She played the lovable next door neighbor with a natural ability to make people laugh turned a member of the She-Wolf Pack from Fuller House. Andrea Barber has entertained audiences on the beloved sitcom Full House and picked right up where she left off on Netflix’s spin off of Fuller House. For so many viewers, Andrea conjures a nostalgia that is next to none.
Who is this talented woman behind the role of “Kimmy Gibbler” ? We exclusively sat down with Andrea to catch up, learn about the very exciting return of Fuller House to Netflix for their final season, what she thinks of her castmates, how her love of the New Kids on the Block came to be, and so much more. Check it all out below.
This or That
Texting or Talking – Texting 100%
Breakfast or Dinner – Dinner, I’m not really a breakfast person
Chocolate ice cream or Vanilla ice cream – Definitely Chocolate
Pool or Beach – I’d say pool. I like going to the beach but don’t like bringing the beach home!
Camping or Hotel – Hotel
Android or iPhone – iPhone
City Life or Suburb Life – Suburb Life
Type of music – Anything pop or 80’s and 90’s
Vacation spot – It’s not a relaxing spot, but I love traveling to NYC.
Throwback TV Show – Felicity. I’m watching it right now during the quarantine. I’m finding comfort in watching shows that I’ve already seen. It’s my all time favorite show and is partially why my daughter’s name is Felicity.
Current TV Show – I want to watch Normal People.
Snack from Costco – I used to love going to Costco. Now it’s very stressful (due to COVID). I know this is not just a Costco snack but you can get in bulk. It’s the Nutella to Go with breadsticks. I could eat those every day all day. It’s the perfect little snack. You don’t feel bad. It’s a tiny little package and could easily eat three of them.
First word that comes to mind for your castmates and more:
Candace Cameron Bure – Faithful
Jodie Sweetin – Fun
John Stamos – Handsome
Dave Coulier – Funny
Bob Saget – Funnier
Michael Campion – Sweet
Elias Hager – Energetic
Juan Pablo – Diva
Soni Nicole – Smart
Donnie Wahlberg – Loyal
Joey McIntyre – Dreamboat
Q&A with Fuller House’s Andrea Barber
Let’s go back to Full House days. Do you remember your audition and how that role came to be?
I don’t actually remember the specific audition but I remember that time in my life. I was 10 years old and was going out on a lot of auditions at the time. My mom probably remembers the Full House audition in specific. I remember that I auditioned for the role of DJ [Tanner] and obviously didn’t get it. The producers asked me to come back and read for the role of Kimmy. I remember my first time on the set of Full House and being a little intimidated but everybody was super nice. Candace and I were both 10 years old and Jodie was only 5. I had no idea it would all turn into the biggest role of my life.
What type of acting experience did you have prior to Full House?
From 6 to 9, I played the first Carrie Brady on ‘Days of Our Lives.’ I also filmed a ton of commercials. Commercials were very important back then when I was growing up. I did commercials for Barbie, toys, McDonald’s, and a lot of food brands. I also did guest spots on all the great family sitcoms like Growing Pains and Our House.
Did you go to a regular school or were you tutored on set?
I did both actually. I was in school on my days off which were usually Mondays. We worked three weeks on, one week off. So during those hiatus weeks, I would go to a regular public school . Then when I was working, I had a tutor on the set. Once I got to high school, my parents advocated that they wanted me to go to my first period class every day on campus which would be either biology or Spanish and then go to the studio. The producers agreed to it. At 8 am I’d go to my first period class and then after I’d drive out to Burbank and do the rest of my schooling out there. I had a good mix of regular public school and having a tutor on set. It was the best of both worlds.
We were actually reviewing the New Kids on the Block concert last year at Mohegan Sun where you were! We know you’re a big fan of the group. When did you first discover New Kids on the Block?
Oh man, I was young! I was 12 or 13. I went to the “Hangin’ Tough” tour and the “Magic Summer Tour.” I had really bad seats, way up in the nosebleed section. My poor parents were my guardians so they had to go with me.
We know your ‘Fuller House‘ co-star Candace Cameron Bure is a fan of NKOTB as well. Did you get her interested in the band or vice versa?
There’s a bit of a discrepancy here. There was a time period where she was too cool for the New Kids on the Block believe it or not. She won’t admit this though. Actually, Candace’s sister, Bridgette was a Jon girl and I was a Joey girl, so she and I bonded and went to a concert together. Candace was into other music at the time. At some point, she came around and started liking the band. People don’t know this, so you are getting the exclusive on it. There was a time period where I was made fun of for listening to the NKOTB. It all started with me though. Now Candace is a huge fan of them of course. We go to all the concerts together and she screams for them. It took a little convincing though!
So many Blockheads have said they can’t speak when first meeting the NKOTB. Do you remember your first encounter with the guys?
Yes! I didn’t meet them when I was younger. Candace and her sisters did though at a BOP Magazine party. I was devastated that I wasn’t invited. I didn’t meet them until they came back on their reunion tour.
I distinctly remember meeting Joey McIntyre for the very first time. I have a picture of it. I was in a big group of girls with Candace and shoved my way in to be next to Joey for the picture. He just looked so tired because it was post-concert and I don’t think he was really into the conversation. That was the first time I met Joe and I believe I met Donnie (Wahlberg) that night too. It was a slow build to meet all 5 of them. Then it wasn’t until 2012 when they had their Mixtape Festival out in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Their manager asked if I’d do a commercial for the Mixtape Fest. I did that commercial and they invited me out to the event. That’s when I finally met all of them and started having real conversations with the guys.
Now I’m friends with Joe, Jon, and Danny for sure. They’re good guys, they have big hearts and love their fans. It was great having them on Fuller House a few seasons ago. That was just a dream come true for everybody involved. That was something that we wanted to happen for so long.
You and Candace [Cameron Bure] have been friends for over 30 years. What is the key to having a successful friendship? What was it like when you two first met, did you hit it off right away?
We’re closer now than we were as kids. We were friends but mostly just hung out on the Full House set. We didn’t hang out in our off work hours. We became closer when we became moms after ‘Full House‘ during that 20 year break. Then when ‘Fuller House’ coming back, we became super close because we saw each other every day. It’s wonderful having a friend that I’ve known as long as I’ve known Candace. I think the key to having a long-lasting friendship is just to accept each other as you are. I know what makes her tick, what makes her angry, when she needs space and the same with me. She knows what makes me nervous or anxious, when I need to be pushed, and we just accept those things about each other. We love each other for the history that we share. It’s wonderful having such a special friend like that.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Your thoughts don’t define you. Your thoughts are just things that pass through your head and you can acknowledge them but then let them pass because your thoughts are not reflective of who you are as a person.
Fuller House part two is announced to be out on June 2nd. Congratulations! It’s definitely what this world needs. Can you give us any sneak peeks as to what’s in store for Kimmy and Fernando?
In part 1, the three ladies (DJ, Kimmy and Stephanie) are engaged. Yes, Kimmy and Fernando are engaged again. We’re finally going through with this wedding. The last 9 episodes are about the funny and crazy events leading up to the triple wedding and the end of the series. Stephanie and Kimmy moved in to help DJ out because she was a single mom. Now that all 3 of us are getting married, what happens after the wedding? That’s the big question. Do we stay there or is this about saying goodbye to the last 5 years and transitioning to this new phase of life? It’s very emotional.
Will we get to see what happens?
You will definitely feel a resolution. I won’t tell you if it’s a happy or sad ending, but you’ll feel satisfied with the ending. It’s less about Kimmy and Fernando and more about the three ladies for sure. You will see the episode I wrote called “College Tours,” which is all about taking Jackson and Ramona on a college tour to visit California University. It’s a fun episode where we crash a sorority party. Jodie had her directorial debut on “The Nearlywed Game.” Candace directed a couple of them too. It was a great season as far as growth for us as actors and getting to go outside of our comfort zone. Those will be some special episodes to see and then the season 5 grand finale of course. I haven’t seen it but it’s going to be an emotional episode. I will for sure cry when I watch it.
Where do you get your amazing comedic timing? You’re just too funny!
You’re so sweet, thank you. I’m not sure! I must get it from my mom and my grandmother because they both have that dry sense of humor. I’ve never been a trained actor or taken classes. I never had formal training. Adam Hagenboo (Jimmy Gibbler on ‘Fuller House’) is a very formally trained actor who went to Juliard. He’s a super talented actor who studies his craft and still takes acting classes just to keep honing his craft. I just show up and read lines. I don’t know where I get it. I think it’s just innate. I feel the rhythm of the lines and jokes, and it just comes out.
We definitely see a similarity between you and Fran Drescher or Lucille Ball in your comedy.
Thank you! That’s such a huge compliment. I love both of those actors so much, especially Lucille Ball. She’s just the queen of comedic timing and is still an icon.
How different do you think your Full House experience would have been if social media existed when you were a teenager?
I can’t even imagine what it’s like being a teenager in this age of social media. I can handle the criticism and the trolls as an adult because I have perspective. I like social media now because we can interact with the fans directly and read their reactions. Back in the 90’s, we only had the Nielsen Ratings to tell us if our show was popular. We didn’t have fans leaving thousands of comments on our social media to tell us what they think of the episodes. In that sense, I like it because we can get right into the heart of the fans and see what they’re thinking and can respond to them too. As a teenager, I believe I would have found it very overwhelming.
The teenagers on the show now, Soni Nicole and Michael have their own social media. They’re more savvy, grown up and emotionally mature than I was at 17 or 18. I’m glad I grew up in the 90’s when there wasn’t social media. I think it made life less complicated.
We’ve seen your vlogs! People love them! Do you plan to continue?
I wish I was vlogging more. I would like to continue vlogging, just not sure what direction to take the vlog in. I started it as a way to chronicle my last couple of years on ‘Fuller House’ and have a video diary of those last times on Stage 24. I wanted to always remember the feeling and fun times of being on the set. The original intent of the vlog was to capture behind the scenes. Without the show, I’m a little lost as to what people want to see. My boyfriend, Michael who edits my vlogs said “people just love the everyday mundane things that you might find boring.” I need to get over myself thinking “Nobody wants to watch this.” You can see me struggling on the Peloton. I can vlog all about how I struggle to get on and off that bike.
Check out one of Andrea Barber’s vlogs and catch a look at the show behind the scenes
We saw you went on an NKOTB cruise, what was that like? Do you plan to go on any future ones?
Oh I love their cruises. I’ve been on 4 and just went on this virtual cruise they had this year. That was really a blast. The cruise is wild and crazy! It is so packed with fans. They camp out to wait for the guys on deck 7 where their rooms are. It’s a little crazy for me because there are so many ‘Fuller House’ fans on board so I have to strategize walking through the boat because I’ll get stopped for selfie requests. I love meeting fans but it’ll get to a point where I can’t walk when I am en route to the pizza bar for instance.
The cruise is really like being a teenager again . You stay up all night, dance until 5am, and eat pizza every night. The guys also host special events like “Duets with Joe” or “Yoga with Jordan.” It’s a real escape for four days. There’s really no communication because the WiFi on the boat never works. It’s nice having a space where there are no phones. Everyone isn’t on Twitter or Instagram. You are living in the moment.
Do you see yourself continuing to act after Fuller House is over and are you working on any projects currently?
I would love to stay in the business if it’s for the right reasons and the right show. I am working on a project. I can’t share what it is but I’m hoping to be back on TV sometime soon.
I will give Hollywood a good solid try for about another year or two. I left Hollywood once when I was 18 and lived a very normal life. I know I’ll be fine if I leave Hollywood again. When I stop acting, I will probably put more effort into my writing. I want to write children’s books. I am looking forward to exploring more of my creative side.
Follow Andrea Barber on Social Media!
Fuller House’s season 5 part 2 will stream on Netflix on June 2, 2020.
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