Christy Carlson Romano Says ‘Cadet Kelly’ Will Be ‘First Thing’ She Shows Her Daughters — Here’s Why

Christy Carlson Romano knows how she’s introducing her daughters to her acting career. Ahead, learn why the 35-year-old actor and mother of two says she’s going to show her daughters the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM), Cadet Kelly, before any of her other work. 

What is ‘Cadet Kelly’ about? 

Romano starred in the DCOM movie playing the strict Cadet Captain Jennifer Stone who didn’t get along with Hilary Duff’s free-spirited character, Kelly, who didn’t follow the rules and had an affinity for bright colors.

After a few incidents — Romano’s character cut up Kelly’s favorite rainbow blanket she brought with her to military school only to wake up with rainbow-colored hair courtesy of Kelly — they found common ground in dance.

Christy Carlson Romano visits Universal Studios on April 3, 2019
Christy Carlson Romano visits Universal Studios on April 3, 2019 | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

When did ‘Cadet Kelly’ premiere? 

Cadet Kelly premiered in March 2002 and at that point in time, both Romano and Duff were Disney Channel stars. Romano had been known for her roles on two Disney Channel original series; Even Stevens and Kim Possible. As for Duff, she rose to fame as the star of Lizzie McGuire, another one of the network’s successful shows. 

Christy Carlson Romano likes ‘the message’ of ‘Cadet Kelly’

18 years after Cadet Kelly debuted on the Disney Channel, Romano watched the iconic DCOM in a YouTube video and it gave her chills. Reflecting on the film nearly 20 years later, the actress said she’d introduce her daughters to her acting work with Cadet Kelly.

“I like the message of this movie,” she said in the YouTube video while watching Cadet Kelly. “I think my daughters will really like this movie. I think that as my daughters get older this is gonna be the first thing that I show them that I’ve done.”

Romano and her film producer husband, Brendan Rooney, married in 2013 and, according to People, have two daughters together; Isabella “Izzy” Victoria, 2, and Sophia Elizabeth, 11 months. 

Romano wants daughters to see her as a ‘woman in power’ 

More reasons the actress wants her daughters to watch Cadet Kelly? Because their dad served in the military. Plus, she likes Kelly and her own character, Cadet Captain Stone.

I think that Hilary’s character, Cadet Kelly, she’s sweet and she just wants to understand the world around her and make it a better place,” Romano said. “And, of course, I am a woman in power and it’s actually me. I think that’s a really good thing to show them too.”

Sounds like she can’t go wrong showing Izzy and Sophia Cadet Kelly although we’re surprised Even Stevens didn’t win out. Maybe Romano’s saving episodes of the Disney  Channel original series for her daughters’ teenage years when they can better relate to the constant bickering between her character, Ren Stevens, and her younger brother Louis (Shia LaBeouf).

How to watch ‘Cadet Kelly’

Cadet Kelly is among the many DCOMs available on Disney+. Watch it on the streaming service just like Romano did for her YouTube video. Although, as the actress noted in her YouTube video, one of the songs in the movie — the music Kelly and Cadet Captain Stone first dance to — has been changed.