I was invited by Disney to attend this event. All of my expenses were paid, but I promise all opinions are my own.
While I was in Los Angeles for The Good Dinosaur event, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the set of the new show Grandfathered! This show stars John Stamos, Christina Milian, Josh Peck and more! I do have to say that this set visit was one that I truly looked forward to because I love the show! I wanted to be able to put myself on the set so that when I watch the show I could say, “I’ve been there.” What a neat experience.
When we arrived on the set, we were split into groups and then sat down in “Jimmy’s Restaurant” booths around the set. We were told that the cast was eating lunch and they would be out shortly and then rotate around the smaller groups for Q&A. Not too long after that did John Stamos himself come out to greet us. It was surreal to see and hear him talk to us. It was like we were all old friends. He went behind the counter of Jimmy’s and asked if we wanted a drink – he started to ‘mix’ the drinks up for us – it was quite entertaining! Check it out:
It was SO fun to just interact with John like we were ‘catching up.’ All of this happened while we were sitting on the set of Grandfathered. We were then introduced to the cast of Grandfathered and had the opportunity to interact with them in groups. Check out the conversations that we had with each.
John Stamos + Paget Brewster
When they first sat down, they really wanted to see who we were – which was pretty awesome. They were asking what our blogs were about, where we were from, how we knew each other, etc. That was awesome. Then we started with the questions to John and Paget.
Q. How do you feel being cast as a Grandparent?
John: Well that’s a good point. If you’ve seen earlier that when we came up with the show it was first pitched as meeting this swingin’ dude meeting his kid. Then we added the grandkid part of it. But the most interesting character to me, and I think I was right because it’s turning out how it is, is the woman that I got pregnant. Like here’s a woman on television, who’s single, in her mid-forties, and she’s not afraid to say it. Not afraid to call herself a grandmother. I think women across the United States are really loving this, and the best actress we could ever find to do it is this one (pointing at Paget). Seriously, I mean we had some little issues even about women that maybe were afraid of playing that age. Or they may have had a little too much stuff going on. Then, Paget came in! I mean it’s Hollywood and it plays great against me because I don’t want to be called grandpa. Call me anything but grandpa. And I don’t wanna be my age.
Paget: I thought, assuming the worst about Hollywood, I’m not gonna get this. They’re gonna hire a thirty-two year old blonde chick and pretend she’s in her mid-forties. Like that’s TV in Hollywood. Then I came and auditioned with John and had a blast. It was like, I wish this would work out. It’d be great. I was ecstatic and I don’t have kids. I didn’t get the chance or I would have done it with the wrong person so I love playing the grandmother! I was too real to read this because I’m not in a rocking chair. Which I would do that too as it sounds like fun. It was so well written, and a real woman, a whole adult woman with a point of view. Then, I was like, that’s not a typical grandmother. That’s not what TV and movies usually read for. What’s funny about it is the idea of him as a grandfather. So, I just love the part. I’m thrilled that I get to be a grandmother. I get to have a baby, but I don’t have him all day.
John: Another thing, too, about this character that helps me and that also sends a good message, is like, you know, you old guy, stop chasing these young girls. It’s like get over that. Especially in this case and probably happens in a lot of people’s lives. It’s like maybe the one is right in front of your face but you have to compromise a little bit. Maybe it’s not twenty-five, or whatever that thing is about, but what you get in return is like a real woman, who’s smart, who’s beautiful, who’s funny, we have a lot in common in this particular case. Those themes are important for me to get out there. And this- that character really helps show that.
Paget: It is risky — they (Jimmy and Sara) get close and then wonder what if they mess up what they have now? Which is that they get along and they goof on each other, but there is an attraction there and there’s a history there. So, it seems like Jimmy and Sara start to get close and that feels good. It feels right. And he’s really fun to do scenes with.
Q. Are you going to keep this a slow build up between Jimmy and Sara?
Paget: He knows more than I do. He’s a producer.
John: I mean we talk about it. You know, we always try to throw those obstacles in like the Thanksgiving episode where her old boyfriend shows up. Things start to get like more risky. I’ll just get jealous because he’s kind of a second father to Joshua.
Q. You were touching on the whole message about the women and all that. Was it a conscious decision to have a very ethnically diverse cast.
John: It was conscious, we’re socially conscious about that. The bottom line to me really is the best actor for the role. It turned out that the best ones made least half of the cast if not more diverse. We didn’t say my assistant had to be a certain race or ethnicity. So there’s a real movement, obviously, in Hollywood to make that happen. In an upcoming episode she (Sara) starts dating someone and I start dating someone. The conversation right now is to get me something diverse.
When we started thinking about this show we thought back to what Full House was — one of the early unconventional family shows. Single parent family raising three kids. Three men in San Francisco. Straight men – raising three kids. As the years go by every year there’s more divorce. More single parents. So that is, I think, part of the staying power of that show. This is an unconventional family show. We’re all like all over the place, and not married. But we’re learning to be a family.
Paget: It’s sort of the same…Gerald has a baby with Vanessa because they got pregnant by surprise. I sort of judge her. First, she’s wrong for my son, but that’s exactly what we do. I didn’t tell him.
John: I think that the overall things that we like is that it is about learning how to love your family, or your mate, or kids, certainly. Like I’m learning how to be a father and a grandfather and there’s- tools that I think a lot of people can learn from. Stories.
Q: What’s it like for you working on the set with toddler twins again?
John: When we came up with this show, I wanted to do a family show. I liked the unconventionality of it. I fought the show to be on. I’m not doing this for my health, like I want to be on TV, I want to keep going. If people wanna see me with a baby, I’m gonna give it to ‘em. I mean, you can tell. Joshua and I took them to Disneyland last week. (Then he showed us some pictures of their Disneyland trip – so cute!)
Paget: They were scared. We did a couple of scenes that John did with them and they love him!
John: I’m a baby whisperer. We were doing scenes where it was a big group and lots of people, and they were frightened at first. We can’t wait ‘til they come to the set. I see ‘em, they go Paggie! Paggie!
Paget: They know all of our names. It’s great. They were so much fun, and their mom and dad are wonderful with them.
John: They’re so good. I guess I didn’t think about it much on Full House, but like having that experience, and also being older, and really loving this thing, I’m super protective and I’ve gone over to the parents is this okay? I don’t know much about being a parent, but we all have tried to make this a happy environment for them. We area always saying the ABCs and counting. I think some judging can happen like especially with the twins -but we don’t do that!
Paget: We were all learning since this is the first time Layla and Emelia have worked in this thing, and it was like, oh, she’s crying, so let’s get the other. Now what they’ve done is, okay, that’s sending a bad message to our kids. So what we’re gonna do is, Emelia’s gonna star in this episode, and then Layla’s gonna do this episode. It’s only if one of them is taking a nap, it’s never you’re behaving badly, we’re gonna get the other sister. That’s gone. Which is so smart and thoughtful.
John: They get turns, too. Yesterday was Layla’s turn. She couldn’t wait! o they bring Emelia. So the other one is sometimes playing around the set if she’s not making too much noise. The other thing was that on Full House we found the way to work with Mary Kate and Ashley was to have the parents not there. Which may not have been the best. I don’t know. I mean you have to ask them. Our twins, their parents are here all the time. They’re on the set with them and I think it’s really good.
Josh Peck + Christina Milian
We jumped right into questions with these two. They were so fun and interested in hearing what we wanted to know about the show.
Q. How is the chemistry on the set?
Josh: It’s magical– I think we’re just so incredibly lucky to have brought this group of people together and that we all like each other so much and there’s sort of this mutual respect. We’ve all gotten to see each other’s characters really grow. One of my favorite things is coming up with different lines for other people and to see their take on it, the way Christina approaches a joke, or John approaches a joke, there’s like these great flavors on the show and it makes it very cool to be a part of.
Christina: Yeah I feel like we’re all, outside of being our characters, we’re all rooting for each other. So it’s fun because I feel like when we’re watching a scene or we’re watching a show, we’re almost admiring each other’s acting and being like, wow I could do this better or oh my goodness, she did that so well. You know, there’s moments like Robbie has had me laughing so hard, same thing with you, John. Everybody like I’ve had these moments where I’m actually quoting things while I’m watching the show that wouldn’t outside of, you know, the, the actual show, the chemistry for on television just become like quite a little team all of us. We’ve actually become like a real odd family!
Josh: Heavy on the odd. No but it’s true too because we all come from totally different worlds and we’re not alike. You know, no one is threatened by anyone, we can all be sort of proud of each other which is great.
Q. How has this challenged you by being a Dad on the show?
Josh: It’s a real trip. I mean, it, it probably can’t even be as close as challenging as it is for John to be a grandfather. People keep saying like are you getting a baby soon or are you going to be a dad, I’m like I want to be an uncle, I want to be able to love them and eat them up and then hand them off. These girls that we found and that play our daughters, it’s just it’s really hard not to fall in love with them.
Christina: Yeah absolutely but I have to say between him and John, I really admire the way that they are with the kids, considering that they don’t have children. I’ve never seen it like this! The same chemistry that the guys have with the girls like when we’re not shooting, they’re playing with them, they took them to Disneyland like they’re real grandfather and a father, and it’s super sweet. It’s not like some photo op, it’s literally like hey let’s go to Disneyland, oh let’s take the kids here. When we’re not shooting, we’re playing around with them and eating donuts and jelly beans or whatever the heck we’re doing. So, it’s great to see the guys, it’s like it’s actually very refreshing.
Q. With you as a mother, how is it for you to balance the life and work and the kids?
Christina: It takes a village. It really does take that. My mom and my sisters are very helpful as well as I do have a nanny. Having them around to be able to do full time filming plus promotion and music all that stuff could be quite difficult. But somehow I balance it. I’ve got two phones, so I’m on two phones all the time, I handle a lot of business on my phones and I started to like really just started to invest my money back into people that can help me when I can’t do everything. Or to help me get those things done, like those things established, instead of trying to handle it all, like I’m like- I’d rather do it that way, invest right back into myself and my time so I can have my time as a mom. I do bring Violet to work, like every now and then sporadically if she’s not in school, I’ll have her come by the studio whichever it is. She’s five now – just started kindergarten!
Josh: It’s cool to watch her and all the different things that she’s doing and like I’ll say, that’s a cute shirt you’re wearing, Christina, and she’ll be like, it’s from my clothing line and then I say well my shirt is from The Gap.
Christina: I’m a big dreamer and when I have an idea, if I really like have thought it through. I think also when I became a mom that’s when I realized lists are important, writing things down. My life is a different way and I’m able to get those things done whether I’m writing it down or it’s in my head, because that’s what it becomes, when you have a kid, it’s a balancing act, you’ve got to remember everything especially for them!
Q. What are your favorite aspects to each of your characters?
Josh: I really respect that Gerald is so comfortable with who he is and the fact that he doesn’t make any apologies for being a little what we can consider odd or eccentric at times. He’s like ultra smart and he’s totally secure in who he is. He’s like a really bigger picture guy and he’s not really about the small talk or impressing people. He’s like, I’m a good person and that’s all that matters. So I’d love to have a little bit more of Gerald’s sort of confidence and his fashion sense. Sometimes the shoes he wears are rough, like I call them birth control.
Christina: They’re so rough like old boat shoes or something like that! What I love about Vanessa– well there are so many things. She’s feisty, she’s quirky, I think she’s like super quirky. There are things about her that just like she’s a free spirit and she says what she wants. She says what she feels but there’s no ego or anything about it. She’s not looking to fit in and she says what she wants to say — whatever is on her mind. You’ll get to see this as it progresses I just really love that her personality is just kind of like a little bit out there. She’s just a little bit out there, you’ll see a little bit! The quirkiness, you know, at first- I usually do rules with her like, okay we’re going to do this to your hair, or this makeup- blah-blah-blah and I’m like no this is a real girl, you know, she’s a real girl, so her hair a little messy, it’s not all giant lashes and all this stuff and that’s what I love so like there are- I’m a real girl in real life and I want, you know, there’s a girl that’s watching this show that relates to it and she’s like oh my gosh that’s so me.
Q. Does Vanessa have a clue that Gerald is into her?
Christina: I think she does.
Josh: We just had an episode where…..
Christina: She just knows he’s there. Yeah, last one it was friends with benefits, but I think it was really because it’s like I’m always going to be there, you know, he ain’t going nowhere. I can bring him around Edie and I don’t have to worry about him, and I can still live my life. I think their friendship gives her comfort, it doesn’t make her have to feel like she has to do anything else.
Q. What was it like when you both found out you’d be working with John Stamos?
Christina: That was cool, I was excited, I was a big fan and I had a huge crush on him — I even had a couple dreams about him.I was like this is going to be really awesome, this is cool and like when I found out I was going to work with him, I was excited! I was like that’s classic great TV!!
Josh: Like eleven years ago, I was eating dinner with a guy that had worked on Drake and Josh and had worked with John. Then, John walks into this restaurant and so I met him and so eleven years later, I’m working with him! I only told him this a month ago, I’m like you know we met eleven years ago right, and he goes, really? Was I nice? I was like, you were lovely, it was just as dreamy and charming as you are now. You just can’t find anyone who’ll say a bad word about the guy and as soon as I said I was a part of the new show, they were like, oh, John Stamos is the best and he’s totally proven to be that every time.
Q. Did you carry any of your characters over from Drake and Josh into this character?
Josh: Yes, it bring my weirdness to characters I play and my everyday life. I think this is in a weird way sort of a grownup version of my character on Drake & Josh and John and I had spoken about this too. Whereas him leaving for House and me leaving Drake & Josh it was like we were both eager to do something else and maybe play like counter versions of the characters we were sort of known for. What I think is great with this show is it’s sort of a re-introduction of us doing what we’re good at, you know, being funny and- and sweet and charming but just in a new sort of higher concept way. I’m having a good time, are you able to see that?
Q. So what’s been your favorite episode to shoot so far?
Christina: Thanksgiving was fun! The one that’s airing tonight for me was a lot of fun, because that’s the quirky set I’m talking about, where tonight she’s making this pitch to Jimmy about all these different businesses! She’s selling energy trades, like she’s got dreams and she’s there to make a pitch, and it’s funny because I have these great scenes with Annalise where I think that, I’m mentoring her and it turns out she’s supposed to be mentoring me. So, it’s like this confusion and this attitude that we have between each other! To me that was the funnest, because that was the first time I really like got to really break out with that character and just be goofy and funny and just have fun with it.
Josh: Yeah, and what’s been great is watching sort of Christina’s character come into her own and find like this great sensibility about her, because Christina is sort of like this strong entrepreneurial woman and so now we’re seeing Vanessa sort of become that a little bit.
Christina: Yeah it’s true, they have been adding elements I think of all of our lives into things, which is really cool, yeah.
Ravi Patel + Kelly Jenrette
These two were so fun and you can tell that Ravi and Kelly both really enjoyed speaking with us. When they came over, it was just Kelly as Ravi went to get us some snacks. He came back with some granola bars from his company “This Bar Saves Lives” and then apologized for us having to talk to Kelly so long alone (it wasn’t bad). He sat them on the table, we took some pictures and then learned a little about it.
Ravi: For every bar that is sold, we donate a lifesaving meal packet to a child in need. We also have a kid’s line we just launched, a nut-free kids line at Target exclusively.
Q. How did you get involved with this project?
Kelly: I thought that I would be working more with John. They said they wanted to test me and when I found out that it’s gonna be a chemistry read, I said I’m gonna say to John, from the moment I watched Full House, I knew that he and I would work together, and even though that was only four months ago, it still doesn’t make this any less special. Yeah.
When I got to the test, I was sitting in the lobby and I was really nervous so I told myself I wasn’t going to say that! Then, I convinced myself to do it. I go in. John pops up, and I’m, like, John! And Chris Kotch, the director was, like, well, you passed the facial recognition test. I said, John, from the moment I watched Full House, and then he interrupted He was, like, you knew we were gonna work together? I said, yeah! And even though that was… He was, like, four years ago? It’s like, four months ago. It still doesn’t make this any less awesome. He hugged me. He was, like let’s hire her. I said let’s do it! So we did the audition together. We did it three times. The third one was the charm. then I got a call a couple days later that I booked it.
Ravi: I was actually auditioning for a different pilot. They were casting this role that they wanted someone who was, like, 50 or 55 years old who would play John’s buddy, I guess they hadn’t found that person. Susan’s like, oh! I want you to play this part, we’re looking for someone who’s funny. Like, do you mind coming in for this? You’re not right for it, but if you do well maybe they’ll rewrite it for you. And then that’s actually what happened. This was days before I proposed, I had just bought my engagement ring to my fiancé, and they were the first group of people I had seen. So immediately I just started talking about it. I was, like so I just bought this engagement ring. Do you guys want to see it?
Ravi and Kelly were talking about how they keep each other focused….
Ravi: Yesterday we were shooting and we were doing a scene where we’re just at the end of it. So we hid around that corner right there (he pointed at the corner). This scene was all happening out here. So we’re mostly just hanging out back there the whole time and it was constantly pranks and all. Kelly has to walk in and out. I’m trying to get in her way. We love to mess each other up!
Kelly: No, I never do that stuff to you!
Ravi: Oh come on! The one time where I had to go, I had walked away and she’s like Come here, right now! Don’t go! Don’t walk away! No more. I missed my cue!
Q. How do you get anything done on the set? It seems like constant jokes or comedy.
Kelly: We do of course get what we need to done. We do get focused at times but it is such great energy on the set. We really do like each other.
Ravi: I think it helps the scenes quite a bit, actually. It’s gotten much looser, in a good way, creatively. It’s very warm like we’re all pretty close, even with the crew. Everyone’s really just genuinely good people. We’re joking around between takes and that seems to help. It goes into the scenes. When we first started, it felt like it was a little more rigid in a sense.
Q. What’s been your favorite episode so far?
Kelly: Tonight’s episode when we learn that my character wanted to be a soul singer. She says that she grew up and got a real job and she sings in tonight’s episode. It is not good singing. At all. Uh, but I do sing. And so it was challenging to sing…. bad, as badly as I was supposed to be. I do not disappoint. At being bad. I remember, like, rehearsing over the weekend, and my fiancé was, like, hey, that doesn’t sound bad. He said it didn’t sound bad. I said, yes it does! Like, it’s horrible! So you’ll hear it tonight. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
Ravi: I think the writing is so good and I’m seeing more as we settle into our characters! It’s taken me a while to kinda settle in to understand my guy, and just, like, really consistency in how I perform within my character. I see the tone of the show as settling in more as I see more episodes. There’s just the chemistry just seems to be improving. I hope we’re around for a second season, ‘cause I feel like every episode is so much better.
After we finished the interviews, we took a group picture with the cast (seen at the top of the post). I was able to snag a seat right by Kelly Jenrette and John Stamos — pretty awesome!
Then, we were given the opportunity to tour the set of Grandfathered – what an experience. As I watch the show now, I love saying “I’ve stood there” or I’ve been in that kitchen” — it is so cool! Here are some pictures of the set:
Catch a NEW episode of Grandfathered, on FOX tonight at 8:30/7:30c.
JIMMY IS TRICKED INTO GOING TO THE DOCTOR ON AN ALL-NEW “GRANDFATHERED”
TUESDAY, January 5, ON FOX…
Guest Starring Dr. Phil McGraw (“The Dr. Phil Show”)
After hearing that Jimmy hasn’t been to the doctor in over ten years, Sara and Gerald trick him into seeing their family doctor (Dr. Phil McGraw) for a routine physical, which results in an unsettling discovery. Meanwhile, Gerald and Vanessa stress over Edie’s upcoming surgery and Annelise and Ravi stumble upon Jimmy’s secret safe in the all-new “Perfect Physical Specimen” episode of GRANDFATHERED airing Tuesday, January 5 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (GF-111) (TV-14 D, L)
Cast: John Stamos as Jimmy Martino, Paget Brewster as Sara, Josh Peck as Gerald, Christina Milian as Vanessa, Kelly Jenrette as Annelise, and Ravi Patel as Ravi.
Guest cast: Emelia and Layla Golfieri as Edie, Brandon Sornberger as CJ, Dr. Phil McGraw as Dr. Melvoy, Abby Walker as Cindy, AJ Rivera as Victor, and Laura Krafft as Keener #1.
For more fun with Grandfathered:
Check out more of the fun we had on the #GoodDinoEvent press trip:
Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
LIVE Semi-Finals of Dancing with the Stars
The Good Dinosaur with Director Peter Sohn
The Good Dinosaur Red Carpet Movie Premiere
The Good Dinosaur Toys & Disney Infinity 3.0
The Good Dinosaur: A Heartwarming Story
A Walk with Tracee Ellis Ross from ABC’s blackish
Behind the Scenes on the Set of The Muppets
The Story of the Good Dinosaur short Sanjay’s Super Team
Interview with the voices of Arlo, Buck & Spot