The Truth About How the Olsen Twins Were Almost Fired From 'Full House'
| LAST UPDATE 05/03/2023
Full House fans everywhere are freaking out that their favorite twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, were fired from the family sitcom. Want to know all the deets? You've got it, dude! Just keep scrolling.
Mary-Kate and Ashley
Everybody knows their name. Mary-Kate and Ashley are the most famous twins on the planet. They have countless episodes of television, films, books, and businesses. But all of this almost didn't happen.
We are thinking the exact same thing - what?! How could that possibly be? These are so mega-successful that it is hard to imagine a world where the Olsen twins were not in it. They were the girls everyone wanted to be growing up. Keep reading for the full story of how their careers almost stopped before they started.
Before we get to how their careers almost never happened, let's review how impactful and huge their careers have been. While there was a time when Mary-Kate and Ashley were known for only being actresses, they are now most known for their fashion businesses.
They started a couture fashion label called The Row. They also have a contemporary fashion line called Elizabeth and James. Over the years, they have won many awards for their contributions to the industry and have partnered with companies like JC Penney to sell more affordable clothing.
Ranked by Forbes
Due to their superstar tween status, they were included in the Forbes "Celebrity 100" list starting when they were only ten years old. The Olsen twins were already millionaires when every other girl tried on her first training bra. In 2007, they were ranked as the 11th richest women in entertainment.
This honor was given due to their estimated net worth of $100 million. In 2011, Forbes listed them in the "30 under 30" for Art & Design. Then, in 2017, they were given the honor of All-Star Alumni for "30 under 30" on Forbes. How did these actresses amass such a huge fortune?
Not only were they amazingly talented and in-demand actresses, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were also producers. When they were only six years old, they started the production company Dualstar. This made them the youngest producers in Hollywood at the time!
Through Dualstar, they produced television shows, films, and other media. They became preteen icons, rolling out hit after hit. Everyone wanted to be part of a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie. Just imagine that there was a world where this almost didn't happen. We can't even believe it.
Let's Go to the Movies
Before we get to that shocking revelation, let's go through some of the Olsen twin's biggest hits. Their very first feature film to hit the theaters was It Takes Two. The rom-com starred Kirstie Alley, Steve Guttenberg, and, of course, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
With a similar plotline to The Parent Trap, the twins starred as identical strangers who hatch a plan to keep one of their dads from marrying an awful woman. The film grossed $19.5 million, and the twins won the Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress. This was only the beginning.
It was time for a total twin takeover. Mary-Kate and Ashley were everywhere you looked during the '90s and '00s. They were inescapable! They had their own television musical mystery series, The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley, which was then turned into children's books.
They had a fan club called Mary-Kate & Ashley's Fun Club. Members of the club would receive a copy of their fan club magazine, Our Funzine, and unique presents. Their faces were on clothes, dolls, posters, fragrances, makeup, cassette tapes, and CDs. It was twin domination.
They had a preteen empire. Mary-Kate and Ashley were unstoppable. They kept releasing hit movie after movie as the producers and the stars. Their straight-to-video films were the favorites of many teenage girls, like Billboard Dad, Holiday in the Sun, Passport to Paris, and Our Lips Are Sealed.
Not only did they star in their own films, but they appeared in other hit series. They voiced themselves in an episode of the animated hit series The Simpsons. They also had uncredited cameos in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle as future angels. Their last film together was New York Minute.
Their impact and star power didn't go unnoticed. In 2004, when the girls were 17, they were honored with a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star recognized their contribution to television since they starred in Full House since they were infants.
During the ceremony, Mary-Kate said, "We just want to thank everyone so much." Her twin, Ashley, continued, "We want to thank our family and our friends and everyone at Dualstar, every cast member we've worked with through the years and most especially our fans."
Almost Didn't Happen
There was a chance that no one in the world would have known who Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were. All of their success, fame, and fortune were at risk of never happening in the first place! Imagine a world without the most famous twins.
This alternate reality was once a major possibility due to one of their cast members. Now years later, the truth is finally coming out about what exactly went down during the beginning days of the family sitcom Full House. It is totally not what we expected from our favorite childhood show.
A Full House
Writer Jeff Franklin spent his entire career working in Hollywood. He originally came up with an idea about three comics living together for ABC. However, at the time, the network wanted something that was more of a family show. So, Franklin tweaked his idea just slightly.
The idea became what we know today as Full House. The show centered around a widowed father, Danny Tanner, who gets his brother-in-law and childhood best friend to help him raise his three daughters in San Francisco. The show aired in 1987 and ran for eight seasons with 192 episodes.
Loved by All
Many fans adored the show. They felt like they were an extension of the Tanner family. The theme song Everywhere You Look became synonymous with the views of San Francisco. The opening credits were completely iconic as the cast explored the famous sights of the Golden Gate City.
John Stamos starred as Uncle Jesse, the brother-in-law of Danny Tanner. His role as the lovable and heartthrob uncle made him a beloved figure in households everywhere. At the same time, Dave Coulier played Tanner's hilarious and kooky best friend, Joey Gladstone.
A Casting Conundrum
The producers wanted comedian Bob Saget to play the patriarch, Danny Tanner. There was only one issue, though. Saget was not available for the pilot because he had a prior commitment as an on-air contributor to The Morning Program. They had to come up with a plan B.
The producers cast John Posey for the role of Danny. In the pilot episode, he starred as the widowed father, but the pilot never made it to air. Saget wasn't the only one who almost didn't appear on the show and had problems in the pilot. The Olsen twins almost didn't star in the role of Michelle Tanner.
The Wild Revelation
Cast member John Stamos revealed the hidden truth about what happened with the Olsen twins while filming the pilot episode of Full House. It's been almost thirty years since Full House stopped airing, and we can't believe we are just hearing about this juicy secret.
Stamos recently appeared as a guest on actor Josh Peck and influencer Ben Soffer's podcast, Good Guys. During his appearance, the Full House star told the hosts the piping hot tea about what actually went down during the filming of the pilot. We can't even believe this is true!
While filming the pilot, one of the scenes required Stamos and Coulier to carry the youngest Tanner child. Stamos explained, "So, we're carrying the baby downstairs and we take her in the kitchen and we hose her down. And she was screaming. Both of them…"
"…They wanted to be anywhere else but there, and so did I." Stamos continued explaining, "They were 11 months old, and god bless them. They kept switching: 'This one's not gonna cry.' I couldn't deal with it." Stamos made the following bold move that could have altered history forever!
"I Can't Work Like This"
Stamos said on the podcast, "And I said, 'This is not gonna work,' and I screamed it ten times. I said, 'Get rid of them, I can't work like this.' And so they got rid of them." We are completely speechless! Full House without the iconic Olsen twins. What would that have even been?!
The Olsen twins were fired, and a different set of twins were brought in to replace them. Stamos explained, "They bring on these two redheaded kids…" Michelle Tanner would look completely different than what the producers had first imagined. But then, Stamos had a change of heart…
The Other Twins
The other twins were simply not cutting it. Stamos told Soffer and Peck on the podcast, "I'm sure their parents loved them and thought they were attractive… It had nothing to do with [them being] redheaded, but they weren't attractive." So, there was only one option left.
"I said, 'Bring the Olsens back, these kids are terrible!'" Stamos said. The other twins only worked for a day before they realized that they didn't work as well as Mary-Kate and Ashley did in the role of Michelle Tanner. The producers brought back the Olsen twins and the rest is history, as they say.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen would go on to star as Michelle Tanner, the youngest of the three Tanner girls. Since there were strict child labor laws, the producers decided to cast twins to play Michelle. The twins would alternate the role during the live tapings to help keep the cameras rolling.
However, the producers didn't want audiences to know that two girls were playing the role of Michelle. So, they came up with a clever solution. They credited the role as "Mary Kate Ashley Olsen." Many Americans believed that the actress just had a really long name!
Growing Up on TV
Americans everywhere watched as Mary-Kate and Ashley grew up on television. They were cast as Michelle Tanner when they were not even a year old, and over its eight seasons, they grew up. It was one of the few television shows where viewers saw one of their favorite characters grow up in real-time.
Michelle Tanner became known for her sassy comebacks and overall adorableness. Some of her catchphrases, people still even use today! There was nothing like when Michelle gave her stamp of approval with, "You got it, dude," or when she would beg for something with her iconic "puh-lease."
Most of the time, Mary-Kate and Ashley would alternate filming scenes. However, there were several times that they actually appeared on the show together. In the first season, Uncle Jesse has a dream where he has to take care of two Michelles, meaning double the trouble!
Another instance is when Jesse's family comes to visit, and an extended family member looks exactly like Michelle. It must have been extremely fun for the twins to appear alongside each other. Something that they would continue to do outside of the show.
End of an Era
After eight seasons on ABC, Full House came to an end in May 1995. Throughout the seasons, audiences enjoyed seeing the three Tanner girls grow up, Uncle Jesse build a family of his own, and Kimmy appear at the house unexpectedly over and over again.
Full House was still one of the best-rated shows on air when it was canceled. However, rising production costs caused the eventual cancellation of the beloved sitcom. The series finale was watched by 24.3 million people. As Michelle Tanner would say, "No way, Jose!"
Life After Hollywood
After wrapping up Full House, the Olsen twins went on to dominate the rest of Hollywood. They starred in movies and television series. They became millionaires by the time they were ten, and everyone knew their names all over the globe. Mary-Kate and Ashley were everywhere.
The twins, who always had a passion for fashion, began pivoting their attention away from entertainment and toward the fashion industry. They would go on to dominate that industry, as well. No matter what these girls set their minds to, they seem to always end up succeeding.
When the twins turned 18, they enrolled in university like many other American teenagers. They studied, took the SATs, and wrote application essays, just like everyone else. Mary-Kate and Ashley's spokesman, Michael Pagnotta, said to LA Times, "Mary-Kate and Ashley just want to have as normal a college experience as possible."
They attended New York University. They studied at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a unique program that allowed its students to customize their major based on their needs and wants. Pagnotta continued to say, "This is their chance to explore."
Studying wasn't the only thing on the girls' minds at NYU. They had an idea about creating the perfect white t-shirt. Soon after, the white tee evolved into a line that involved seven essential and complete pieces of a wardrobe. This project became their first fashion brand, The Row, named after Saville Row in London.
Mary-Kate explained to i-D, "It had to be easy. It had to be comfortable on all bodies." Ashley also chimed in, "But it was really about perfecting the fit and perfecting the fabric and it really was kind of just a passion project." What started as a passion project became a sensation.
Elizabeth and James
After establishing The Row in 2006, Mary-Kate and Ashley were hungry for more. They launched their second fashion brand, Elizabeth and James. While The Row focuses more on couture and luxury, the Olsen twins' second brand focuses on a more contemporary look for the modern woman.
Since both brands' establishments, they have become forces in the fashion world. With both brands, they made a conscious choice. Ashley told i-D, "We really didn't want to be in front of it. We didn't necessarily even want to let people know it was us, in a way."
Award After Award
As they put their acting careers on the back burner, the Olsen twins went full-steam ahead with fashion. They had multiple brands under their belts and became regular fixtures at the Met Gala. Not only that, but they were winning awards for their work.
In 2012, they were named Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, also known as CFDA. A few years later, in 2015, they received the same honor. To think that there was a world where the Olsen twins would never have been famous is unfathomable!
Since they were infants, the twins have always been together. They shared the same role as Michelle Tanner, starred in movies together, and their names merged into one. There seemed to be no Mary-Kate without Ashley by her side. The twins were often photographed holding hands or mirroring each other.
And the girls like it that way. Ashley said in an interview with i-D, "We like working together and we like having that dialogue.... Our instincts are kind of the same. But I think what's great is that we have each other to lean on." Mary-Kate and Ashley are the definitions of BFF.
Out of the Public Eye
Mary-Kate and Ashley have removed themselves from the public eye in recent years. Neither of them has a social media account. Plus, they haven't been on the big screen in quite some time. While they are spotted by paparazzi or attending fashion events, they mostly keep to themselves.
Mary-Kate explained in their interview with the magazine i-D, "We were raised to be discreet people." Despite all of the fame surrounding them, they chose not to lean into it. If anything, they did the opposite. After a childhood under the spotlight, the Olsen twins wanted a more private life.
Another Famous Olsen
They weren't the only Olsen sibling with a knack for the performing arts. Their younger sister, Elizabeth, became an actress and has starred in some of the biggest hits in recent years. After watching her older sisters act their entire lives, she knew she had an advantage.
The Wandavision star told Harper's Bazaar, "I felt very clear about how I was going to navigate lots of things because of watching them. I also felt very protected." Following in their footsteps, Elizabeth also attended NYU. Since then, she has made her mark as one of the great actresses of her time.
In 2015, 20 years after Full House aired its final episode, filming began for the revival series of the show. Titled Fuller House, many original cast members reunited for a new interpretation of the famous sitcom. This time, though, the series follows D.J. as she tries to raise her three sons after her husband passes away.
However, there was one noticeable part of the original show missing. Mary-Kate and Ashley didn't reprise their role as Michelle Tanner for the revival. Fuller House aired for five seasons on Netflix. As an ode to the twins, the writers decided to have Michelle live in NYC and pursue a career in fashion.
While there was a chance that the Olsen twins wouldn't have been as famous as they are today, we know we are incredibly grateful that John Stamos changed his mind. Imagine a world without these iconic twins! It's certainly not a reality we would want to live in.
From the iconic catchphrases of Michelle Tanner to their fashion brands that have been defining style and elegance for years, the Olsen twins are the ultimate dynamic duo. There was a bump at the beginning of their career, but it's been a smooth ride ever since!