Andrea Barber cemented her place in the TV pantheon of acolytes, playing the odd Kimmy Gibbler, the unlikely best friend of Candace Cameron Bure’s DJ Tanner, for eight seasons on “Full House,” then again for five more on its reboot, “Fuller Loger.” Kimmy was irritating and odd, but adorable to viewers. She is a character rooted in her own DNA that she embraces with love.
Barber said his character was originally intended to provide comedic relief.
“She would barge in through the back door, make jokes, shout insults and then walk out,” she said. “Like, that was the breadth of that role. I think it was just meant to be funny and light, not very deep. That’s what the sidekick is supposed to do.
Fans loved watching Kimmy in action, in part because she defied convention and didn’t adhere to any sort of standard, a calling card for many sidekicks.
“Especially with teenage Kimmy Gibbler, she was so confident in herself,” Barber said. “For a clumsy, gangly teenager, she owned him, she loved herself, she owned him, she never apologized for anything.” And it’s really rare to see that in teenagers, especially. But Kimmy Gibbler had this confidence en masse. And I think the public really reacted to that.
Being so identified with a character can eclipse an actor, but Barber said she never felt bitterness towards Kimmy.
“I’ve read this about a lot of these sidekicks who either want their characters or don’t want nothing to do with it,” she said. “Like, they don’t wanna, they don’t wanna do their slogans anymore, or their iconic dances or whatever, they just don’t wanna have nothing to do with that. And that wasn’t the case with me, I thinks largely because I left the company after ‘Full House’ and went straight to college, and in a very normal life where I haven’t acted for 20 years and haven’t had no desire to. “
Barber said, however, that part of being Kimmy as a teenager that wasn’t very fun was the wardrobe, noting her penchant for wearing “neon tights and weird sweaters.”
“I can laugh about it now. But, yeah, there were times when I was like, I just wanna feel pretty and cute. And I never really played the part of Kimmy Gibbler. But it is okay. It’s part of being a sidekick, ”she said.
A generation of kids grew up with Kimmy, breaking into the Tanner House, seemingly rubbing everyone the wrong way. She was the classic neighbor of the force of nature who walks into a house that is not locked and makes herself comfortable, either blissfully oblivious or indifferent to the fact that she is boring. Would she be friends with someone like Kimmy?
“Ah, 100%. Absolutely, ”she said.
“We can’t just be friends with people who are like us,” she added. “It would be a very boring life. So you have to have some color and flavor in there. And that’s what the sidekick personality is for.
As strange as Kimmy may be, Barber fondly remembers the opportunity to show off his complexity in an episode where DJ throws Kimmy a last minute party after forgetting that it was her birthday.
“At the end of this episode you really see how hurt Kimmy is by this and how it hurts that her best friend has forgotten such an important day,” she said. “And that’s the only time in the eight years of the show that I’ve been able to cry in front of the camera and show there’s more depth to this character than just being a jerk.”
Barber said that “there have been some whispers” about a Kimmy spin-off, but that can’t happen due to contractual issues between Warner Bros. and Netflix. However, she tries to create a show with Juan Pablo Di Pace, who played her husband, Fernando, in “Fuller House”.
“Even though I keep playing these sidekick type characters, I love it,” she said. “I’m good at it. I have really good comedic timing. And I love making people laugh. So even though I’m kind of locked into this type of character for the rest of my life, I’m d okay with that because it’s comfortable and I love to do it.
Barber said the sidekick has transformed over the years, to the point where he’s now moved into a more avant-garde role.
“I think we are now seeing the sidekick, or the sidekick personality, being promoted to lead roles because now I watch shows like ‘Big Bang Theory’,” she said. “It’s a whole show full of what you’d call sidekick characters, but they’re all protagonists. But they’re awkward and they’re out of date. They’re funny, but it was quite a show full of characters like that.
For Barber, the sidekicks turned into something deeper and deeper.
“I think the sidekick was just kind of an afterthought comic relief a few decades ago, and now we see these characters taking the limelight because audiences are reacting to these types of characters who are goofy and different because they are each other. themselves feel awkward and different, “she said.” I mean, who can’t relate to that, especially when you’re a teenager who feels like you can’t fit in and are you trying to find your place in this world? ”
Kimmy was put on the shelf again, with “Fuller House” having finished its run. She doesn’t stray too far from Barber, however.
“Even though I’m nothing like Kimmy Gibbler, I really have a lot of love and respect for her,” she said. “She will always be a part of my life, even though the show is now over.”
On fans who contact her: “Now in the age of social media, you have a lot more direct contact with your fans. People would contact me and say, ‘You know what, I loved your character. I love Kimmy Gibbler growing up because she made me feel like it’s good to be different. ‘ And it really marked me.
On DJ’s relationship with Kimmy: “I love DJ’s loyalty to Kimmy because Danny, Uncle Jesse and Joey were really mean to Kimmy Gibbler in the ’90s. And I’m watching some of those episodes now and I’m like’ Wow, I don’t think that. it would fly if we were to do this series now. ‘ Because I would never be so mean to my kids. You know I have teenagers and when their friends are gone I would never put them down. Or say, “Go home”. Or I never would, even if it’s a kid that pisses me off, I would never say that to a child or a teenager. … DJ was always there for her. DJ never lost his way. She was just like, ‘No, Kimmy is my best friend, you just have to accept it.’ This type of loyalty is rare these days.
To find out if she would play Kimmy again in a reboot or spin-off: “Ah, 100%. I will not hesitate. It’s the same I felt after my 20-year hiatus after leaving Hollywood, vowing to never go back. And then (‘Full House’ creator) Jeff Franklin called out of the blue and said, ‘Hey, let’s do a reboot. Would you be interested in remaking this character? ‘ And I jumped on it. I was like, ‘Damn, yeah, sure.’ And that’s partly because I love the character, but mostly because I love the cast. I love my co-stars. It’s such a magical set.