Hollywood Darlings turns the camera on real-life friends who are bonded by a sisterhood that only they can share as former child stars who grew up in the 90’s limelight – Jodie Sweetin, Christine Lakin and Beverley Mitchell. In this improvised comedy, the three actresses play exaggerated versions of themselves in their current Hollywood lives. With the support of one another, this girl squad can take on anything when it comes to parenting, marriage, friendship and revived careers in Hollywood. Their social circles include other celebrities, who will make special appearances throughout the series.
Hollywood Darlings will feature cameos from Soleil Moon Frye (“Punky Brewster”), Andrew Keegan (“10 Things I Hate About You”), Tamera Mowry (“Sister, Sister”), Lance Bass(NSYNC), Andrea Barber (“Full House”), Nicholle Tom (“The Nanny”), Heather Tom (“Y&R”),Patrick Duffy (“Dallas,” “Step By Step”), Staci Keanan (“Step By Step”) and Wanya Morris(Boyz II Men).
The series is produced by Main Event Media and All3Media America. It was created by Jimmy Fox, who serves as Executive Producer along with Layla Smith and Greg Lipstone.
Q1: What did you bring to the show about yourselves, and what did you exaggerate to make the show more funny?I watched the first few episodes of Hollywood Darlings and instantly became a fan of the show. It is absolutely hilarious! Looking for a good show to follow on Wednesday night? This is IT. Sit back, relax and have a good laugh watching the show starting April 12, 8pm ET/PT!
Jodie: Well, because we play heightened versions of ourselves, we all have these little kernels and pieces that we play. My character is definitely more cynical and dark than I am in real life. I have a pretty positive outlook on things and motherhood, but we really wanted to play it sort of the contrast between myself and Beverly and Christine. So that’s definitely an exaggerated piece of who I am. I am quick to poke fun at my friends with the utmost love and make fun of myself and that’s something that’s pretty true to who I actually am.
Christine: I’m kind of the ‘hippie dippy’ one of the group, I’m sort of a free spirit. I definitely have those qualities in real life but we exaggerated them for the show, for the purposes of comedy, of course. So I’m kind of the lovable fool that will go out on a limb and make these two crazy in their own respective ways.
Beverly: And I was the Type ‘A’, the ever-organized, the label-queen and the girl who is prepared for any apocalypse or any ailment that may come your way. I think we played that up a little bit further. I would like to think that I am not as uptight and tightly wound as I play on the show. I do know how to relax and take a break. However I just got my first manicure and pedicure in four years and that is because I didn’t want Jodie to see my toes.
Jodie: Yeah I didn’t let her live that one down.
Beverly: I’m still paying for that.
Q2. This was an unscripted, not a reality show. What can you tell us about that and what can the viewers expect?
Christine: Yeah, this is what we call an improvised comedy and you know, it’s a little tough to explain because there haven’t been many of them done. This show came about when Jodie, myself and Beverly were all approached by our executive producer Jimmy Fox, who wanted to put together sort of like a 90’s dream team of women he grew up with on TV, who felt like he maybe had a crush on, or who felt like, kind of like you. We were like friends to people as we grew up. He approached the three of us, and we said, “Well you know we’re actually friends in real life,” and that blew his mind, the fact that we knew each other.
So we started talking and none of us was interested in reality but we thought, what if we did a show where we heightened our personality traits and we took kernels of our real life and we expanded those into episode ideas and story-line ideas. And that’s kinda how this show was born. There’s an episode for instance, about a mini-van and it’s all sort of inspired by Jodie actually getting a mini-van in real-life. She’s really resistant to it in the show but in real life, we used hers.
Beverly: All of the scenes and everything you see, we had story-lines laid out, we prepped with our show-runners before-hand, like three or four weeks beforehand. We really answered these six-page questionnaires about who we were, what we liked, what we didn’t like, what we knew about each other and what we didn’t know about each other. We took all those little pieces of information and created some very rough story-lines and then within those stories, we knew kind of where we wanted to go from point A to point B. But how we got there, the lines, the dialogue, the interactions between all of us, was completely unscripted and totally on the fly. So everything you see in the show is us just playing and having fun with a very rough outline of what we wanted to do.
Q3: It is hard to do work/life balance sometimes. How do you manage time, having children, making sure you’re on the set, having fun still in your 30’s and things like that?
Beverly: We’re still trying to figure it out, no doubt. I think the idea of perfect balance with your work and your life and your motherhood and all of that...there is no perfect balance. You always feel like you’re really focused on your career for one moment. You’re having to ask for a lot of help, either from your parents or nannies to help with your kids. Or you needed to step away from work and you’re focusing more on your family and your kids. There’s always something that you feel like you could be doing more. And I think that’s the pressure a lot of women put on themselves, which isn’t really fair.
For me, it’s just kind of about, staying present in whatever it is that I’m doing and not feeling guilt. There are times when I have to be at work and have to ask the support of family and friends to step in and help with kids or vice-versa. I think it’s really important to use that village. I don’t think that balance actually exists in parenthood. To be honest, it’s like we’re all trying to do the best that we can and as long as we are surrounding our children with love and doing the best we can, wherever we are in the moment. I think that’s all we can ever hope for. And being good humans at the same time.
Jodie: I’m a mom of two little girls that are nine and six and a half. I want them to see that it is possible to be a working mom. And that it’s okay to go after your own dreams and your own goals and that’s important. I bring my kids to set and try to incorporate all of the things in my life as much as I can.
Christine: I feel like we live in an age of constant comparison, and I don’t know if it’s social media or- or what not. I feel like we sometimes get down on ourselves for not doing enough when we need to just congratulate ourselves on the things we have done. So you get into a mode where you’re just a workaholic, ‘cause you’re like, “I’ve gotta get this done. I’ve gotta do it perfectly” and you know, the fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, if you’re not enjoying your life, if you don’t have any kind of give and take, what is it all for? That’s how I really try to find the balance and put emphasis on the word ‘try.’ I don’t always do it perfectly and I definitely can feel very stressed out. I’m trying to do better at self-caring and finding enough time for myself.
Q4: What do you like about being in an improvised comedy as opposed to scripted?
Beverly: You get to play. I mean, you get to try things out, you get to try out jokes, you get to try out all different sorts of scenarios each time you do a take of a scene. So it’s kind of like you both write and act in your own little play while you’re doing it and I think that’s really fun. As an actor, you always have those moments when you kind of think of things that you would want to say, or how you’d want to do a scene or something like that. And this was the opportunity to really get to do that. And I think also for us, from family-wonderful television, to get the chance to stretch ourselves a little bit and then jump a little more into the adult realm of comedy and humor. It was a really fun opportunity for us to hopefully have people see us in a different light.
Christine: Plus I have baby-brain, I have a one year old, and when we were filming this she was six months. So not having to memorize anything was really good for me at the time.
Beverly: I have a two year old and a four year old and I am still claiming ‘mommy-brain’. And yes, it was really good to be able to just remember the broad idea of what each scene was. Being able to just go in the flow and create that magic was actually really fun. And obviously, being with Jodie and Christine affords you this. They brought my game up, and to really go there, take it up a notch was a lot of fun.
Christine: Not having a script makes a huge difference! That’s something that’s new for all of us. Doing an entire show where you just have the freedom to kind of say and do whatever you want was really fun. They were like, “You can say anything you want, we’ll bleep it out.” I was like, “Fantastic this is right in my wheelhouse.”
But it’s a lot harder than I think any of us realized. Before we started the show I was like, “This is gonna be a piece of cake. We’re gonna be hanging out 5 hours a day, we’ll get through that entire episode and we’ll go home.” And it’s actually to be funny and to be on and to think about, “Okay, I need to be funny but I also gotta get this information out, and I’ve gotta’ somehow wrap up the scene in a good amount of time.” It’s actually like doing crossword puzzles in your head all day.
So we would find ourselves mentally exhausted by the end. So it was definitely a learning curve. I can’t tell you how many times the producer would come over and be like, “Okay so you guys are good? You know what the scene’s about? Great.” And walk away, and the two of them would turn to me and go, “What are we doing?”
Jodie: Christine luckily sort of steered the ship a lot of the time. we had a couple moments when we were like, “Is this gonna’ cut together? God I hope this is funny ‘cause we’re having way too much fun doing it.”
Beverly: It’s like you almost forget when you’re in a scene, that the cameras are rolling and that we are actually shooting a TV show. ‘Cause we would get so into things and have so much fun that you literally forgot that we were working.
Jodie: Yeah. It’s a good problem to have.
Beverly: It’s a great problem!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.