‘Full House’: The Olsen Twins Were Once Replaced by ‘A Couple of Unattractive Redheaded Kids’

Fans will never forget the original Full House, one of the most beloved shows of the late ’80s and early ’90s. The series helped to launch the careers of John Stamos, Bob Saget, and the Olsen Twins — Mary-Kate and Ashley

When the revival Fuller House hit Netflix in 2016, fans were excited but disappointed that the Olsen twins chose not to participate. They might not have had a decision either way if the producers had liked the other “redheaded kids” more when another set of girls almost replaced the Olsen twins.

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen on Full House
The Olsen Twins — Ashley and Mary-Kate on Full House | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives

How old were the Olsen twins when they began ‘Full House’?

The producers cast Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Michelle Tanner on Full House when the twins were only six months old. They began filming a few months later, at nine months old. Due to child labor laws that set limits on how long a child actor could work, the sisters took turns playing the role. 

The pair portrayed Michelle throughout the series run, until 1995. However, they don’t always speak fondly of their time in the spotlight. 

Dave Coulier (Joey), John Stamos (Jessie) and Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen)
Dave Coulier (Joey), John Stamos (Jessie) and Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives

‘I wouldn’t wish my upbringing on anybody,” Mary-Kate Olsen told Marie Claire. “I look at old pictures of me, and I don’t feel connected to them at all.”

If things had worked out differently, another set of redheaded girls could have replaced the Olsen twins.

John Stamos tried to get the Olsen twins fired

“We love the twins, but is there any way you can find babies who are a little more comfortable on stage?” Justin Gaston said as John Stamos in The Unauthorized Full House Story.

During the 2015 film, fans found out that Stamos, who played the Olsen twins’ loving uncle, once tried to get the girls fired. 

“It’s taking forever to get through one kid scene with no audience,” the Stamos look-alike continued. “How do you expect to get through an entire season?”


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When fans watched the movie trailer, they weren’t sure whether to believe the behind-the-scenes story. 

“It’s sort of true that the Olsen twins cried a lot,” Stamos told critics at the Television Critics Association’s press tour via People. “It was very difficult to get the shot. So I [said], ‘Get them out … !’ That is actually 100 percent accurate.” 

Another set of girls temporarily replaced the Olsen twins on ‘Full House’

The replacement that Stamos requested was short-lived. 

“They brought in a couple of unattractive redheaded kids,” Stamos continued. “We tried that for a while, and that didn’t work. [Producers] were like, all right, get the Olsen twins back. And that’s the story.”

The babies were young and unpredictable, and not any easier to work with than the Olsen twins. So, Mary-Kate and Ashley returned, and the rest is history.