Danny Tanner, Uncle Jesse, and Uncle Joey must have raised their girls right, because when Kimmy Gibbler and Stephanie Tanner move in with DJ, they recreate the magic of the original Full House. In Fuller House, DJ (Candace Cameron Bure) is now a widow; her husband, Mr. Fuller, was a firefighter killed in the line of duty. So, just like her widower father, DJ moves her sister (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend (Andrea Barber) into the old house to help her raise her children.
The whole cast is back: John Stamos as Jesse, Bob Saget as Danny, and Dave Coulier as Joey, with Lori Loughlin reprising her role as Becky and Scott Weinger as Steve. The only one who’s gone is Michelle (Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen), and the entire cast makes a joke about their absence in the pilot. We sat down with Bure, Sweetin and Barber after their panel for the Television Critics Association and became part of the Fuller House cast game. They were scoring points for reporters who asked them something they hadn’t been asked before, and we won! Fuller House premieres Friday, February 26 on Netflix.
Fred Topel for Rotten Tomatoes: Do you have new appreciation for the roles Bob, John, and Dave played in the original series, since you’re taking on the parental figure roles now?
Andrea Barber: Well, we’re female and we’re moms, so I think we kind of know what we’re doing more than they did when it comes to the parenting of the kids on the show. We always have great respect for them, but we also take our jobs very seriously and don’t crack quite as many bad jokes — off color jokes — as they did back in the day.
Jodie Sweetin: But I think being the adults now and being responsible, not responsible but caretakers of these kids while they’re on set with us, is really something that’s really important to us as former child actors, as adult actors, as moms. It’s something that we take pretty seriously.
Rotten Tomatoes: Is playing sisters different now that you’re both adults and the age difference isn’t quite as dramatic as it is when you’re younger?
Sweetin: It’s like being sisters. When you’re young and there’s that five or six year age difference, I was the annoying little sister that desperately wanted your attention, and now we’re friends, which is kind of what happens with your real sisters.
Candace Cameron Bure: We’re just like, “Help me! What advice can I come to you for? Tell me this, tell me that.” It’s on an even playing field. There’s no age difference once you become adults. We’re both moms, all three of us are moms. It’s a better camaraderie than being young.
Sweetin: We have truly grown up together, and I think now we’ve kind of grown into this really wonderful, beautiful, adult quasi-sibling relationship.
Rotten Tomatoes: Andrea and Jodie, you have taken more breaks since Full House than Candace did. What occupied you during your breaks and what was it like to come back?
Barber: Well, I left show business completely when I was 18. I never planned to come back, because when the original show ended, I had just started college, so I moved right into the dorm and started education. Then I got married and had kids and worked at a college for a while. I’ve been at home for the last several years raising my kids at home, and this show came along at a great time. When Jeff Franklin, our creator, called me and asked if I’d be willing to reprise the role of Kimmy Gibler, I just said absolutely without hesitation. I was ready for it, but the break was good. Now I’m ready to be with these ladies.
Rotten Tomatoes: Would you act again for anything else?
Barber: I don’t know. Someone else asked me that today and I’m so focused on Fuller House and launching this first season that my heart is here right now. I can’t even predict what would happen in the future.
Rotten Tomatoes: And Jodie?
Sweetin: Yeah, I too got busy with my children. I have a daughter who’s almost eight and one who’s five, so I was busy being mommy. I had stepped out of the world a little bit. I did several independent films and a few things here and there, but I kind of moved a little bit into normal life. I think in doing so, it’s given me a huge appreciation for what Full House is, what working with people that I love really is. Kind of being able to come full circle, so it’s been a wonderful experience.
Rotten Tomatoes: You have Macy Gray in one of the new episodes, but which of the great guest stars you had in the 1990s would you love to have back?
Bure: Ooh, good question. We haven’t gotten that one yet. That’s a new one.
Sweetin: We’re always giving points for good questions.
Bure: But it has to be from the 1990s?
Sweetin: We had Stacie Q.
Bure: Tommy Page. We never got New Kids on the Block.
Barber: No, and we really want New Kids on the Block though. We’ll put our vote for that.
Rotten Tomatoes: Would it have to be NKOTBSB now?
Bure: No, that was just for the tour one summer.
Barber: We’re the experts on all things boy band.
Rotten Tomatoes: Andrea, how nice was it to see Kimmy dress up for once?
Barber: Yeah, that was great. They’re like, “We want Kimmy to look pretty.” And I said, “Well…” That was fantastic, to get all glammed up and to wear a fancy dress and then to dance with some hot dudes from Dancing with the Stars. That was one of our favorite episodes to do. I think Kimmy’s always been pretty but just in a very unique and eccentric way. To look just a normal pretty was pretty fun for one episode.
Rotten Tomatoes: Being mothers yourselves, are you up on all the teen lingo like “on fleek?”
Bure: I’m definitely up on most of it because I have three teenagers. I have the oldest kids of the three of us, so my kids are always teaching me or correcting me and basically telling me the words I’m not allowed to use, which would be “on fleek.” They’re like, “Mom, no, you can’t use it.”
Rotten Tomatoes: When they see the show, will they agree “on fleek” is over now that you said it?
Bure: Probably. They’ve seen the shows, though, because they were at all the tapings. They loved it. They think it’s hilarious.
Rotten Tomatoes: Was it different to do a show with all the history of the first series behind it? When they talk about when they were kids, we’ve actually seen those episodes they’re talking about!
Sweetin: I think so, yeah. Rarely do you get to do a show like that. I can’t think of any other television show that has come back 20 years later with a new series and people know all the old characters. There’s the reunion shows and things like that, but to do a completely new spinoff series, there’s very few franchises of television shows that have done that. Yeah, you have this rich history of familial relationships and stories to go off of, things that have happened to these characters, both individually and together, to draw from and create from.
Barber: It’s neat to walk through the set because when you look on the walls and on the fireplace mantle, you’ll see pictures actually of us together when we were ages five and 10. I don’t know any other show that can actually dress their set with pictures of the cast together.
Rotten Tomatoes: Are there any more “turn to the camera and look at the audience” moments after the line in the pilot about Michelle?
Sweetin: I don’t think so, but there’s a few moments where we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we’re very self-aware in some of the jokes. A joke about watching The View or something, things like that, where we know the audience knows but we don’t necessarily turn and break that fourth wall. But I think people will get a kick out of the fact that we acknowledge the things that are going on in our world.