By being on a show, and having a talent, you’re no better than someone else. You’re just in the public eye, and people are seeing your talent. It’s a blessing for sure, but for a lot of people — a lot of celebrities, especially my age — it gets to their heads.
When we call actor Michael Campion, perhaps best known as Jackson Fuller on the Netflix Full House spin off, we are sitting in our dorm room in New York, in front of a laptop. Campion, a Florida native who travels to California often for work, is in LA preparing to start production on the fifth and final season of Fuller House. Not right now, though—today he is on an afternoon walk, and we’re coming with him via Skype. We may be on opposite coasts, but Campion is as affable as you’d expect (“Yeah, we should totally hang out when I come to New York!”)—someone who seems to have mastered the ability to stay cool and calm while balancing his starring role on the reboot, alongside original cast members Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and Andrea Barber. As we watch palm trees swaying against the blue sky behind him, Campion takes us through his neighborhood, and tells us his secrets to staying grounded, his upcoming turn in the Fuller House writers’ room, and his ideal series finale episode.
Hannah Loesch: Fuller House is about to head into its 5th and final season. How would you describe Jackson at the end of the show compared to Jackson in season 1, episode 1?
Michael Campion: You know, I think from season one to now, Jackson has really grown as a person. He’s gotten a lot more mature. At first he was pretty goofy — a lot of stuff didn’t really go his way, and he was just this immature little kid. Now, he’s actually grown into his own. He has something that he really likes. He plays football, and people like him now. It’s a nice character arc, especially coming to the end of the show. I was 12 when I started the show!
Hannah: So you became a teenager while you were doing the show, and now you’re 16 — you’ve spent some key years of your life working on Fuller House. What would you say is the most important thing you learned, on a personal level, about the “real world” and real life…
Cailin Loesch: Just from working on TV and with this cast?
Michael: Oh my gosh. I’ll tell you right now, Fuller House has really taught me a lot. It’s really hard to measure, because there’s a lot of stuff that it indirectly hits, too. Being on the show, and learning about the business and all that is obviously the biggest part of it all, but all the other stuff — just learning life lessons, being on set — I have learned so much. Without Fuller House, I really don’t know where I’d be right now.
Cailin: Do you still ever pinch yourself? For an actor, especially so young, it is such a huge thing to be a regular on not only a huge show, but one that has spanned generations now. People loved it then, people love it now…
Hannah: And you’re working with the same people from the OG show!
Michael: Oh, yeah. Sometimes when I go on set, I’m still like, Oh my gosh, I’m actually here. Like, this is absolutely insane, because so many people dream of getting stuff like this, and I’m actually living it. It’s really cool to have that second family, because that’s really what we are now, off-set as well. Having that kind of connection, and these kinds of experiences, is really insane. I’m really blessed, I’ll say that right now.
Cailin: And, you know, what I love about your Instagram, and your social media, is that you’re not just posting about the work that you’re doing, you’re also posting fun pictures where you’re hanging out with your friends, making jokes and having a good time, which is so cool to see. How do you keep that balance of just being a regular teenager who’s coming in to his own…
Hannah: On and off screen!
Cailin: …and being a working actor?
Michael: Yeah, you know, on social media, I try to be as genuine as possible. There’s so many people out there who just post pictures about themselves…they come off that they’re very into themselves. I feel like the key to all that is just being humble. Not thinking of yourself as something great, and not [being like] ‘Oh my gosh, I’m the biggest thing since sliced bread!’ That’s not cool. You don’t get anywhere in life with that. By being on a show, and having a talent, you’re no better than someone else. You’re just in the public eye, and people are seeing your talent. It’s a blessing for sure, but for a lot of people — a lot of celebrities, especially my age — it gets to their heads.
Cailin: It’s one of the few careers, I guess, where success in the field also results in fame. But it’s still a job, right? Like, it’s still hard work. Does it feel like that at all, or does it just not ever feel like work because it’s something that you are so passionate about?
Michael: Here’s the thing: on this set, it is a breeze. It is so much fun; like I don’t think that I have ever been stressed out going to work here. I have on other projects, because all the time is crunched into this one little spot, and I don’t get a lot of time to learn my lines, but on this show we literally have two full rehearsal days, and two other days to shoot. More than anything, it’s fun. I’ve never had a time where I’ve gotten genuinely stressed out, do you know what I’m saying?
Cailin: You’re living the life!
Cailin: So, obviously, with you being in entertainment, a lot of your friends are also actors and people you’ve met on set. When you’re hanging out with your friends who do the same thing that you do, do you guys ever talk about work, or do you separate those two worlds and not let them cross?
Michael: That’s kind of a good question, because I do make a lot of friends on set, so that is the thing that we talk about. But for the most part, with my other friends, we don’t really focus on all that. We’re not like, social media influencers, where we’re doing that every day, and we’re not YouTubers — we’re not vlogging and all that kind of stuff. A lot of people in this industry are super competitive, and they don’t want anyone to succeed, especially their friends. So I tend to stay away from that kind of stuff.
Cailin: That’s good, because when you’re at work, you’re at work, but then when you’re with your friends, who are outside of work, you can just be Michael. You don’t need to even think about it, really.
Michael: Exactly, yeah!
Hannah: Have you read the scripts yet for the fifth season?
Michael: Well, actually, they haven’t even started writing it!
Hannah: Are you serious??
Michael: I’m actually going to have a meeting with some of the writers and tell them what I want for the fifth season! But we literally do not know the story until the week before, and that’s only for [that week’s] episode. They’ll give us the script, and then they’ll give us next week’s script, but we don’t know anything other than that. I couldn’t tell you anything even if I wanted to! [laughs]
Hannah: So do they write all of the episodes before you start, or are they writing it as you are shooting it?
Michael: Well, here’s the thing. They write the episode, then they have like a table draft, where it’s just like, the rough draft. We will get together and run all the lines, and they will say, “Okay, well, this joke worked, and this joke didn’t.” We go through three of those trials, then we do one rehearsal day, where all the writers come in and watch the whole thing, and then we have a second day, where all the production and network people will watch it, and they give their own notes. So, we pretty much have a changing script like, every week or so.
Cailin: It’s a work in progress!
Michael: Yeah, exactly. We don’t really stick to one story. If you were to see the rough draft for a lot of them, they’re completely different than what you saw on TV.
Hannah: So, you do have some input on how season five is going to go. Let’s say you’re in the writer’s room, writing the finale episode. In general, how would you like to see [all of the characters] wrap up the show?
Michael: I do know what I want for a few of the characters. I want something epic for Jackson; something to do with his football, since that’s been going so well for him. A lot more stuff exploring the fact that I am hanging out with older kids, and how that kind of gets me into trouble. But besides that, I really don’t have any idea, if I’m being completely honest with you. I’m going to pick [the writers’] brains to see what they say, and see what comes to my mind. Generally, they don’t [ask the cast for input], but since it’s the last season, they are specifically asking for it. Most of the time, they will write it and then they’ll ask.
Cailin: Looking ahead, let’s say, 20 years down the line. Do you still want to be acting, or do you have your eyes on producing or writing, as well? Or is there anything else you have in mind that you want to accomplish outside of entertainment?
Michael: That’s a good question. Outside of film and TV, I’m also a magician. I perform shows at this place called The Magic Castle. It’s pretty exclusive; you have to audition to get in and be a member, and I’ve been doing magic since I was about eight. That’s the only thing I’ve really got going on besides acting! [laughs]
Cailin: You need to be on a TV show where you’re also doing magic!
Michael: That would be awesome! I actually did audition for a show recently that had me doing magic. I didn’t get it, unfortunately, but there are shows out there like that, so it would be a lot of fun.
Hannah: Magic is a real performance too, so it seems like you’re a performer, through and through.
Michael: Oh, yeah! My blood is performing. On my mom’s side, pretty much everyone is a performer. My aunt and uncle used to be professional clowns for Ringling Bros., and now they’re Santa and Mrs. Claus, year round, professionally. And my mom is the Fairy Godmother at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Cailin: That’s the best. So, you seem to be out on a walk right now…what do you do when you have a day off?
Michael: Yeah, I actually am out on a walk right now! On my days off, I like to hang out with my friends. We’re actually going mini-golfing later, which is going to be a lot of fun! I collect swords and knives, and I go paint balling quite frequently. I read a lot of books.
Cailin: You do a little bit of everything!
Michael: I do everything! Exactly!
To keep up with Michael Campion, follow him on Instagram!