Andrea Barber Discusses Returning To Fuller House, Depression & The Olsens

_DSC3101-2Photo Credit: Nate Taylor

You know and love Andrea Barber as the unapologetically-offbeat next-door neighbor, Kimmy Gibbler, on the T.G.I.F. family classic series, Full House and for the show’s current reincarnation on Netflix, Fuller House.  The California-born and raised actress is a long-time veteran in entertainment, and a mother of two. Barber said goodbye to the San Francisco Tanner family home in 1995 (“Adios, Tannerinos!”) and decided to take a 20-year hiatus from her acting career. During this time, she went back to school and completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English Literature and Women’s Studies, interned at the United Nations in Geneva, and lived out a career in International Education before starting a family. Two decades after Full House wrapped, Barber returned to the series revival.  Now with kids of her own, Barber is back to embodying the eccentric garment wearing Gibbler; this time with an on-screen daughter, along with her long-time co-stars and real-life friends she made on set 20 years back. Barber continues to keep audience members exploding with laughter. After three highly rated, award-winning seasons, Barber is set to start filming the fourth season of Fuller House. Here, she chats with Haute Living about her series, combatting depression and offers parenting tips befitting of a woman who has gone from a Full House to a Fuller one.

_DSC2897Photo Credit: Nate Taylor

Do you have a fondest memory of “Full House” that sticks out in your mind? Who did it involve? What was it? 

My fondest memories from my Full House days involve a tradition we had of going out to dinner as a cast before every Friday night taping. We would head to Jerry’s Famous Deli or City Walk to eat and laugh together. It was a great way to shake off stress before our live audience show.

What new memories are you creating on set?

We all still love to hang out off stage when we’re not working. Jeff Franklin has an annual pool party for the cast and he has an amazing pool with a water slide, a lazy river, and an infinity pool. The pool is something everyone enjoys – babies, kids, and adults!

Do you still speak to the Olsens or had any interaction with them in the past 10 years? 

No, I’m not in touch with Mary Kate or Ashley, but not for any negative reasons. We just lost touch over the years! They seem to be doing great and I’m very happy for all of their success!

I’ve read a lot about you running to combat depression. Has it worked? What else do you do to stay positive? 

Running is the most effective strategy for me to combat my anxiety and depression. The endorphin release always makes me feel better, but it’s more than just that. Running has a meditative quality that helps me recenter and refocus. It helps me quiet the spinning thoughts that swirl through my head. It’s a confidence booster for me, too. I’m an introvert who needs alone time to recharge my battery, and running helps me do that.

How do you find work/life balance as a mom? 

I’ve had to teach myself that not every text or email is as urgent as it seems. When I’m with my kids I need to put my phone somewhere where I can’t hear the text ding. It’s better if I’m simply totally unaware of how many texts or emails are piling up! So my time with my kids is really focused on my kids. I’m happier when I’m not trying to multitask parenting and work emails at the same time! I have a time set aside for work and a time set aside for home life.

What are some of your tried and true parenting tips? 

I think it’s critical to carve out time each week for fun with just our family – no friends. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of our schedules that life starts to feel like a checklist: homework, basketball practices, Girl Scout meetings, school projects, playdates. Family time gets lost so easily in there! So, I really try to make it a point to do something fun with just our family each week – usually that involves board games or Uno!