Jodie Sweetin is one of those rare people who truly grew up on TV. Cast as Full House’s middle sister, Stephanie Tanner, at just 5 years old, fans watched her metamorphize from a precocious child to a beautiful young woman. “I love the way I grew up,” Jodie, 40, tells Closer about life as a child actress. “It was hard, it was stressful, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Jodie even reprised the role of Stephanie on Fuller House, which ran on Netflix for five seasons, from 2016 to 2020. The actress remains busy. This fall, Jodie stars in two holiday romances: A Cozy Christmas Inn is due to bow on October 28 on Hallmark, while Merry Swissmas will debut on Lifetime on November 5.

Jodie Sweetin on Bob Saget 'Full House' Final Scene
Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

When she’s not working, Jodie tends to a full house of her own! She’s a newlywed and mother of two teenage daughters, Zoie Herpin, 14, and Beatrix Sweetin-Coyle, 12. “The thing I love most about my home is the people in it,” says Jodie. “I love hanging out with my kids and my husband.”

​​Full House has always had a nice reputation as one of the happiest casts on TV. Who do you still keep in touch with? 

“Everybody. We all text regularly. I talked to Lori [Loughlin] today because I was doing her daughter’s podcast. Dave [Coulier] and I were texting just last week. Andrea [Barber] and I are going on a theater date in a few weeks. I see Candace [Cameron Bure] all the time. It’s been wonderful. We’re a real family.”

So, you have no regrets about spending your childhood on the set? 

“No, not at all. I made some of the most wonderful connections in my life because of being on TV as a child. I had incredible experiences. I got to live a life that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I’m really, really grateful.”

What was it like to return as grown-up Stephanie for Fuller House

“It was fun to finally be an adult and to not have to go to school on the set! [Laughs] I really enjoyed having so much more input. It was just so nice to be on the other side of it and really have a voice to help create Stephanie and the show. They really listened to us and that meant a lot.” 

We were all so sad about the passing of Bob Saget. Can you share a memory of him? 

“Oh, man. There are so many. I do remember the last scene of the original Full House. It was a scene between Bob and I where I leave by the front door and then I come back in and I give him a hug, and say something like, ‘You’re the best dad ever.’ It was a really special moment that he and I shared, and I’ll never forget it.”

Congratulations on your recent wedding!

“Thank you. We kept it very small. My girls were so excited. I’m really happy and in love.”

Jodie Sweetin Kids: Meet Her Daughters Zoie and Beatrix 
Courtesy of Jodie Sweetin/Instagram

You’ve done a number of romantic comedies. Do you believe in love at first sight?

“I do! I think that you can instantly connect with someone, although that doesn’t always mean you’ll wind up with that person. But I do think you can just feel drawn to someone. Sometimes it’s even friends, when you see someone and you’re like, ‘I feel like I know you.’ It becomes that love-at-first-sight sort of feeling.”

You were honest about your past troubles with alcohol and drugs in your 2009 memoir, unSweetined. What advice would you give someone facing similar struggles? 

“Here’s the thing — we get such a limited amount of time to figure life out. And sometimes, unfortunately, we have to keep going down and digging a little further until we figure out just how much pain we’re willing to take. I think a lot of people think that your life has to be completely falling apart before you can get help, but that’s not true. So, my advice is that you should never be afraid to ask for help.”

What are you most proud of? 

“I’m most proud of finally getting to a place in my life where, most of the time, I feel completely comfortable in my own skin. I genuinely like myself. I still have terrible anxiety, but I try to lead my life from the space of really just genuinely liking who I am. I am also always looking for a way to make myself think or to try something new like appearing on shows like On the Edge and Worst Cooks in America. A huge part of that has been the work I’ve done on myself and figuring out how to take on new experiences and really enjoy life.”

Have your daughters been inspired watching you compete on shows like Worst Cooks and On the Edge?

“Only as much as kids are interested in what their parents do! No matter how cool something is, it’s still their parents, so they’re like ‘Whatever.’ My daughter was watching On the Edge and then sent me ridiculous screen grabs of faces that I made on the show. So, she’s telling me she’s watching it, but she’s also making fun of me, which I feel is a very 14-year-old thing to do!”

Do your daughters want to become actresses too?

“My younger one is definitely interested in performing. She goes to a performing arts program at her middle school, and she loves to dance and sing. My older one is an incredible soccer player. She really is loving that and wants to keep playing through high school.”

How would you feel about them following in your footsteps? 

“I want them to do whatever makes them happy. I want them to enjoy what they do. I want them to find a sense of purpose outside of what they do for a job. I have really strong, wonderful, creative girls, so I think they’re going to be just fine.”

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

“I like to watch true-crime documentaries. I am also a big book person. I love going to the bookstore.”

What’s next for you? 

“Directing is really what I want to do next, and I’m moving toward that. I have a couple of friends that I am talking to about potentially directing some holiday-type movies. I want to keep acting, too. I’m grateful to be able to go after my dreams.”