"I'm very happy that they're bringing it back," says actress Christy Carlson Romano, who voiced the titular teen spy in Disney Channel's early 2000s animated series Kim Possible.
Here’s the sitch: Over 11 years have passed since Kim Possible last called on her naked mole rat Rufus and her best friend Ron to help her save the day, but Christy Carlson Romano truly “can’t remember a time in my life without Kim Possible.”
“I’ll always feel very connected to Kim,” Romano, who voiced the badass Disney Channel high schooler, tells PEOPLE. “The fans have never gone away. Now, the new film, it’s an opportunity for the fanship to grow.”
Disney Channel will revisit the beloved animated character next month with a live-action TV movie simply titled Kim Possible. While newcomer Sadie Stanley will step into the titular role of teen spy, Romano couldn’t pass up being a part of bringing KP to the next generation.
Romano, 34, will play Poppy Blu, a famous pop star and friend of Kim’s, who offers a nod to the original series’ tendency to feature guest stars in fun ways. (George Takei once voiced a sensei, and Debbie Reynolds played Nana Possible.)
“I’m here to pick Kim up because Kim doesn’t have a driver’s license,” Carlson says of her character’s plotline. “She doesn’t have her driver’s license, but she needs to get rides from the Marines or famous people, if you remember, to get to her missions. Kim is just like every teenager, but she happens to know some really important people, and Poppy Blue happens to be one of those important people.”
The mom of 2-year-old Isabella teases that the movie will include Easter eggs for longtime fans, as well as modern updates that take the characters into 2019. Rufus will be a CGI mole rat, and “KP now has a communicator on her chest that if you push the button, it’s a hologram,” Romano reveals.
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The former teen star spent nearly one week on the Kim Possible set, but she says she held back from offering her years of KP expertise.
“Out of respect to the directors and also to the process of a young actress, Sadie, learning about what her interpretation of Kim was, I chose not to be vocal about anything in particular with what I would think or would do or say,” Romano says. “It wasn’t my place to overstep and try to be a control freak. I wanted them to experience Kim for how they saw her.”
The Even Stevens actress hopes Poppy becomes a fixture in the world of Kim Possible, which she wants to grow beyond the TV movie.
“I thought it was really fun that they asked me to be that cameo, but I kind of look at it as a character,” she says. “When I approached Poppy Blu, I wasn’t just playing it as Christy Romano, I really approached her as a character. I’m going to be very transparent in that I hope Poppy Blu comes back.”
No matter what, Romano — who is expecting her second daughter with husband Brendan Rooney in late February — feels grateful to be a part of “keeping the magic alive.”
“It was amazing to be the voice of a movement,” Romano says. “I’m feeling very honored, and I’m very happy that they’re bringing it back.”
Kim Possible, also starring Alyson Hannigan and Patton Oswalt, premieres on Disney Channel on Feb. 15.