Even though the original Kim Possible animated series ended well over a decade ago, Christy Carlson Romano has never stopped hearing about how the character she voiced impacted audiences.
It’s this unwavering love that led Disney Channel to reintroduce the titular heroine. Only instead of another cartoon feature, they decided to produce the upcoming live-action film. In an age where female empowerment is so prevalent, Romano believes the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
Team Possible is back together fighting super villains and learning algebra.
“I think that Kim Possible still is a really good role model for kids," the actress said. "She is a good sister. She is a good daughter. She is a really loyal friend. She really cares about people.
“Initially, why Kim Possible even started was because she started a website and started getting pings to save people all over the world. Then she lifted into it accidentally, so Kim Possible is someone who rises to the occasion. That is why kids will be inspired by her today.”
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The new incarnation of the teen crime fighter is portrayed by Sadie Stanley, but Romano does appear as pop star Poppy Blu. It was a surreal experience for the 34-year-old to be on set across from a physical interpretation of the character she initially embodied in voiceover.
“I saw the henchmen, and part of me was like, ‘Maybe I should be battling them,’” she said.
“There was an instinct in me to get defensive. But they were really true to what they looked like in the show. I saw Kim Possible’s jet-pack. It was so cool and exactly like the one from the show…There was a lot of thought and care that went into everything.”
Romano hints the movie will contain numerous Easter eggs to excite long-time fans. She considers herself among them.
“My character is pretty fun because she is giving Kim a ride to a mission, which is throwback to our first animated show,” Romano explained.
“She didn’t have a driver’s license. She had to rely on important people to give her rides. In one of the first few, she got a ride from a Britney Spears type. She had her own private plane to go to one of her first missions. It was fun to be a part of that throwback within a throwback. It was very meta.”
As a mother of 2-year-old Isabella and with another child on the way, Romano believes her appreciation has only deepened for who Kim Possible is and the fact that the character essentially voiced a movement.
“I feel really blessed to have been a part of it from the ground up,” she said. “I even helped create ‘What’s the sitch?’ I remember being asked what I would say to say 'Hi' to friends and 'What’s up.'
"That catchphrase came from a collaboration from me and the creators. I feel like I put my stamp on Kim Possible a long time ago.”
The star recently played one of the old Kim Possible episodes for her daughter. The toddler enjoyed the opening sequence, complete with catchy theme.
“She doesn’t have a long attention span,” Romano said. “But she will love Kim Possible. She is like a mini-Kim Possible. My husband wants to get her into jujitsu, and she climbs on everything and is fearless. I can’t wait to watch with her as she gets older.”
Perhaps Romano will also host family viewings of Even Stevens, a series she worked on alongside Shia LeBeouf. The show involving two completely opposite siblings Ren and Louis ran for three seasons, including a movie, through 2003. For Romano, it would be a smart decision to bring back Even Stevens.
April 18 marks 35 years since the channel was launched.
“We had such great fans,” she said. “I’ve heard about Hilary Duff bringing back Lizzie McGuire. I’ve heard Anne Hathaway bringing back The Princess Diaries. Raven [-Symoné] has obviously been successful with her show that has come back. I have no idea why Even Stevens is not in the works. But I am all about bringing back Even Stevens.
“And I don’t mind playing a mom, because that’s who I am. I think it would be super-funny if Ren Stevens had two kids, twins or brother and sister who are exactly like Ren and Louis.
"Maybe a gender-swap where the boy is maybe Type A and the girl is a lot like Louis. I think that would be super-fun for the past generation of kids and having the joy to watch it with their kids.”
Romano admittedly hasn’t been in touch with LeBeouf much these days, though they have seen each other a few times over the years.
“He even saw my husband at a shooting range when he was preparing for Man Down. He was training at a shooting range with other Marines. My husband was and is a Marine, so they got to meet each other,” Romano said. “Shia still met my husband even though I wasn’t there. He told my husband to say hello and still calls me sis. I have nothing but love for him.”
In other words, Shia if you’re up for a Stevens reunion, you can always call her, beep her.
Kim Possible Live-Action Movie, Friday, February 15, 8/7c, Disney Channel