Lisa Whelchel hasn't been in the spotlight much since The Facts Of Life was on air, preferring to live a quieter life away from Hollywood as a successful Christian author. Now, however, she's returned to television for a Hallmark Channel movie For Better Or For Worse, and the project has reunited her with one of her old co-stars.
Kim Fields, who played "Tootie" on the popular '80s sitcom, says she jumped at the chance to not only work with her longtime friend again, but to be able to focus on acting again after years of being behind the camera.
"They sent me the script and said that Lisa was attached, and I thought it was a great story. And after all the directing and producing, I loved not having those responsibilities. I could show up, get to work with someone I adore, and then go home! And I got to be comfortable in my post-baby skin!" she said.
Whelchel also reunited with fellow co-star Charlotte Rae last month when they met for lunch, and apparently the girls still try to stay in touch with one another after all these years. Whelchel, who made headlines when she came in second place on Survivor: Philippines says that there are things she wishes she could have realized when the show was filming that are easier to see now.
"The biggest fact of life I wish I knew while on the show is to be a little proud of being a little heavier than the typical girls on TV. Because it gave the opportunity to give the girls who watched the show a point of reference for a reality of what girls look like and accept themselves at a normal weight," she said.
She also says she can see things in her friend now that she didn't always appreciate when they were younger.
"It was like old times, but really, really different," she said of filming for the Hallmark Channel. "We felt comfortable together, because we're such good friends. But I can see her talent as an adult. I would watch her during a scene now and think, "Wow, she's really good. She's so funny." I didn't appreciate that as a kid."
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