Now that they are both parents, Jodie Sweetin, 34, and Andrea Barber, 40, have a better sense of what life must have been like for Full House dad Danny Tanner (Bob Saget). The actresses – who grew up playing Stephanie Tanner and her neighbour, Kimmy Gibbler, on the ’90s family sitcom – now play the ones in charge on Fuller House. Their personal experiences have even inspired stories on the updated series. “The writers will ask, ‘What’s going on with your kids?’” Jodie tells us when we meet the actresses in New York City. Here, they fill us in on their dream guest stars and their advice to child stars.
When Fuller House started, did the child actors ask you about your experiences on the original show?
Andrea: Their moms did. I said, “You need to sit down with my parents, because they are the ones who paved that way for me when I was 10 going on 18.”
Jodie: It’s just about learning to navigate how relationships and friendships change when you start becoming successful, especially as a kid. We’ve been there and we understand that. One thing I’ve told them is to enjoy this moment. That’s something my parents always told me, because it doesn’t last forever. Remember all the craziness, the excitement, the energy, and soak it up.
Do your children watch the show?
Andrea: They think it’s great. My daughter is nine so she thinks it’s so cool. My son is 12. He likes it, but he doesn’t want to be caught watching it. I’ll see [him watching] and say, “What do you mean you don’t know if you like it? You’re on episode 12!” Deep down they’re both big fans.
Jodie: My daughters are eight and six. They’re super into it. They think it’s funny that all their friends know who Mommy is.
Do they hang out on set?
Andrea: Our daughters were actually on an episode in season 2. They don’t have speaking roles, but they got to be in a few scenes. I think it was eye-opening for them to see just how much work it is.
Jodie: You never know when you’re on-camera. I remember Andrea and I were in my dressing room and our kids were on-camera. We said, “They look asleep! Smile!” Then we looked at each other and thought, “Oh my God, we’re those people!”
Andrea:Stage moms. [Laughs]
What moments stand out to you from season 2?
Jodie: The Thanksgiving episode was really memorable. When we were all sitting around that huge table talking, bantering and bickering, I thought, “This is special.”
Andrea: New Kids on the Block appear on an episode. I’ve wanted them on the show since the original series. That’s just been a lifelong dream. They were such good sports.
Who would you like to see guest-star?
Jodie: I always throw out my childhood crushes like Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Andrea: You might be reaching a little high.
Jodie: Thirty years ago, you wouldn’t have thought New Kids would’ve been on the show. Dream big, Andrea!