WE LOVE THE '90s
D.J. Tanner Takes Us Into ‘Fuller House’: Candace Cameron Bure on Netflix’s ‘Full House’ Spinoff
The actress and author dishes on the Full House spinoff series, the Olsen twins’ involvement, and more.
Candace Cameron Bure has a lot going on these days.The 39-year-old actress—and mother of three—has two films on the Hallmark Channel, A Bone to Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, and the upcoming romantic comedy Just the Way You Are; a third book on the way, Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction, about the life lessons she learned during her stint on Dancing with the Stars; and she is motoring through New York to promote a partnership with Ziploc’s Easy Open Tab that aims to celebrate all the “tough mothers” out there.
Oh, and there’s Fuller House, Netflix’s recently announced spinoff of the celebrated ABC television series, Full House. When John Stamos (aka Uncle Jesse) made the announcement on Jimmy Kimmel Live a few weeks back, the Internet lost its collective marbles. Bure says talks for the spinoff show began “a little over a year ago.”
“It took a long time for all the puzzle pieces to fit together and work out, because it had to be right for everyone—not just for the actors and the producers, but also with the network and the ownership of the original show,” she says. “We start shooting this summer. It’ll be out in 2016 on Netflix and I’m hearing January, so hopefully people won’t have to wait too long! Very early next year.”
Bure will reprise her role as D.J. Fuller (nee Tanner), who’s now a veterinarian and, similar to Danny Tanner’s predicament in the original series, the recently widowed mother of three children (well, the third is on the way). She’ll be joined by her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), who’s struggling to become a musician like her Uncle Jesse, and best pal Kimmy (Andrea Barber), the mother of a free-spirited teenage girl.
“The reason the show is called Fuller House is because D.J.’s married name is ‘Fuller.’ She married Tommy Fuller, and he’s the one that passed away, so she’s left to raise three boys,” says Bure. “She’s a little overwhelmed and newly pregnant when we first see her, so knowing she has a baby on the way and these two boys, she asks her sister and best friend to come move in and help her raise her kids.” When people heard the news that D.J. was a widow, they were worried that her love interest in the original series, Steve (Scott Weinger), had passed. But have no fear, Full House geeks: Steve is very much alive, and might pop in for a visit. “Everyone is so worried about that! So they can be reassured that Steve did not die—which is fun because that opens the door. Who knows if Scott Weinger and that character will make a return at some point,” she hints.
Fuller House will, according to Bure, still be set in San Francisco just like the original and shot on a sound stage in L.A. She says she’s not sure if the series will still use its memorable “Everywhere You Look” theme song. “I would assume they’re going to do a new theme song for the show,” she says with a chuckle.
The 13-episode Netflix series will kick off with a special Tanner Family Reunion episode, and Bure can confirm that in addition to D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy, they’ll be joined by Uncle Jesse (John Stamos), Rebecca (Lori Loughlin), and Joey (Dave Coulier). However, Danny (Bob Saget) and Michelle (played by both Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) remain unconfirmed.
“They’re still talking to everyone but I’m pretty sure that everyone will come back in some way,” Bure says. “The whole cast has been very supportive and wants to come back in some way or another. Whether it’s in the first episode, making an appearance in an additional episode, or just being on set, everyone’s excited.”
“We’re all a really close bunch,” she continues. “I’m really close with Andrea Barber, Lori Loughlin, Bob Saget, and John Stamos. I see Jodie not as often, but occasionally at parties, and every now and again I’ll see Mary-Kate or Ashley. We’re really a tight group.”
Even the Olsen twins, who were the only no-shows at Full House’s special 25th anniversary event?
“I haven’t talked to them about it, but I know the network’s talking with them. They’re talking! So that’s a good sign,” Bure says.
Bure followed in the footsteps of her brother, Kirk Cameron, entering showbiz at a young age with guest roles on big bro’s sitcom Growing Pains, as well as Who’s the Boss? and Punky Brewster. She also appeared as Eric Stoltz’s youngest sister in the 1987 John Hughes cult classic Some Kind of Wonderful. “I feel pretty special to have been a part of that movie and John Hughes’ legacy,” she says.
That same year, she began her tenure as Donna Jo “D.J.” Tanner on Full House. Its premise was a grim one—Danny Tanner’s (Saget) wife is killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Overwhelmed, he turns to his brother-in-law/rocker Jesse (Stamos) and eccentric best friend Joey (Coulier) to help raise his three daughters.
“Looking back, it was one of the first unconventional families that you saw on TV,” Bure says. “Maybe it gave a little comfort to other unconventional families that didn’t have a mom or have a dad, and showed them that they weren’t the only ones.”
The hit show spanned 192 episodes, ending in 1995. Unlike some of her other castmates, who struggled to shed their Full House personas, Bure had her new role all planned out.
“I was sad the show was ending, but I already had my next step in front of me, and that was getting married,” she says. “I had met my husband the last year we’d done the show and we’d gotten engaged that summer, so I was looking forward to a wedding. I went on to work a little bit, but once I had kids I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so it was an easy transition for me.”
Bure says she took “about 10 years off,” but once her husband, professional hockey player Valeri Bure, chose to retire, she decided to reenter the fray. “We always wanted to have at least one person at home with the kids if the other was traveling. So seven or eight years ago, I started working full-time again,” she says.
There does seem to be a ton of nostalgia for ’90s pop culture, with shows like The X-Files, Twin Peaks, and The Powerpuff Girls returning. Hell, even Coach is being revived.
“There’s a lot that’s come back—not only with some of these shows that are coming back, but also fashion,” Bure says. “You see the ’90s influence everywhere. Maybe it’s ’cause that generation is now adults, and I think every generation at some point loves reliving their childhood.”