Why ‘Even Stevens’ Star Christy Carlson Romano Says the Disney Channel Series ‘Still Holds Up’ Today

Even Stevens will never go out of style.

Actress Christy Carlson Romano, who played Ren Stevens, an ambitious and organized teen on the Disney Channel sitcom, reflected on some of her own scenes from the show in a Jan. 2020 video she posted to her YouTube channel. 

Per her Instagram bio, Romano is, in addition to being an actress, a Broadway singer, foodie, and a host. She and her filmmaker husband, Brendan Rooney, are parents to daughters Isabella and Sophia Rooney. In another one of her YouTube videos, Romano said the Disney Channel Original Movie, Cadet Kelly, starring her and Lizzie McGuire’s Hilary Duff, will be the “first thing” she shows her daughters of her work as an actress. 

What is ‘Even Stevens’ about? 

Even Stevens followed the fictional Stevens family living in the suburbs of Sacramento, Calif., as they went through the often hilarious missteps of their daily lives. Most, if not all, of the conflict on the comedy series centered around Ren and her younger brother, Louis, played by Shia LaBeouf. 

Considered to be LaBeouf’s breakout role as an actor, the now-33-year-old played the silly and always-scheming youngest child of three. Tom Virtue and Donna Pescow played parents, Steve and Eileen Stevens, while Nick Spano played the oldest child in the family, Donnie Stevens, according to IMDb.

Donna Pescow as Eileen Stevens, Tom Virtue as Steve Stevens, Shia LaBeouf as Louis Stevens, Christy Carlson Romano as Ren Stevens, Nick Spano as Donnie Stevens, and Steven Anthony Lawrence as Beans on 'Even Stevens'
Donna Pescow as Eileen Stevens, Tom Virtue as Steve Stevens, Shia LaBeouf as Louis Stevens, Christy Carlson Romano as Ren Stevens, Nick Spano as Donnie Stevens, and Steven Anthony Lawrence as Beans on ‘Even Stevens’| George Lange/Disney Channel via Getty Images

In the span of an episode, audiences could expect Ren and Louis to pull pranks on each other at school or at home and get advice from their parents or older brother. 

Even Stevens ran for three seasons totaling 65 episodes on the Disney Channel. It premiered on June 17, 2000, before ending in 2003. The show also became a Disney Channel Original Movie in June 2003 when The Even Stevens Movie premiered on the Disney Channel. It also served as the show’s series finale. 

Christy Carlson Romano says ‘Even Stevens’ still works because character relationships were at its core

Watching the pilot episode of Even Stevens where Louis gives the school’s biggest nerd a date with Ren for a coveted trading card, Romano said while some things might’ve gone out of style in the show (read: the clothes and all the stop motion camera work) one thing has remained as relevant as ever; the characters relationships with each other. 

“It was really important that we had a heart to show. And me and his relationship always ended up coming back to that,” she said referring to Louis and Ren’s relationship. 

She continued, saying while “Shia was really exciting and funny” in Even Stevens, it “was really about us in our relationship.” 

To demonstrate the characters did really love each other despite the constant scheming, they had many “one-on-ones scenes that were emotional,” Romano said, using the scene where Louis sold the trading card to buy Ren a necklace as an example. “It still holds up guys.” 

Hold up it certainly does. Since the show ended, it remains one of the most beloved Disney Channel original series from the early 2000s. In 2003, LaBeouf won a Daytime Emmy Award for his performance as Louis. Today, audiences who watched Even Stevens when it first aired now have the opportunity to watch it on Disney+ along with many other shows and Disney Channel original movies. Meanwhile, fans also wonder whether or not Even Stevens will get a reboot on Disney+.