John Stamos Wanted Olsen Twins Fired But Hated "Homely" Replacements, New Book Reveals
In his new memoir, the Full House actor recounts the entire saga.
The biggest stars to emerge from the family sitcom Full House were undoubtedly Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who became a brand of their own sharing the role of Michelle Tanner. But their adult co-star John Stamos had no inkling that would happen when he tried to get the infant twins fired from the show. The now-60-year-old star has admitted as much in the past, but he goes into detail in his new memoir, If You Would Have Told Me, explaining not only why he demanded the twins be given the boot, but also why he wanted them back after meeting their replacements.
The first the public heard of Stamos advocating against the Olsens for Michelle was in the 2015 Lifetime movie The Unauthorized Full House Story. Asked to comment on a scene in which the actor playing him demanded that the babies be replaced, the real Stamos said (via Entertainment Weekly), "It's sort of true that the Olsen twins cried a lot. It was very difficult to get the shot. So I [gesturing], 'Get them out…!' That is actually 100 percent accurate."
In his memoir, the actor writes that he was annoyed in general at the idea of playing second fiddle to a bunch of precocious child actors on the show. "I'm trying to get through a scene, and the cutesy twins are crying their heads off. They'd rather be anywhere in the world other than that set, and I'm right there with them," he says of the first day of filming in 1987, per Today.
Finally, Stamos had had enough. He gave Full House showrunner Jeff Franklin an ultimatum: "It's either me or them. They're not going to work out. They'll ruin this show and my career."
Mary-Kate and Ashley, who were 11 months old at the time, were subsequently removed from the set, and a pair of unnamed babies took their place. But, Stamos writes, they presented another a problem. Though the replacement twins were "quiet" and "calm," he says that they were also "homely as hell."
The Scream Queens star was similarly uncomplimentary about the almost-Michelles back in 2015. "They brought in a couple of unattractive redheaded kids," he said. "We tried that for a while and that didn't work."
Stamos writes in his book that he admitted that he was wrong and asked that the Olsen twins return. Fortunately—and perhaps by design—they were still backstage.
"I can't help but wonder if Jeff deliberately chose the homely twins fully aware that I wouldn't like them and would beg to get Mary-Kate and Ashley back," he says in If You Would Have Told Me.
Fortunately, the twins and Stamos, who played their Uncle Jesse, ultimately bonded. And he came to understand their different strengths as actors.
"Mary-Kate is stronger in the emotional scenes," he writes, per Variety. "Ashley scores in the comedic ones."
Stamos even writes in his memoir that being with Mary-Kate and Ashley got him to begin thinking about being a parent himself. (His son, Billy Stamos, with wife Caitlin McHugh, was born in 2018.)
"I'm young, but I want kids someday, and these lovely little girls, so bouncy and bright, represent the best versions of future dreams," he says. "They allow me to consider fatherhood like a benched baseball catcher in a dugout, watching from afar without having to catch any curveballs."
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