Even Stevens Cast (Minus Shia LaBeouf) Reunites for 20th Anniversary: 'He Went to the Moon!'
Even Stevens first premiered in 2000 and ran for three seasons before ending in 2003
Even Stevens is 20 years old!
In honor of the Disney Channel series' anniversary, the cast came together for a sweet virtual reunion led by stars Christy Carlson Romano (Ren Stevens) and Nick Spano (Donnie Stevens) on Wednesday.
The hit series, which premiered in 2000 and ran for three seasons before ending in 2003, followed a trouble-making seventh-grader named Louis Stevens (Shia LaBeouf) who constantly clashed with his older sister, Ren.
Romano, 36, and Spano, 44, were joined by their former costars: Tom Virtue, who played their dad; Steven Anthony Lawrence, who played the notorious Beans; A.J. Trauth, who played Twitty; and Lauren Frost, who played Ruby.
Principal Wexler, played by George Anthony Bell, was also on the call, as were executive producers David Brookwell, Marc Warren, Dennis Rinsler and Matt Dearborn.
However, was LaBeouf, 34, was missing.
"Whatever happened to Shia LaBeouf?" Rinsler said during the reunion, which prompted the cast to erupt in laughter. (Of course, LaBeouf has become a successful if somewhat eccentric movie star, filmmaker and performance artist. The 2019 film Honey Boy, based on his childhood, won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance and was a critical smash.)
"He went to the moon!" Romano shouted out, hilariously referencing the season 2 episode "Influenza: The Musical," in which Ren dreamt she went to school despite having the flu and was unprepared for her science presentation, causing her to come up with the tune "We Went to the Moon in 1969."
"I was going to set up a separate camera with a photo of him," Spano quipped.
The actors then shared their favorite memories from the show, with Spano saying, "It was a show that people got familiar with at a very special in their lives when life was good."
"It has such a dear place in a lot of people's hearts. I'm very grateful to be a part of show that brings back so many positive experiences," Spano added.
Virtue expressed similar sentiments, saying "Almost a day doesn't go by if I don't go into a Starbucks where some kid around 30 years old, they say: 'Oh my God!' At the beginning I didn't know how to take that, but they would get really sentimental about it."
"Everybody saw us, and we are embedded in their youth. What a great gig it was. It was the best experience I've ever ha," Virtue added.
The cast also addressed LaBeouf's absence and how much he meant to the show.
"Obviously Shia is a huge part of the show and [we] owe a lot of its success to his raw talent," Spano shared. "He's here with us in spirit."
Also during the reunion, Trauth, 33, shared his memories of LaBeouf explaining he was so confident at the time and went around telling kids at the auditions: "Hi, I'm Shia, I'm playing Louis Stevens."
"You could see success in him at a young age," Karen Toole-Rentrip, head of the makeup department, said on the call.
Also missing from the call was Donna Pescow, who played the mom, and Margo Harshman, who played Tawny.
In 2003 LaBeouf won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding performer in a children's series. The show was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for best children's series.
Romano received a Young Artist Award in 2002 for best for performance in a TV comedy series.
Last year, Romano reenacted the iconic "We Went to the Moon in 1969" son in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.
Reuniting with her Even Stevens costar Frost, in an episode of “Christy’s Throwback Kitchen,” the pair were all set to start making “lunar cheese,” before Frost shared that she couldn’t help but be reminded of an iconic song Romano sang on the Disney Channel series.
Right there in her kitchen, Romano launched into a reenactment of the song — complete with an extra special visit by Principal Wexler.
With an eye for detail, Romano even recreated the outfit she wore 17 years earlier in the show, opting for a purple shirt with a pink top.
However, it turned out the Even Stevens reunion was too good to be true.
Much like in the actual episode, it turns out the whole experience was just a dream and Carlson wakes up to the sound of one of her daughters crying.