Decades after The Brady Bunch ended, Susan Olsen opened up about the stigma she experienced while being a child actress on the classic TV sitcom.
During a 1995 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Olsen said she felt some criticism after she co-executive produced The Brady Bunch Home Movies. The special allowed the show’s cast to reflect on their memories of being on the set and share what they have been up to since leaving the set for good.
“So many people just didn’t get it,” Susan Olsen stated. “They wanted to turn it into some reunion show full of contrivances and just trying to dictate how it should be. My whole point was just to let the material speak for itself. Just let us be ourselves.”
Olsen also said that the reason the special even happened was because she was sick of people saying her life was so terrible because she had the good fortune of being on a TV show when she was a child. “I don’t mean to be unsympathetic to those people, but what was starting to happen was that instead of people coming to me and saying, ‘That must have been so neat to do that show,’ they were coming up and saying, ‘How mess up are you?’”
Olsen noted she wanted to show the six former child stars, although they didn’t go on to be actors, ended up being successful after all in other industries.
Susan Olsen Didn’t Think All ‘The Brady Bunch’ Co-Stars Would Do the Special
Meanwhile, Susan Olsen spoke about how she put together the special. It was the first time that the entire The Brady Bunch co-stars reunited in 14 years.
“Originally, I was saying [to CBS], ‘I know I can deliver four out of the six Brady kids,’” Olsen recalled. “I don’t think Eve [Plumb] will do it. I don’t think Maureen [McCormick] will do it. Tell you what, I won’t be twisting their arms because I respect them. I understand they don’t want to be involved in Brady things.’”
Despite her original statement, The Brady Bunch co-stars were all able to be on the show. McCormick stated that she thought it was a great special and wasn’t an “atypical” reunion. “It shows us as real people,” she continued.”I’m really excited because I get to show what I’m doing now.”
McCormick further explained that she knew there was “stuff” out there in the press about child stars. “I really feel like so much has to do with your upbringing from the early years.”
Barry Williams chimed in and noted that the Brady kids were all within six or seven years of age to one another and were going through common experiences together. “So here was a way in which we kept each other all in check. If one started feeling just a little too cool, there were five others saying, ‘Get over it.’”
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