Jenna Ortega of Stuck in the Middle (Disney Channel) is used to being in a big family herself.
“I’m from a large family. I’m one of six kids but if you add one of my nephews there’s seven. But my sister just had another nephew so now there’s eight of us. And they’re always over at the house because we babysit them so there’s eight kids in my family I guess you could say. So it’s pretty big.”
In fact, she is literally stuck in the middle of her family, so much that she sees parallels in her own experiences as being one of many.
“I love being stuck in the middle. I like Harley’s story line because at first she’s kind uncertain of where she’s going with her life. She feels very invisible but later on she realizes that she is very important. She plays a very important role in her family. I think it’s important to know that for those middle children out there who feel like they’re not noticed that they are. And they are very important in the families because they make their families their families”.
Stuck in the Middle ran a solid first season the cast – which includes Nicolac Bechtel, Kayla Maisonet, Isaak Presley, Ariana Greenblatt, Ronni Hawk, Cerina Vincent, Jenna Ortega, Joe Nieves, and Malachi Barton – with antics on and off the screen. The cast considers themselves one big family. In fact, listening to them talk reminded me of my own big family and being a middle child myself – including pranks like the one they played on Isaak Presley involving OREO cookies –
Jenna – “We got a packet of Oreos and we opened one of them. And we put deodorant in there. And Isaac runs in and we’re eating like the normal ones. And he said, oh my gosh, give me one, give me one. So we give him the deodorant ones.”
Nicholas – “He shoves it in his mouth. Chews it and then after he chews it he runs to the bathroom!”
Kayla – “He was just like a little girl too.. (when he screams.) Everyone was like ‘who was that? Kayla? Ariana? Jenna?”
Isaak – “I was like oh wait, can I have one? I take a bite of it. As I’m chewing I’m like having different thoughts. I’m like wow, is this a mint Oreo? This doesn’t taste right. And then, and then I freaked out.”
As far as chemistry, it’s obvious that they are a family on and off screen. Cerina (who plays mom Suzy) thinks of them as her own children.
“I always wanted seven kids. And it just like was a weird childhood thing, like a fantasy sequence . And I have them all but in a different form. It’s really cool. We’re bonded.”
She says this with tears in her eyes and a look of pure love over her tv family. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are often mistaken for a regular, real-life family when together.
Isaak – “We’re like a real family we have everything which really helps brings the onset chemistry. I mean we have the bickering and we have the jokes and we have the emotional moments together that really helps bring that to the screen. You know if everything was happy and joyful 24/7 I feel like it’d be very phony. But because we experience all the emotions that kids do it really helps onscreen.”