‘The Brady Bunch’: Why Susan Olsen Said She ‘Hated’ Being on the Iconic Show

Susan Olsen played the tiniest Brady kid on The Brady Bunch and, while she came to appreciate the role of Cindy, she said there was a time when she hated it. Find out why Olsen wasn’t so into the squeaky-clean Brady vibe.

Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady on 'The Brady Bunch'
Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady on ‘The Brady Bunch’ | CBS via Getty Images

Susan Olsen revealed she ‘hated’ being on ‘The Brady Bunch’

Olsen became a household name when she starred on The Brady Bunch for five seasons. The role gave her so much, but in a 2019 interview with Fox News, Olsen explained why she hated being on the show.

“I never thought I would say this because when I was younger I was very rebellious and I really hated the fact that I was in such a wholesome show with American values and family values,” she explained. “But guess what — now I’m so proud of that.”

Olsen credits her time as a child actor with providing a super positive experience. “I think that being an actress helped me to grow,” she explained. “I don’t really think that the show helped me to grow so much as people that watched the show learned to grow.”

She continued, “People would ask me, ‘Don’t you wish that The Brady Bunch was your real family?’ And I’m like no — because my family is just as good and they’re a little bit funnier, a little weirder, but I know so many people that literally say that the show saved their lives.”

“And you know, I had a great family life but for people — and other people that had a great family life loved it too — but there were people that didn’t have a great life and as children, they depended on the show,” Olsen added. “And it’s for them that I really feel responsible.”

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Olsen said playing Cindy Brady has opened doors for her

While she might not have appreciated playing Cindy Brady at the time, Olsen did find that it opened doors for her since everyone knows who she is.

“Well, I didn’t pursue having a career in acting. I did at first because I just didn’t have much imagination,” Olsen shared. “I thought, ‘I’ve got my foot in the door with something that everybody wants,’ and it took me a while to realize that I didn’t want it. Acting is not really my medium — I’m a creative person, but I prefer visual arts.”

“As far as careers go, you know, Cindy Brady has certainly been a good ambassador,” Olsen continued. “She opens doors, people have a nice feeling about me and they may not know why. [They say] ‘Gee, I just feel like I grew up with you.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’”

When asked about why people love The Brady Bunch so much, Olsen said it has everything to do with the way the real-life relationships contributed to their on-screen chemistry.

“I say in order to have immortality, you have to have a soul and the soul is love,” she said. “And I think that the love that was shown on the show, it was genuine between all of us cast members and I think people pick up on that.”