Blake McIver On "The People’s Couch" And Life As A Former Child Star
The familiar face brings us up to speed on what’s new in his life, what it was like on the set of Full House, and more.
Blake McIver was once friend to Michelle Tanner and the villain we loved to hate in Little Rascals but now — more than a decade later — he’s reinventing himself through music (he’s currently in the studio working on a new album), Instagram (have you ever even SEEN such beautiful abs?), and on the Bravo series The People’s Couch. But how does he feel about his former child star self? We found out when we talked to Blake late last week.
How did you first get involved in The People’s Couch?
Blake McIver: It was sort of a very last-minute thing. My friend Scott, who’s also on the show and sits right next to me on the couch, he had met someone in production who was working on the show. They were like, “Hey, I think you’d be great for this. Do you have friends that you watch TV with?” Emerson and I were literally on our way over to his house to watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that night. He was like, “Well, as a matter a fact, I do.”
So you guys really are friends in real life?
BM: We really are, yes. And we really do gather to watch TV.
I love it. Just to make sure you’re qualified for the job, how much TV do you watch on the regular?
BM: On the regular I would say [that] it varies depending on what shows are on the air at that time. You know, I have my favorites: I’m the drama junkie of the group. Emerson watches everything. I’m the Scandal-Nashville kind of TV watcher. Soapy and glamorous.
So your favorite genre is soapy dramatic stuff?
What do you watch that you’d consider a “guilty pleasure”?
BM: Probably Honey Boo Boo. I love her.
There’s nothing wrong with that; she’s hilarious.
BM: She is! It’s funny because so many people rag on them. I was hoping we’d get an episode to watch for The People’s Couch. I think that Mama June has the greatest self-esteem on the planet. I always say to people if I had her self-worth I would probably be ruling the world.
When you’re filming the show, is it more fun to watch a gross-out clip? Or will you react the same way to everything?
BM: I have the iron stomach of the group so it takes a lot to gross me out. But the other two: Just one drop of blood and they’re, like, down for the count. So the gross-out stuff is amusing for me because I like to watch their reactions to it.
So you don’t feel queasy even during a medical reality series surgery?
BM: Yeah, it really doesn’t bother me. I go to the more clinical [thought process] like, Oh my gosh, how are they gonna fix that?
You are a man of many hats. You’ve modeled, acted, been a singer, a possible dancing career, and now you’re back on TV. How do you self-identify, career-wise?
BM: Well, you know it’s funny because I started out in the business at 6 on Star Search, so for my first professional gig I was singing. So I always kind of go back to music first because that’s where I started. But it immediately went into TV and film and I spent so many days doing that. I went into the theater world for awhile. So I’ve really been all over the map of show business; I just go where my passion lies and luckily I’ve been blessed to be able to follow that path and still sort of scrape by in doing so. So the fact that this is another thing … any other reality show I’d sort of be afraid of, but this one is so much fun and it’s so honest. We really are reacting and it’s real; it’s not scripted. It’s amazing, it’s really fun. It’s a great sort of platform as I’m branching off. I’m finishing my album, which will come out while we’re filming the show.
Can you tell me anything about your album?
BM: Absolutely. It’s a cross-genre kind of concept album. It’s called The Time Manipulator. We’re actually in the middle of mixing it right now. I’m actually talking to you from the studio.
You mentioned Star Search — do you mind if i ask you a little bit about your time as a child actor?
BM: Oh, I don’t mind at all!
Recently at BuzzFeed we published a “Look at him now!” post (or two) when you resurfaced on the first season of The People’s Couch — along with a bunch of other outlets. How did that feel?
BM: It was bizarre because it all happened so quickly. This is how low profile I really was: Emerson had to call me and be like, “You know, you should probably set a Google alert.” I was like, “What does that mean?” He’s like, “Well you should probably at least have your name set” and literally a day or two later all of this started blowing up. I never really understood people saying their phone was blowing up, like what that meant. Because it was never a thing for me. And that morning, my phone exploded. It was crazy. I woke up to a gazillion alerts, calls, texts.
I can’t imagine what that’s like: Is it overwhelming or fun?
BM: It was both. I was definitely overwhelmed at first but this is so cool. How many people get this kind of overnight exposure? I was in the middle of doing what I loved anyway, just anonymously, so the fact that the show has provided me an opportunity and the ability to reach out and reach my fan base from when I was a kid! I mean, they’re all still out there! So many of them have reconnected with me, it’s amazing.
They definitely still are. We have an entire nostalgia section of the site and yet your posts really BLEW UP.
BM: Oh, Rewind? I’m on it, like, every day.
Does it feel like “I’ve been here all along?!” or are you going along for the ride?
BM: You know, it is overwhelming. Luckily, I am working on quite a few things right now. It’s something that I used to think in my teen years … I was trying to run away from the child actor stuff. “No no no, I’m my own person, blah blah blah” but now I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m so thankful for the time that I got to spend with such great people and on great shows and some really fun movies. I can kind of look back and laugh and chuckle and sort of enjoy the fact that people even remember it [at all], which is crazy to me still.
Speaking of some of those shows and movies: Do you have any funny stories from the set of Little Rascals or any dirt on Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen that you can recall?
BM: Gosh, it’s been so many years. You know, the thing that I remember the most, specifically about Full House, is just how much crazy fun we all had. I did a couple episodes on some other sitcoms during the time that I was recurring on Full House and I can remember whenever I’d go to someone else’s set there was pressue. Everybody’s angry, everybody’s intense: I was like, Oh my god, we have the kindest set on television right now. It was crazy.
Somehow our cast had a way of like — and it was probably just a combination of Bob [Saget], Dave [Coulier], and John [Stamos] leading the ship because they were so relaxed and they were so secure in their roles — everybody could have fun and everybody could laugh. The joking on the set between takes was better than what ended up on screen. So that was what was fun, the camaraderie was. I think that’s why the show still speaks to people. You look back and it’s so specific and the awwws, and the audience reactions… it almost reads campy now to rewatch the episodes. But I think the authenticity of the people on it, that’s what really spoke to the audience. And it apparently still does because it’s still in syndication.
Have you ever been flipping around the TV and seen yourself? Because Full House is on at least four times a night.
BM: I have. I have — a few times. I’ve been channel surfing and then like, “Welp! There it is. There he is.”
The People’s Couch airs Mondays at 11:30pm EST on Bravo.