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'Make It Or Break It' Interview With Candace Cameron Bure & Peri Gilpin

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jun 19th 2009 6:00PM
Make It Or Break ItFor all the attention gymnastics gets every Olympics, it's about time someone made a show about it. But ABC Family's new original series 'Make It Or Break It' (premieres Mon., June 22 at 9PM ET) isn't a reality show -- it's a scripted drama that centers on aspiring gymnasts. Stories revolve around the high level of competition in the sport and how the pressure affects not just the girls, but their families as well.

The show also marks a return to series television for two TV favorites -- 'Full House' alum Candace Cameron Bure, who plays the girlfriend of one of the girl's dads, and Peri Gilpin, of 'Frasier' fame, who portrays a mom of one of the young gymnasts. We got them to admit that neither was ever a gymnast herself ... either from lack of opportunity or just plain lack of skill (ahem, Peri).

AOL TV got the exclusive scoop from both stars on their new show and took a look back at their most iconic roles -- and the friendships and hairdos they've kept since. -- By Maggie Furlong


For all the attention gymnastics gets every Olympics, it's about time someone made a show about it. But ABC Family's new original series 'Make It Or Break It' (premieres Mon., June 22 at 9PM ET) isn't a reality show -- it's a scripted drama that centers on aspiring gymnasts. Stories revolve around the high level of competition in the sport and how the pressure affects not just the girls, but their families as well.

The show also marks a return to series television for two TV favorites -- 'Full House' alum Candace Cameron Bure, who plays the girlfriend of one of the girl's dads, and Peri Gilpin, of 'Frasier' fame, who portrays a mom of one of the young gymnasts. We got them to admit that neither was ever a gymnast herself ... either from lack of opportunity or just plain lack of skill (ahem, Peri).

AOL TV got the exclusive scoop from both stars on their new show and took a look back at their most iconic roles -- and the friendships and hairdos they've kept since. -- By Maggie Furlong


Make It Or Break It' Stars

    Actress Candace Cameron Bure attends the DATG summer press junket at ABC's Riverside Building on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. Disney ABC Televison Group Hosts "DATG Summer Press Junket" ABC Riverside Building Burbank, CA United States May 30, 2009 Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com To license this image (57568156), contact FilmMagic.com

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actresses Peri Gilpin (L) and Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attend the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Peri Gilpin;Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actress Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attends the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actress Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attends the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actress Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attends the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actress Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attends the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actress Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attends the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actress Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attends the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actress Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attends the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images

    BURBANK, CA - MAY 30: Actresses Peri Gilpin (L) and Candace Cameron Bure of the television show "Make It or Break It" attend the 2009 Disney & ABC Television Group summer press junket at the Walt Disney Studios on May 30, 2009 in Burbank, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Peri Gilpin;Candace Cameron Bure

    Getty Images



Were either of you gymnasts growing up?
Candace: No, I never played sports growing up -- I just didn't have time! [Laughs] I've been acting and working pretty much my whole life, so that didn't allow for the soccer or t-ball or even gymnastics. I didn't really do any of that. But I've seen it -- [my husband, retired professional hockey player Valeri Bure, and I] have been together since I was 18 years old. I've been in the locker room, I'm in the wives' room, I'm in the stands with the other wives and girlfriends and parents. And even my mother in law -- I have so much to draw from her. She went through a whole lot, raising two boys almost on her own, and them being professional athletes -- that takes a lot of commitment and dedication.

Peri: Yes, I was a fabulous gymnast! [Laughs] No, I was not a gymnast ... I tried, but I always got so dizzy. I couldn't do anything -- I couldn't twirl or try to flip or anything. I never felt comfortable. But my best friend was. She could do the flips down the field, she was the head cheerleader. I'm like, that is powerful ... I'm gonna make it or break it. And I did. I made and I broke it. [Laughs]

What made you decide to return to TV for this show?
Candace: I really loved the aspect of competitive sports. I am married to a professional hockey player, and I've been in that sports world for the past 13 years that we've been married. And I love gymnastics -- it's an incredible sport. Who doesn't love watching it at the Olympics? So when they pitched the idea to me, I just loved it. And it was a good fit for me with the work schedule [laughs] -- having such a large cast and not having to work everyday, so I can still be a mom and be home with my kids.

Peri: I loved this script because the honesty and authenticity of the kids. I have 5-year-old daughters, and I'm so conscious of all kinds of things as a mom. I read this and I went, "Well this just is real." The relationships felt really engaged, really connected. We're all together in this facility, our kids are all trying to get to the Olympics, and we're all in total competition, but we have to be a team. You have a family that'll cheat, you have a family that's very wealthy and is driven by the father's failed athletic career, you have our family who's like, "Oh my gosh, did we do the right thing?" We're from the farm, we've left everyone, we have two kids in this sport. Then you have the added thing of what if our kid does win the gold medal and peaks at 17 years old [laughs] ... and makes a mistake and someone photographs her doing something illegal. But the thing is, you go, "That's a mistake a young person makes. Why does that have to be the way they get remembered for the rest of their lives?" It's like so many issues, but then you're just driven by the fact that your kid is a phenomenal athlete. And a freak. [Laughs] And you have to be there and support her.



Peri, you're now on the same network as your 'Frasier' costar Kelsey Grammer's daughter Spencer, who's on 'Greek' ...
Peri: I know, I know ... yeah, the 'Frasier' family lives on forever. We're all still really really great friends. I'm gonna start crying! [Laughs] And Spencer! I saw Spencer at the Upfronts and I'm like, "Spencer, I just saw your billboard! It's next to my gym!" [Laughs] She grew up on the 'Cheers' set before us, and then ours on 'Frasier.' She was always a very balanced, beautiful, sweet kid, and she's grown up to be quite an actress.

Were you there for David Hyde Pierce's much-publicized wedding to his partner before the same-sex marriage ban in California?
Peri:
I was not ... they did it by themselves, but I knew right away and we all celebrated with them with a dinner. But they've been married for 20 years -- they've been married longer than anyone I know. They're awesome. It's couples like that that are going to make Prop 8 just a blip. Equality ... in our country, it's always won and it will.

Candace Cameron Bure & Peri GilpinBut coming from 'Frasier' and 'Full House,' these roles are so different from both of those iconic TV characters ...
Peri:
When I was doing 'Frasier,' I wasn't married, I didn't have kids and my whole life could revolve around the show ... and did. I was more like Roz at that time. And now, these are the things going on in my life. All four of these families -- moms and daughters and dads -- they're very specific. These kids can talk to their moms about sex or their body image or their difficulties and triumphs. It's told with real truth and honesty, and I went, "I want to be a part of this, because this is how I want to be." Because my 5-year-olds will be there any second! [Laughs]

Candace: This is a first for me -- on a television show or even a movie -- that I'm not someone's daughter. [Laughs] I'm actually a grown woman in this show. Even a TV movie that I did just this past Christmas, I was still someone's daughter. This, I'm the adult in it. I'm not quite a parent, because I'm a girlfriend of one of the dads of the gymnasts on the show ... [laughs] But I was a kid for most of my life in television, so that's only natural to always play the daughter -- and the last 10 years, I've sat out of the business for the most part to raise my children -- so coming back, I don't know if it's the 'Full House' effect [laughs], but that's what the [other] scripts were about.

What Happened to the Full House cast?

    Ratings for 'Full House,' which began its run in '87, were low at first, with critics panning the cheese factor of the San Francisco-set sitcom. For its second season, ABC moved the Tanners to the family-friendly TGIF lineup, and the show about a widower raising his three daughters with the help of his brother-in-law and best friend found its groove. (Cheese factor? What cheese factor?)

    Running eight seasons, 'Full House' became iconic pop candy for Generation X. Just a taste of what it gave us: eye-rolling references for later dorm-room talks, John Stamos' "bad guys just need a hug" lesson -- and the Olsen twins, adorable-little-Michelle-turned-billion-dollar-empire-controlling entertainment tycoons. Name another sitcom with a track record like that ... Exactly. -- By Ryan McKee


    Related Links

    ABC / Retna

    Bob Saget
    Played: Danny Tanner

    Then: As a stand-up comic, he introduced himself to America on HBO's '9th Annual Young Comedians Special' by joking, "I just married my girlfriend of seven years. That's her age, I'm going to jail." In 1987, ABC hired Saget for 'The Morning Program,' a show that awkwardly mixed news with comedy and became an industry joke. Luckily, 'Full House' began and he could jump into Danny Tanner's skin. No one seemed to notice the character was the antithesis of his dirty stage act.



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    ABC / Retna

    Bob Saget
    Played: Danny Tanner

    Now: The Philadelphia native, now 53, is arguably the most successful 'FH' alum (not counting the Olsens' net worth). After missteps directing 'Dirty Work' and starring in the sitcom 'Raising Dad,' Saget hit stand-up with a renewed, filthy vigor. After raunchily memorable cameos in 'Half Baked,' 'Entourage' and 'The Aristocrats,' Saget became a top touring act. He produced the 'March of the Penguins' spoof 'Farce of the Penguins' (with voice work from former co-stars Jodie Sweetin, Dave Coulier, Lori Loughlin and John Stamos) and Comedy Central Roasted him last year. Currently he's the narrator of 'How I Met Your Mother' and stars in the probably soon-to-be-canceled sitcom 'Surviving Surburbia.'



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    Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

    John Stamos
    Played: Jesse Katsopolis

    Then: In the early '80s, Stamos became Blackie Parrish on 'General Hospital,' garnered a Daytime Emmy nomination and wooed female viewers for two years. The short-lived sitcom 'You Again?' followed, and then rock-n-roller Uncle Jesse was born. Writers agreed to change the character's last name from Cochran to Katsopolis to reflect Stamos' Greek heritage. He also started jamming with the Beach Boys, which set up later guest-star appearances by the band and Uncle Jesse's brief music stardom with Jesse and the Rippers.



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    ABC / Retna

    John Stamos
    Played: Jesse Katsopolis

    Now: The 45-year-old Stamos is still living his musical dreams. He's appeared in the Broadway productions 'How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,' 'Cabaret,' 'Nine' and just announced he'll star in the upcoming revival of 'Bye Bye Birdie.' While he's been busy, 2005 was his most hectic year: divorcing Rebecca Romijn, starring in 'Jake in Progress,' a sitcom about an eligible bachelor who just can't commit (art imitating life?) and joining the cast of 'ER' as Tony Gates. Recently, he acted as roast master and skewered Bob Saget on his Comedy Central Roast.



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    Jason Merritt, Getty Images

    Dave Coulier
    Played: Joseph "Joey" Gladstone

    Then: This hockey enthusiast began as a stand-up comic and voice actor. He recorded voices for 'The Jetsons,' 'Scooby Doo' and 'Yogi Bear' before being cast as Danny's live-in bromance. Playing a comedian in the show, Joey used his nightclub act to entertain Danny's daughters with Bullwinkle impressions, Popeye quotes and the old "Cut It Out" routine. Through the 'Full House' run, he continued doing voiceover work, playing Peter Venkman on 'The Real Ghost Busters' cartoon series.



    Related Links

    ABC

    Dave Coulier
    Played: Joseph "Joey" Gladstone

    Now: These days Coulier, 49, can be heard voicing various characters for 'Robot Chicken' and taking Rick Moranis' place in 'Bob & Doug,' a cartoon spin-off of 'Strange Brew.' He's continued performing stand-up, his squeaky clean act being the antithesis to Saget's routine, and has hosted a number of clips shows, including 'The World's Funniest Videos,' 'America's Funniest People' and 'Animal Kidding.' Reality TV sucked him into a season of 'The Surreal Life' and 'Skating With Celebrities,' as Nancy Kerrigan's partner. After meeting Alanis Morissette at a hockey game in 1992, the two dated for a while. Tabloids have outed him as the possible 'Mr. Duplicity' in her vitriolic song 'You Outta Know.'



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    Alberto E. Rodriguez,Getty Images for Comedy Central

    Candace Cameron
    Played: DJ Tanner

    Then: Following in the footsteps of her famous older brother, Kirk, Candace started appearing in guest roles on 'Punky Brewster,' 'St. Elsewhere' and 'Who's the Boss.' During her stint as Donna Jo Tanner, the eldest, level-headed daughter, she also played Sally Field's daughter in the film 'Punchline' and Eric Stoltz's younger sister in 'Some Kind of Wonderful.'



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    ABC

    Candace Cameron
    Played: DJ Tanner

    Now: After appearing in a number of TV movies, including 'No One Would Tell' alongside Fred Savage, Cameron, now 33, took a hiatus from acting to raise a family. Dave Coulier had introduced her to Russian NHL player Valeri Bure and the two were married in 1996. By 2002, they had three children. Cameron has returned to acting, co-starring alongside Randy Travis in the Christian film 'The Wager.' She's fondly looked back on her child-stardom in 'I Love the '80s' and '50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up.' A fundamentalist Christian like her brother, the actress will show up in more religious productions like the upcoming 'To the Wall' with Stephen Baldwin.



    Related Links

    Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

    Jodie Sweetin
    Played: Stephanie Tanner

    Then: As the story goes, the original script called for only two daughters, but producers added the role of "Stephanie" after seeing Sweetin's audition. So at age 5, Sweetin began growing up in front of America as the high-pitched, precocious middle Tanner daughter. She even had her own catchphrase, "How rude," which inspired a generation of girls to call their parents rude whenever they didn't get their way.



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    ABC



Do you have any style regrets from your early years on TV, Candace?
Candace: Well, it's like it was the '80s and the early '90s, you know? I had big hair, there were wings, there was some major bangs, but it was very cool then. My daughter doesn't think I was very cool on the show, but ... [Laughs] I have a lot of girls that say, "Oh we wanted to dress like you," or "We wanted to have our hair like you." We just can laugh at it now and bring out the Aquanet ... I still do. [Laughs]

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