‘Even Stevens’: Christy Carlson Romano’s Age When She Was Cast as Ren and How It Changed Her

The late 1990s and early 2000s were a huge era for Disney Channel original TV shows, and many millennial Disney fans miss the days when they could turn on the TV and watch That’s So Raven, Lizzie McGuire, and Kim Possible. Perhaps one of the most successful shows of the early 2000s was Even Stevens, which starred Shia LaBeouf and Christy Carlson Romano as clashing siblings. Learn more about Romano’s role, how she was cast, and what she is up to now. 

Christy Carlson Romano’s Ren in ‘Even Stevens’

Ren Stevens is the responsible and intelligent older sister of Louis Stevens (Shia LaBeouf), an immature, lazy, and mischievous kid that loves playing pranks and getting on his sister’s nerves. Donnie Stevens (Nick Spano) is their older brother who has had major success in sports, though he wasn’t very intelligent and rarely knew what was going on. 

The show enjoyed a devoted fanbase, and many were disappointed when it was canceled after 65 episodes, which was Disney Channel‘s limit at the time. Even Stevens spanned across three seasons before ending with a TV film that premiered on June 13, 2003, called The Even Stevens Movie

According to IMDb, Romano won two Young Artist Awards, one in 2001 and one in 2002, for her role as Ren Stevens, for Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Leading Young Actress. Shia LaBeouf even won a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. 

Romano opens up about getting the job and her time at Disney

Christy Carlson Romano
Christy Carlson Romano | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

On Romano’s Youtube channel, the star tells the story about how she was cast in Even Stevens in a recent video called “The Truth About The Disney Channel”. In the video, Romano states that she remembers everything about the audition because it was a very intense process for a young person to go through. At the time of her audition, Romano was just 14. 

Up until that point, she had only done a few Broadway shows and other productions in New York City, and she remarks that it was intimidating to go into a room with what she called “a bunch of judgemental adults in very strict business attire,” and states that she was incredibly nervous for her audition. Upon being hired for the role, Romano states that Disney Channel makes you to agree not to do anything “uninsurable”, meaning that you can’t go surfing or participate in high-impact sports, which could result in injury and delay the show. Overall, though, Romano states that she has had, “An overwhelmingly positive experience,” working with Disney.

Romano also points out that when she was on Disney, social media wasn’t even around. As a result, child Disney stars now have a massive amount of influence, and that these kids can now profit off of their social media presence outside of their Disney contract. Romano remarks that, “That means that they’re independently wealthy… that is leverage over the people that they work for… That is something that my generation of Disney stars definitely did not have.”

Where is Christy Carlson Romano now?

After Even Stevens ended, the now 37-year-old actress has continued working steadily throughout the 2000s and 2010s. From 2002-2007, she voiced Kim Possible on Disney Channel. She began securing roles in movies, including the role of Amber in Suicide Dolls (2010), Gabby in Deadly Daycare (2014), and Caroline in Christmas with the Andersons (2016), according to IMDb.

More recently, Romano played Gloria in We’re Alive: Goldrush (2019), a TV mini-series, as well as Trina in Big Hero 6: The Series (2019-2020). Her latest project was Celebrity Kitchen on her YouTube channel, where she dresses up various celebrities and hosts a cooking show in character

Romano is married to Brendan Rooney, a writer and producer she met while studying at Barnard College, and the couple has two children. 

RELATED: Shia LaBeouf on Why Disney Canceled ‘Even Stevens’ and Having PTSD