Skip to main content

Lovecraft Country's Jurnee Smollett Shares Cute Memory Of First Full House Scene With Mary Kate And Ashley Olsen

Michelle Tanner (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) Denise Frazer (Jurnee Smollett) talk on Full House

These days, Jurnee Smollett is known for her fan-favorite performance as Dinah Lance/Black Canary in Birds of Prey and her Emmy-nominated performance as Leti Lewis on Lovecraft Country. So it's easy to forget that she was once the cute little child actor who was a staple of ‘90s sitcoms. Her most memorable role is arguably that of Denise Frazer on Full House, which paired her up with young Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Being on the classic sitcom seems to have been a special experience for the actress, and she even recently shared a cute memory about filming her first scene.

Jurnee Smollett joined the cast of Full House during the ABC sitcom’s sixth season so, by that point, viewers had already fallen in love with the Tanner family. Joining such a popular show would be daunting for anyone, let alone the 4-year-old Smollett. But as she explains, she had no trouble playing off the Olsen twins and getting a feel for being in front of a live audience:

I remember the feeling of performing in front of a live audience, and being able to feed off of them. There [was] that action-reaction cycle that happens when you are in front of a live audience, and ‘Oh, if I do this, this makes them laugh.’ It was such great training for me because it really gave me confidence and freedom. . . . The audience applauded as I walked in front of them and I gave them a peace sign. In my head, that was my inner Janet Jackson moment.

The actress’ comments to THR don’t come as much of a surprise, given her performance on Full House. Jurnee Smollett brought plenty of charm and humor to the character of Denise, and her interactions with Michelle served as funny (and downright adorable) moments. All in all, Smollett’s acting abilities and her apparent desire to channel fellow sitcom vet Janet Jackson proved to be a winning combination.

Acting alongside the Olsen twins had to be a treat for the young actress as well. Like Jurnee Smollett, the two displayed immense talent very early in their careers. This would lead to their shared character, Michelle, becoming a breakout character on Full House. Even to this day, TV fans still quote the little girl’s famous, “You got it, dude” catchphrase. So fans were greatly disappointed when the two opted not to return for Netflix’s Fuller House.

Had Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen chosen to reprise the role of Michelle Tanner, there’s a chance the producers may have sought to bring back Jurnee Smollett’s Denise. Smollett, however, probably isn’t too disappointed about not having been able to return to her sitcom roots. As mentioned, she has been quite busy with other projects, and she just recently added another to the list.

It was recently confirmed that she’ll be reprising her role as the DC Extended Universe’s Dinah Lance in a Black Canary solo film. The project will allow Jurnee Smollett to reteam with Lovecraft Country showrunner Misha Green, and both seem to be looking forward to the new collaboration.

The future is certainly bright for Jurnee Smollett, as she continues to reach new heights in Hollywood. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see that she still has fond memories of her time on Full House and appreciates how it helped mold her as an actor.

Full House is available to stream on Hulu.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.