While in Los Angeles for The Good Dinosaur premiere event, I had the opportunity to visit the set of FOX’s television show Grandfathered and interview stars from the show, including John Stamos. It was an amazing experience to sit down with this TV legend and see just how down-to-earth and humble he is. Read on the hear more & learn behind the scenes scoop from Grandfathered.
Growing up, I was a Full House junkie. And who was my favorite? Uncle Jessie – that’s right, Mr. John Stamos himself. He was just such the “cool uncle” – always funny, laid-back and well, cool. Not to mention, a pretty handsome guy. Well fast-forward a few years and this “cool uncle” is back on television in a role perfectly suited for him – as a successful bachelor-turned-grandpa on FOX’s Grandfathered.
If you haven’t caught this freshman show yet, I totally recommend you catch up (all episodes are available on HULU right now.). It’s a light and funny TV show and my teenage daughter and I have enjoyed it from the beginning. As a Drake & Josh fan, she was immediately drawn to it as it co-stars Josh Peck as Stamos’s son. Me? It was all Uncle Jesse.
To catch you up on this great show – Jimmy (John Stamos) is a successful & well-known restauranteur in Los Angeles and discovers that he not only has a grown son he has never met, Gerald (Josh Peck), but an adorable granddaughter. Gerald’s mom, Sara (Padget Brewster) is Jimmy’s one and only love – the one that got away. Vanessa (Christina Milian) is Gerald’s baby momma. Ravi (Ravi Patel) and Annelise (Kelly Jenrette) are Jimmy’s chef and assistant and they round out the fun humor on the show. What starts as a comedy ends up tugging at your heartstrings as this unconventional family comes together in each episode in a enduring way. And that’s what keeps me coming back each week.
John Stamos & Paget Brewster on Grandfathered
A few days before heading out to LA for the Good Dinosaur Premiere, we discovered we would be interviewing the cast of Grandfathered. Needless to say, we were thrilled at the opportunity. But honestly, I was curious to meet John Stamos the most – what was he really like in person?
I bet you wouldn’t think he was humble. Or down-to-earth. Or even easy to talk to, would you? He was all these and more.
When we walked onto the set of Jimmy’s restaurant, he greeted us with a big smile, hopped behind the “bar” and started juggling bottles like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. All joking aside, he chatted with us while the rest of the cast was finishing lunch. He was most curious to find out what we did – what exactly does a blogger do and how did we find our way to his show? I loved it – we were there to meet him and he wanted to know more about us!
We broke off into groups with each of the cast members, and lucky for me, our group hosted Stamos & Paget Brewster first.
Stamos is also the executive producer of the show & became involved in Grandfathered when he was looking for something that was right in his wheelhouse. He enjoys family comedy and he & creator Danny Chun got the idea of him being a playboy guy and finding out that he had a son. And then they added a granddaughter and thought that would be funny. Funny how simple it all worked out, isn’t it?
Stamos also touched on the fact that it’s a show that focuses on an unconventional family:
The baby on the show, Edie, is played by twin girls and when both Stamos & Brewster spoke of them, their eyes lite up as if they were their own. Stamos and co-star Josh Peck took the girls in the fall to Disneyland for the day. In fact, Stamos whipped out his phone to show us a few of the “8000 pictures” he had taken of that day.
Stamos also spoke highly of Brewster and admired how professional she is, “She never bungles anything.” he said.
I always love a fun guest star on Grandfathered – and they have hosted many so far, including former Full House guest stars, Bob Saget & Dave Collier. It so happens that Saget was just visiting the day they shot the pilot episode and decided to add him in at the last minute. But writers noticed the chemistry and wrote an entire episode with Saget set to air this month. Brewster called Stamos & Saget “a nightmare”, “Like your husband, your brother are crackin’ jokes and giving each other wedgies and it’s absurd, it’s hilarious.” I can’t wait to see it!
Our time with Stamos went by quickly, and we moved on to visit with the other co-stars. But I have to mention that a few days later, he surprised all us writers with a lovely email – confirmed by his publicist to be from him – thanking us for taking the time to meet with him! As if!
Josh Peck & Christina Milan on Grandfathered
Josh Peck & Christina Milan play Gerald & Vanessa – best friends who have a baby together – and they are absolutely adorable together. Both completely own their roles – Milan describes her’s as a “hip hot mess” and Peck was asked to audition for a “dorky character.”
Both Peck & Milan said that Stamos put them at ease immediately and the chemistry among the cast has been growing ever since. They even joked about being in a 3-week ongoing group text message!
Peck spoke of the mixed generation of viewers watching the show, as I can attest to as my daughter & I love it for different reasons! “I think that’s what’s so smart about the casting of the show. It’s a thing that I’m proud of, that it can appeal to families. They can sit down and enjoy it together and that’s what we were shooting for. John’s always been emphatic about, we’ll always have the comedy, but what will set us apart is the heart.” says Peck.
Ravi Patel & Kelly Jenrette on Grandfathered
Both Ravi Patel (Ravi) and Kelly Jenrette (Annelise) bring the sarcastic humor to Grandfathered. I expected witty personalities when we met, but not the compassionate story that Ravi told about a passion project he is a part of.
This Bar Saves Lives was started by Patel, Todd Brunell and Ryan Devlin when they found a way to help alleviate severe kid malnutrition, which is that final stage of hunger that affects nearly 20 million kids every year under the age of six. Devlin & Brunell discovered Plumpy’ Nut, a peanut buttery paste that’s packed with nutrients and vitamins and is prescribed to kids when they’re days away from dying of hunger. And they take just this packet for 8 to 10 weeks and they’re healthy, but they’re very expensive. They guys created way to pay for these packets by selling a nutritional granola bar that “purchases” a Plumpy’ Nut packet each time a bar is sold. The program launched about three years ago and they have donated over 600,000 meal packets to date. WOW!
And in Patel’s free time he acts on Grandfathered. And yes, he’s just as charming & funny as the character he plays. As he plays a chef on the show, he showed us his “3 signature chef moves” and has us in stitches – the 1) Stirring something in a pot 2) towel on his shoulder drying his hands and 3) garnishing a dish with “something”. And that’s what he will do, for an entire scene! Works for him!!
This is Jenrette’s first big job on television but she had plenty of gusto when meeting Stamos for the first time, planning a smart-aleck joke to tell him.
These guys kept us laughing thru the whole interview! What a delight!
Watch Grandfathered on Tuesday nights on FOX 8:30/7:30 CST!
For more fun with Grandfathered:
Check out more of the fun we had on the #GoodDinoEvent press trip:
Making of Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
LIVE Taping of Dancing with the Stars
Creation of The Good Dinosaur with Director Peter Sohn
The Good Dinosaur Red Carpet Movie Premiere
The Good Dinosaur Toys & Disney Infinity 3.0
4 Things You Will Learn from Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur
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
Disclaimer: Disney sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of our time on the set of Grandfathered. All opinions are my own.