Jodie Sweetin remembers Bob Saget and the closeness of the 'Full House' cast: 'We just genuinely love each other'
As Jodie Sweetin remembers it, the adults on the set of Full House, especially the late Bob Saget, weren't like the adults on most sets. They didn't separate themselves from the kids.
"We were the kids that they joked around with in between takes and, you know, I would spend time with Bob's family on weekends," Sweetin told Olivia Jade Giannulli, the daughter of cast member Lori Loughlin, on Sunday's episode of the Conversations With Olivia Jade podcast. "And somebody would change the twins' diapers, like my mom or a teacher. It was just a family unit, and I'm so incredibly grateful for it, because I just gained this huge family of people that I know love me no matter what. Whatever happens, our differences or whatever, we just genuinely love each other. And no matter what happens, we'll always show up for each other."
The sitcom about a father, Saget's Danny Tanner, raising three daughters (played by Sweetin, Candace Cameron Bure and twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) with a friend (Dave Coulier) and his late wife's brother (John Stamos) and his partner (Loughlin) was of course such a hit that it came back to TV in 2016 in a sequel series, Fuller House.
By then, Sweetin and her co-stars knew just how to treat the kids on their set. Even more importantly, she knew some things about being a good parent, thanks to them and her own mom.
"I remember Bob just being really inclusive of his kids," Sweetin, the mother of daughters Zoie, 14, and 11-year-old Beatrix, said of Saget's three, now adult daughters. "And he didn't talk to them like they were idiots. And he did the same with me. Like, he treated me with respect as a young person and so did John and Dave. I understood that when I had kids, you can joke with them, you can have real conversations."
After Saget's death on Jan. 9, tributes poured out from the entire comedy world and, of course, the cast of the family sitcom. Sweetin said on Good Morning America the following month that the cast continues to keep in regular contact through a group text. She lamented that the group chat was already "missing a lot" without Saget's humor.
"It happened so suddenly," Sweetin said. "And to lose someone who was such a wonderful, big, shining personality like that — in all of our lives — it's been a lot."
Host Giannulli said it's obvious how close the group continues to be. Though the host didn't mention it, the cast came together, too, when Giannulli's mom went to prison for her role in the college admissions scandal, which included paying $500,000 to have her and her sister, Isabella Giannulli, admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither participated in the sport.
"Even being at Bob's memorial recently," she said. "It’s like, the love that fills the room when it’s all of you guys together is so genuine."
Sweetin also spoke about what it's like for people to see her as her character, Stephanie Tanner, after all these years. After all, she began playing the part when she was 5. Now she's 40.
"It's a blessing and a curse, and, I think, in a way, I've grown through it and grown to accept it. I think, at some point, when I was young, there was some resentment about it… and absolutely wanting to shed that image," Sweetin said. "And I think sometimes I did some really self-destructive things to do that."
The actress has been open about her experiences with addiction to drugs and alcohol after the original show ended. On the podcast, she said that she's 14 years sober.
She's since had a change of heart, realizing that some people have watched that character their entire lives. She was "incredibly moved" recently when a women stopped her on the street to tell her that she grew up watching Full House with her mother and grandmother.
"And it means something incredibly important. And I've now come to this place where I really appreciate that," Sweetin noted. "I'm glad that I get to bring that to somebody.
"Now, do I wish that I had other opportunities or that people take me as seriously doing something else? Absolutely. I know I can do a lot more. But sometimes I just have to make the choice… what do you want to do? Do you wanna fight and only wanna try and do what you wanna do? Or do you want to just lean in to the fact that you make people happy being this person?"