Danica McKellar Talks Crushing On Fred Savage During Wonder Years Era, And Why Winnie And Kevin’s Break Up Was So Emotional
A roller coaster of happy and heartbreaking Wonder Years moments.
When it comes to fan-favorite TV couples from the ‘80s and ‘90s, many viewers would likely first mention such pairings as Friends’ Ross and Rachel, Cheers’ Sam and Diane, or Roseanne’s titular matriarch and Dan. But for the most nostalgic sector of the audience, The Wonder Years’ Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper are a paradigm for young, innocent love. And so it shall always be. And many within that audience would be especially pleased to hear that stars Danica McKellar and Fred Savage did fancy each other a bit early on in the the run, which the ever-youthful actress recently discussed at ‘90s Con while also sharing how a major real-life coincidence helped strengthen the characters’ big break-up episode.
Danica McKellar took the stage for ‘90s Con opposite former co-star Olivia D’Abo, who portrayed Kevin’s rebellious older sister Karen Arnold, and the two talked all about their years both on and after the ABC dramedy. After discussing the always-popular topic of Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss, and how many takes they filmed for it — six, with the sixth take being the one that was used in the episode — McKellar explained why it was a bit mortifying for her as a tween actress crushing on her co-star.
To which Olivia D'Abo was surprised, saying she wasn't even aware of that. Which is kind of wild, all things considered. In any case, McKellar continued, saying:
To note, the Hallmark-turned-GAF star had her mother in the crowd recording the panel. And after the love letter came up, the actress asked her mom if she still had the letter somewhere, and it was determined she didn't, but that it was likely in storage somewhere. And while it wasn't directly stated, I'm pretty sure it would scientifically be the cutest love letter to ever exist.
Danica McKellar On Kevin And Winnie's Break-Up
During a later portion of the panel, a fan asked Danica McKellar about the process of being a teenager and coping with that while simultaneously portraying a teenager on TV who’s going through similar issues. And while she’s talked about this coincidence previously, the actress discussed filming Kevin and Winnie’s big break-up in Season 6 soon after ending a relationship with her off-screen boyfriend. In her words:
Rewatching Kevin and Winnie’s break-up, like many on TV and otherwise, was all the more heart-shattering given the fact that we know they get together again not too far down the line, and was sparked by distance more so than genuine break-up-worthy reasons. And the genuine emotional discomfort from that awfulness can be attributed to how McKellar was truly feeling during the filming for Season 4’s “Heartbreak,” which she’s come to be somewhat grateful for in retrospect. She continued:
No matter where Danica McKellar’s career takes her in the future, her connection to The Wonder Years and millions of viewers’ hearts can never be reversed. Her appreciation for the Emmy-winning series has been evident even beyond ‘90s Con appearances, such as celebrating the show’s 35th anniversary last year and taking part in promoting the arrival of ABC’s second iteration of The Wonder Years, for which Winnie Cooper was referenced, which is set to return for Season 2 later this year.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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