KID REPORTERS’ NOTEBOOK
Fuller House Gets Bigger and Better
It's a unique experience to be a kid actor on any TV program. As 13-year-old Michael Campion, a.k.a. Jackson Fuller, knows, it’s even better when that show is the popular Netflix series Fuller House. Nominated for a 2016 Teen Choice Award for Best Comedy Series, Fuller House is a spin-off of the popular ABC sitcom Full House (1987-1995).
Michael is currently filming the second season of Fuller House, which will premiere in late fall. I was pleased to have the opportunity to interview him recently at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. We talked about acting, awards, and just regular teen stuff. Here are excerpts from our conversation:
How does it feel to star in a show that has been nominated for Best Comedy Series by teens across the country?
I would never have thought in a million years that I would be nominated for something like the Teen Choice Awards. That's such a big deal. It feels really good to know that people love the show so much.
What is it like playing the role of Jackson Fuller and being part of a show that put TGIF (Thank God It’s Funny) shows on the map?
It's so much fun to play Jackson because I get to go out of my comfort zone and go to places where he's kind of awkward and kind of cool at the same time. It's great that Fuller House was made because everybody loved Full House.
Did you watch episodes of Full House to prepare for your role and get to know your adult family better?
I had actually watched Full House before I even knew about Fuller House. But I guess I can say that I did prepare. I watched Full House every night before I went to bed when we were filming Season One.
How is Jackson similar to or different from you in real life?
I have to say, Jackson is kind of a troublemaker, and I can be a little bit sneaky, too, sometimes. I can't really point out too many differences. I try to be the best I can, and I think that Jackson really has everybody's best interests at heart, even though he may be a bit awkward at times.
What life lessons do you think the show teaches viewers?
With every show, there are different life lessons, but the core is family and loving each other. All of the episodes are just extensions of that.
What does the show say about the role of family?
It says that everybody should love each other as they love their family. In every episode that I've been through, there's an underlying theme of love and caring and compassion.
How did you get started in acting?
When I was about five, I did a lot of community plays, and then I got an agent. She told me that I needed to boost up my resume, so I did a lot of bigger plays through my church. Then I started booking commercials and print work. After that, I got my first movie, and then shortly after that I got Fuller House.
How do you balance acting and school?
It's kind of difficult. People on set need you there to film and stuff, but at the same time you have to do all of your schoolwork. I balance it by going over my lines in the morning, and then every time I have a break, I go and do my schoolwork. Weekends are also a great time for catching up on schoolwork.
When you're not acting, what do you like to do?
I like to go airsofting, which is like paintball. I also do Jiu-Jitsu, which is a Martial Art. And I go to a lot of theme parks. I recently went to Six Flags with my co-star, Sony. My mom actually works at Disney in Orlando.
What is the most exciting part about acting?
The bond between me and everyone else on set is the best part. That bond has been there for about 30 years. It's cool to be accepted into that kind of family. It's awesome to know that they are there for you, and that they will care for you as if you were actually their own son.
What is the most challenging part about acting?
In Fuller House, in particular, I'm going out of my comfort zone playing the role of Jackson. I understand that I'm similar to Jackson in a lot of ways, but I'm also different in a lot of ways, too. I just handle things differently. You know, he's kind of a goofball. It's a challenge to play Jackson at times because he has to be cool and uncool at the same time.
Which actors and TV shows do you enjoy the most?
I really like the show Scorpion. It's about a team of hackers, and they're like super geniuses. And I'm into action films like James Bond and that kind of stuff. I also like a lot of cartoons like Sponge Bob. I know that sounds kind of childish, but I love Sponge Bob.
What is your best advice for aspiring young actors?
I know a lot of people say don't give up on your dreams and they will come true one day. However, in all honesty, a lot of times they don't work out. But if your passion is truly acting, like mine was when I was five and six, if you keep building up your resume, people will start to notice you, and they will want you for commercials and TV shows. You have to start out small if you want to become a successful actor.
Without giving away too much, what can we expect in the second season of Fuller House?
Like you said, I don't want to give away too much. But it's going to be a really fun season with lots of guest stars and lots of surprises. It's going to be a great season.
Will Fuller House win for Best Comedy at the Teen Choice Awards? Tune into Fox on July 31.
Editor's Note: On July 31, Fuller House did indeed win for Best Comedy at the Teen Choice Awards. Congratulations to Michael and the entire cast and crew of the show.