As a mom of four kids, I can kind of relate to a large family since ours has six people. Nothing we do is small. The vehicles we drive all have to have a 3rd row. Traveling is nothing if not expensive. Every hotel stay requires two rooms (or a suite if it's available). Taxi cabs are out of the question unless you're lucky enough to score a minivan. Costco? Well, it's never cheap, and bulk foods are our friends. We won't even talk about the number of loads of laundry that get done in an average week in out house.
My oldest daughter, Sophie, can absolutely relate to Harley Diaz (played by Jenna Ortega) in Disney Channel's “Stuck in the Middle.” Sophie's 11 years old and has an older brother (13) and twin sisters who are 9. She's the middle. While she doesn't have as many siblings as Harley, she gets it. In fact, all of my kids get it. It's one of the reasons the show is so relatable. We love it. And we're so excited the new season airs today (11/24/16).
I had the chance to sit down with the entire Diaz family cast (Ariana Greenblatt “Daphne Diaz”, Malachi Barton “Beast Diaz”, Nicholas Bechtel “Lewie Diaz”, Jenna Ortega “Harley Diaz”, Isaak Presley “Ethan Diaz”, Kayla Maisonet “Georgie Diaz”, Ronni Hawk “Rachel Diaz”, Cerina Vincent “Suzy Diaz”, and Joe Nieves “Tom Diaz”) while in Los Angeles this month and talk to them about what exactly it's like to be Stuck in the Middle.
Disney Channel's Stuck in the Middle Fun Facts
Rolling around in cake is cold, but fun
There's a scene where Daphne Diaz is rolling around in cake. The whole scene took about 45 minutes to shoot. Ariana said she had fun shooting that scene.
ARIANA: It was so much fun. It was a little cold but it was like obviously amazing. The cake was so good. I was doing snow angels.
Yeah. Snowballs were like out of cake. It was so much fun. I loved it. It was amazing.
Jenna Ortega, who plays Harley Diaz, is actually from a large family in real life.
She's one of six kids, and she has a large extended family, too. Cerina said she felt that Disney created the show for Jenna and her family because there are so many parallels. “It was perfectly designed.” Jenna loves being Stuck in the Middle.
I like Harley’s storyline because at first she’s kind uncertain of like where she’s going with her life. She feels very invisible but later on she realizes that she is very important. She plays a very important role in her family. I think it’s important to know that for those middle children out there who feel like they’re not noticed that they are. And they are very important in the families because they make their families their families.
Jenna and Isaak love to pull pranks on the set of Stuck in the Middle.
They tell us this story about the ultimate prank, as an entire group tell. they were hilarious.
JENNA: The thing about his pranks though is that they’re not like set up. They’re jump scares. He basically just comes out…
ISAAK: Well, I think what they’re talking about is when you pranked me.
JENNA: Oh. It was April Fools’ Day and we were filming onset. And I kept telling everyone, hey guys I have the biggest prank. I’m going to get all of you guys. You guys don’t even know.
ISAAK: There was no prank.
JENNA: That was the prank. That was his prank that he didn’t have a prank. But my siblings, a couple of my siblings have to be on set that day. And I said, well we have to get Isaac before he gets us. So Isaac is like the biggest Oreo fan. So my siblings and I, we got a packet of Oreos and we opened one of them. And we put deodorant in there. And Isaac runs in and we’re eating like the normal ones. And he said, oh my gosh, give me one, give me one. So we give him the deodorant ones.
NICOLAS: He shoves it in his mouth. Chews it and then after he chews it he runs to the bathroom…
KAYLA: He was just like a little girl, too. Everyone was like, Kayla, Ariana, Jenna like who is that
ARIANA: No, he didn’t even think twice because he loves Oreos so much…
ISAAK: …I walked right into it.
MALACHI: He doesn’t even look at it. Later he’s like, we don’t even have to say anything.
ISAAK: I was like oh wait, can I have one? Her sister hands me one. I’m like, great. I take a bite of it. As I’m chewing I’m like having different thoughts. I’m like wow, is this a mint Oreo? This doesn’t taste right. And then, and then I freaked out.
They have a very realistic family chemistry on set. On set, the kids act like siblings and as a family unit.
ARIANA: Off the set we hang out at dinners. And we really love each other.
JENNA: We see each other Monday through Fridays so it’s like we’re always….
ISAAK: Saturdays and Sundays.
JENNA: It’s like they’re my second family.
JOE: And that happened right from day one. Right from day one it happened. It was immediate and fantastic.
ISAAK: I know for Malachi and I, we’re only children. So like us walking into this as only children, we’re walking into this big family, it was actually like adopting a family.
ARIANA : We’re like family.
MALACHI: Just like Isaak and I, what he was saying is that like in real life, we don’t have any siblings. So it’s like interesting but it’s really, really fun to have siblings onset, so.
Cerina isn't a mother in real life, but she's very motherly.
CERINA: I always wanted seven kids. And it just like was a weird childhood thing like you know fantasy sequence. And I have them all but in a different form. It’s really cool. We’re bonded.
MALACHI: I mean even for like the only children onset that don’t have siblings kind of like again what I was saying is that it’s amazing how you can have siblings when you actually don’t have siblings.
CERINA: Love is love.
ISAAK: And to say what you were saying about is it actually like that? I mean, what’s great is that because we’re like a real family we have everything, which really helps brings the onset chemistry. I mean we have the bickering and we have the jokes and we have the emotional moments together that really helps bring that to the screen. You know if everything was happy and joyful 24/7 I feel like it’d be very phony. But because we experience all the emotions that kids do it really helps onscreen.
In one word, what Stuck in the Middle means to them
Disney's Stuck in the Middle is a single-camera comedy series follows 12-year-old Harley Diaz as she maneuvers her way through the bustle of being a middle child in a family with six other siblings. The heartfelt and comedic stories of a big family find Harley devising creative ways to cope with—and stand out—in her family’s busy suburban Massachusetts household. Her ingenuity often wins the day for the Diaz family, even with many different personalities living under one roof. Catch “Stuck in the Middle” on the Disney Channel.I’ve been invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles. As always, all opinions are my own.