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Interview: The Cast and Crew of Disney’s Cheaper By the Dozen

Family relationships can be tricky. Sometimes you love your family, and sometimes you need some space, but living in a home with twelve people, space is hard to come by. However, in Cheaper By the Dozen the Baker family makes it work.

The Bakers, Zoey and Paul, live with their ten children in their blended family. Together, they run a breakfast restaurant and raise their kids.

Cheaper By the Dozen poster
© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

With laughs, chaos, and a whole lot of love, Disney’s Cheaper By the Dozen is sure to warm your heart.

Be sure to watch Cheaper By the Dozen, streaming on Disney+ on March 18!

Here is the scoop on Disney’s Cheaper By the Dozen!

The Cast and Crew of Cheaper By the Dozen

Gabrielle Union plays the role of Zoey Baker. Fans will know her from She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Bring It On.

Zach Braff portrays Paul Baker. He is known for his other works including Scrubs, The Disaster Artist, and Alex, Inc.

© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Erika Christensen plays the role of Kate. Her other works include Ten Days in the Valley and Parenthood.

Timon Kyle Durrett plays Dom. His other works include Queen Sugar and Stuck With You.

Gail Lerner is the Director of Cheaper By the Dozen. Lerner’s other works include Will & Grace and Black-ish.

Family Dymanics

Cheaper By the Dozen is a truly unique story because, while not everyone can relate to being a part of an incredibly large family, everyone can relate to having some type of family.

Gabrielle Union explains, “Everyone is born into some sort of family. Whether you love them or you try to escape from them, you’re born into a family. So, literally, everyone in the world can relate to family drama, family fun and problem-solving.”

Union continues, “And more and more, you see these blended families having to co-parent, multi-generational families all living under one roof. This is the norm. I believe like when folks started using the word “traditional,” families, I think that’s just meant to shame. To shame folks for surviving, basically.”

© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

She adds, “So, this is a movie that calls all families in. And says, you know what? You will find someone that you can relate to, that looks like you. That feels like your family somewhere in this movie.”

Zach Braff chimes in adding, “Well said. I also just want to say that I think so many parents-I’m not a parent. But I know so many parents that can relate to the balance of work and being a parent. And, of course, in Cheaper by the Dozen, I think, one of the reasons why people relate to it is it takes it to the extreme. Obviously, it’s a heightened reality. Or it actually did occur for this family who wrote the book.”

Gabrielle Union concludes, “I think, especially for kids right now, the world can be a hard place and that home is your soft landing just makes this movie such a fun place to live.”

A Fresh Take

Since the Cheaper By the Dozen story is such a classic, the film team needed to add elements to refresh it for a modern audience. Whether this means doing TikTok dances or referencing RuPaul’s Drag Race, this movie has it all!

Cheaper By the Dozen
© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The cast collectively credits director, Gail Lerner, with the fun and exciting modern takes on the film. Erika says, “I don’t think Gail can help but constantly update it. Because her mind, it’s just like she has new jokes all the time. So, I don’t know if that was intentional or that’s just the way that you live. But you’re like, there’s always more.”

Gail replies, “Oh, thank you, that really came from you guys, though. I felt like in every scene, you were just jumping in with more fun.”

Zach Braff also chimes in saying, “The children bring so much.” He adds, “These children, they’re so uniquely special and they all have their own sense of humor.”

A Different Kind of Family

While Zoey and Paul are the main parents in the film, Kate and Dom are also involved. Kate is Pauls’ ex-wife and she often helps watch the kids. Dom is Zoey’s ex-husband and he is trying to be more involved in his kid’s life.

© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Erika Christensen, who plays Kate, comments on Kate’s role in the family. Christensen says, “My character fits in anywhere she can get. She’s just there all the time. Which I think is really, really great. It’s a different take. On the personal experience thing. I actually have so many friends that have this sort of a situation where they’re making it work with multiple parents involved.”

Erika adds, “It just gives me so much hope to see that the kids come first. And so, we put everything else aside and make it work and, you know, remember the things that made us love each other in the first place. And find humor in all the ways that we disagree.”

Cheaper By the Dozen
Journee Brown as Deja, Kylie Rogers as Ella, Aryan Simhadri as Haresh, Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker, Sebastian Cote as Bronx, Christian © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Timon Kyle Durrett, who plays Dom, chimes in. He says, “With Dom’s character, you know, he’s this larger-than-life rich guy who has to kind of, you know, humble himself and understand that, you know, he’s not the only man in town.”

He adds, “I like that the film it touches on a level of acceptance and humility that I think is representative of what a lot of people should get an understanding of. Because, sometimes the ego can be fragile and hurt.”

Timon concludes, “I think Dom represents an aspect of the family dynamic that I think some people are starting to miss.”

Lots of Laughs

Cheaper By the Dozen has lots of hilarious jokes that you will be laughing at throughout the entire film. With such a stunning cast of comedians, there was also some room for improv.

Gail Lerner explains, “What was great was that Kenya Barris and Jeni Genzuk Henry wrote a hilarious script. It was just full of monster jokes and character jokes and really relatable things.”

© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

She continues, “I’d be like, oh, great, we’re in great shape. And then, all of these guys would just come in improvising, whether it was physicality or jokes. And everyone was really committed to making each other look good.”

Zach Braff adds, “We had fun. There were certain moments that called for it more than others.”

Braff also mentions that “It’s tricky for me. ‘Cause even on Scrubs we would improv like crazy. But, it was a more risque thing than a Disney family movie. So, you’re trying to like, improvise but keep it G.”

Even some of the kids got to join in on the improv fun. Braff explains, “They wouldn’t necessarily have the courage to improvise on their own. But if I thought of a funny joke for them, I’d give it to them and that was fun, too.”

Why Audiences Will Love Cheaper By the Dozen

Cheaper By the Dozen
© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Overall, the relationships between the family members in Cheaper By the Dozen are incredibly heartwarming. Audiences of all ages will appreciate how realistic the Baker family is.

Lerner says, “If people finish this movie and think, let’s all go hang out, let’s go do something fun, let’s all actually have a meal together, let’s open a family restaurant, whatever it is.”

Braff adds, “There’s a disabled child. There’s discussion of depression. There’s discussion of sexual identity. I mean, this is all incredibly woven into a family Disney comedy.”

No matter your age, you will thoroughly enjoy Disney’s Cheaper By the Dozen. Don’t miss Cheaper By the Dozen, streaming on Disney+ on March 18!

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