Monday, August 30, 2010
THE "UN-SWEETIN-ED" TRUTH: FULL HOUSE'S JODIE SWEETIN IS ALL GROWN UP AND READY TO TALK ABOUT HER CHILD STAR YEARS, METH ADDICTION, AND LOVE LIFE
"How rude!" If you were alive in the 90s - and NOT living under a rock - you would've recognized this expression from the voice of the sweet and innocent "Stephanie" on Full House, one of the longest-running TV shows up to date. Playing "Stephanie" from about the age of 5 till 13, Jodie Sweetin has seen herself grow with her character, on and off screen. But, afterwards - in 1995, when Full House made its prime time departure - Jodie realized in her own identity (apart from Stephanie) in the other forms of a university education, TV cameo appearances, and - sadly - crystal meth. With all that - plus divorce and a new baby - I just had to chat with Jodie about her UnSweetin-ed memoir and life: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
V.B. You started in the entertainment industry at an early age. Do you remember anything about it at all? What was it like being a child star?
J.S. I loved what I did! I told my mom when I was little that I wanted to be on TV, so I started doing commercials and other things. From there, I did a guest appearance on a TV show called Valerie, and that was how I was casted on Full House. Very lucky! But, I really enjoyed performing and growing up doing what I did.
V.B. For 8 years, you played the lovable "Stephanie" on Full House. Being an avid watcher of the show myself, I see you were mostly a young child at the time, but I also saw your character go through some issues i.e. peer pressure to smoke, seeing a friend who was abused by his dad, etc. What would you say are your most memorable moments, episodes, etc.? Could you relate to your character at all? Would you say there was any one (or more) thing(s) on the show that really affected you or how you lived your life off the show?
J.S. The fun think about Stephanie was that she had a little bit of an attitude - not in a bad way, but she definitely had some "spunk"! I don't know if there were really any things that I took from Stephanie's life and applied to my own, since my parents did a good job. But, she was certainly a fun character to play for 8 seasons!
V.B. Being on the same show for 8 years, you really get to know your cast and crew. Have you stayed in touch with anyone from the show?
J.S. We all stay in close contact. We are truly a family, even after all these years!
V.B. You made quite a few guest appearances on 90s shows, like Brotherly Love and Party of Five. Did you have any particularly interesting roles there?
J.S. (Laughs). Brotherly Love was me playing a total nerd; that was fun and totally different than anything I've done before. I enjoyed doing Party of Five as well. I really just love acting, so anything that gets me in front of the camera keeps me having fun!
V.B. You also decided to go to university. Did you find anything else you were interested in that you wouldn't mind pursuing later on in life or in the nearby future?
J.S. I actually got my B.A. in Elementary Education, so who knows... maybe I'll decide to go back to that one day!
V.B. Obviously, this is a hard question to ask you, but how did your struggle with ice/crystal meth come up? Was there anything in particular that made you want to turn to these drugs?
J.S. It was a lot of things, actually. It's never just one thing that really leads someone into that. I was lucky enough to get to tell my story in my book UnSweetined. I've been sober since December 2008 though and was able to put my life back on track - even better than before!
V.B. What were Port City and Pants-Off, Dance-Off about? What were your roles in them like?
J.S. Port City was a film I shot in North Carolina that's been entered in several film festivals. It was the first film that I did. I felt it was an opportunity to do something different and see what film was like. I loved it! I was the main character's sister and she, like Stephanie, had a little bit of a mouth to her as well. PODO was a show on Fuse TV (a music network) that was silly and outrageous and sort of had a cult following. You either loved it or hated it - I personally loved it! I got to be a lot edgier in that show than I had before. It was fun for people to see me as something so the opposite of Stephanie!
V.B. You have been through divorce and remarrying. What have you learned from those experiences, in terms of your love life and life in general? What's your view on serial monogamy/cheating, especially with celebs in the media? Do you believe humans can stay with one person for the rest of their lives?
J.S. Well, I've learned a lot in my relationships. I've also learned that I got into some for the very wrong reasons. I'm now in a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend Morty Coyle and have truly never been happier. I did have to do a lot of work on my self before I even thought about getting involved with someone after my last marriage. As far as celebrity relationships, it's hard enough to keep things good between "normal" people, let alone when press and paparazzi are in your business. But, I think it can be done. It's all about growing together and having a mutual respect. Because after all the passion and intensity dies down - after a period of time - you must ultimately enjoy the person who you're with. Morty and I are now expecting a child soon, and my life is just blessed because of it.
V.B. You also had a beautiful baby daughter, Zoie. How has she changed your life and perspective? And how did you lose the baby weight?
J.S. She changed everything!!!! I would do anything in the world for her, and my life just has more meaning and beauty in it, being a mom. I've realized it really is the simple things - like watching her play and spending time with her. Those are the most important things in life. As far as losing the baby weight, I did the Nutrisystem plan and worked out after my first pregnancy. With this second one, I really haven't gained as much weight - only about 21 lbs - so it should be much easier to lose. I hope to get back into Pilates and dance to get in shape!