay to go after your own dreams and your own goals and that is important. That even when you have kids and you have a family that you can still have the things and the dreams that you really want. I bring my kids to set and try and really incorporate all of the things in my life as much as I can.
Christine: I feel like we live in an age of constant comparison, and I don’t know if it’s social media or what not, I feel like we sometimes get down on ourselves for not doing enough when we need to just congratulate ourselves on the things we have done. So you get into a mode where you’re just a workaholic ‘cause you’re like, “I’ve gotta’ get this done, I’ve gotta’ do it perfectly-” and the fact of the matter is, at the end of the day if you’re not enjoying your life, if you don’t have any kind of give and take, like, what is it all for? That’s how I really try to find the balance, focus emphasis on the word ‘try,’ don’t always do it perfectly and I definitely can feel very stressed out. I’m trying to do better at self-caring and finding enough time for myself.
Who are you personally hoping that Hollywood Darlings connects with?
Beverly: What is really gonna’ bring people in is like, “Oh it’s my favorite 90’s stars and people that I grew up with.” But I think what is gonna’ make people stay and what younger generation moms are gonna’ find is that we’re incredibly relatable. At the base of this show is friendship.
Jodie?: We have this shared history together. We may have grown up in a very odd and sort of surreal way but at the end of the day like, I’m still cleaning up, I’m still doing laundry.
Beverly: The reliability I think once you kind of, will be able to connect with us. And also like, your relationships with your friends. So I think you can kind of look at any one of us and be like, “Oh, I’m kind of that of the group.” Like we do with the Golden Girls.
How do you differentiate yourself rom your childhood characters?
Jodie: Reprising the character of Stephanie Tanner that I played as a kid. The fun part is doing Fuller House, I get to play a little bit more adult version of that character. At the end of the day it still is that same person. I think with this show, Hollywood Darlings and with some of the stuff that we’re doing outside of that as well as writing and producing and creating our own work. We do get to sort of show a different side of ourselves. I mean, this show in particular like we said, it is a much more adult-humored, adult-toned show. Which we’re excited for! We want people to see us as adults now.
Christine: I think we’re very grateful for the opportunities that have come to us because of our careers as children. There is a little bit of a preconceived notion when people see that on a resume or recognize us, that we only do one kinda’ thing. I think that’s what’s so great about this show. We were able to play these fictionalized versions of ourselves but I think we were all able to amp up the comedy in a way that was very specific to each one of our sensibilities. I think it’s a great opportunity to sort of show the industry and show the world what we now do as adults.
How you made your friendship last all these years?
Jodie: This is like a relationship where even in our 20’s we kind of all went our separate ways…To college and had babies and got married and , but then it’s like, back in your 30’s and we can get together, it’s like a day hasn’t gone by! It’s like those friends you kinda’ just pick back up with.
Beverly: And it’s nice because the relationship doesn’t require any work. And we don’t have no requirements of each other. So when we get back together everything just works and we can relate to each other. And even though we are all very, very different womenwe have this commonality that binds us together that is rare.
I think as actresses too you know, people always assume that there’s all this competition and that we’re just like, clawing at each other. We’re frenemies, and people wanna’ make it like we’re all in competition with each other and I have found that especially as I get older and I share commonalities like motherhood with other women there is enough success to go around. We certainly don’t need to step on each other to get ahead. If anything, one of my favorite things to do is to bring people together.
If I can find you a great writer for a project, or I can introduce you to a producer or I can say, “Hey, I don’t think this role is right for me, but I think it’s right for you.” Like, “How can I help you?” I think that’s what we need to see more of, and especially as women in this industry. Because it is hard to sustain a career if you don’t have a tribe of people around you.
Jodie: I have a really kick ass tribe of women around me of friends and that are in the business and out of the business or somehow connected to the business. We all do and I think we’re really, really incredibly fortunate in that way. As you get a little bit older, you get in your 30’s and you realize, your girlfriends are the ones that’ll save your ass.
As you can see these ladies are just as lovely as they were when they were childhood stars. And yes, we still want to be BFFs. Make sure to check out their new show, Hollywood Darlings when it premieres on April 12, 8pm ET/PT on Pop.