Charlotte Booker interview

The short-lived (1991-92) Nick at Nite tv show, “Hi Honey I’m Home”, which detailed about a family from the 1950s who get transported to the modern day world of the 90s is one of those rare shows that only a few remember. What makes it more surprising is that it was filmed at the newly opened Nickelodeon Studios  in Orlando,FL! I got the chance to talk with Charlotte Booker, who portrayed the mom Honey Nielsen, to talk about what it was like filming there all part of the project about Nick Studios!

Then
Now
1. How did you get the role of Honey Nielsen on Hi Honey I’m Home?
I auditioned in New York, several times, for the writers, producers, networks, and  director.
2. The first day you were at the studios were you amazed by how large it was and just being there?
Well, it was fun and felt very odd to be part of a theme park.  But I had been in TV studios before.  And I knew Universal Orlando because I had done another pilot for Nick at Nite called THE EARLY DAYS (about a TV variety show from the late 1940s-50s, like Burns and Allen).
3. What was a typical day like at Nick Studios?

Drive to work, read through the script at a table with everyone, rehearse, lunch, rehearse changes, go home and study.  Then on days we were shooting we’d get there very early for makeup, rehearse, and shoot the shows twice, once with an audience. Doing it with an audience was like doing a stage play–fun.  After the audience left, we fixed whatever mistakes were made.

4. Do you remember other shows being filmed where you were at?
I remember Clarissa Explains it All for You.  There were others, but frankly, we were so busy, we didn’t have time to hang out with anyone else.
5. What was one of the good things about living and working in Orlando?

Working is always a luxury for an actor.  That part was fun.  Originating a role was great fun. The cast and the writers I was working with were amazing.  And of course I had lots of out of town visitors from NY and the Midwest because everyone wants to come to Florida for Disney, the weather, the beach, etc.

6. Though Hi Honey I’m Home wasn’t originally a Nick show, did you all blend in well with the other tv productions being taped there at the time? It actually was originally a Nick at Nite show.
7. Do you still keep in touch with anyone from the show?

Oh yes.

8.  I always read stories about how the staff was all just a comforting environment. How great were all the people that you worked with there?

Terrific.  Pros.

9. Have you ever been slimed?

No.  As I said, we didn’t hang out at Nick–we were there to work. And, unlike the other casts, we were mostly adults. So no.

10. Did you have a favorite ride at Universal Studios Florida? No. I did ride some of them but have no memory of what they were!
11. You may not be aware but how do you feel knowing that the show, though short-lived, and the rest of 90s Nickelodeon made a positive impact on fans and is still loved today?

I’m always surprised when someone remembers it.

12. Any acting projects you’re working on at the moment?

I’m writing plays these days and working on my own projects.  I did a role on the new Jim Gaffigan pilot and a small part in a short film directed by Michael Cera.  And I have a tiny part in the new Coen Brothers movie. But mostly I do theatre.

13. Any behind the scenes or fan moments that happened on set at the studio you can recall (studio tour,live audience)?

My all-time favorite “Honey” moment was meeting and working with Gale Gordon, Lucy’s Mr. Mooney. The other golden era TV stars (Eva Gabor, Ann B Davis, Jim Nabors, Barbara Billingsley, et al) were a treat, too.

14. I think that Nickelodeon Studios was a special place for kids and adults to interact with actors and TV shows and just have a lot of fun especially somewhere like Orlando. Would you agree with that? Yes.
15. Would you like to see Nick Studios be re-opened? Of course, but convincing them to do that is probably not gonna happen.  Sorry.

 

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