Valerie Bertinelli Explains Why She Hasn’t Guest-Starred On The ‘One Day At A Time’ Reboot

Valerie Bertinelli was really close to appearing on the One Day at a Time reboot.

The actress, who portrayed Barbara Cooper in the original series from 1975 to 1984, told Entertainment Weekly she really loved what Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce have done with the latest iteration and that it’s only a matter of time before she’ll guest star and surprise the show’s audience.

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“It’s just been scheduling issues, that’s really all it’s been,” Bertinelli told the outlet about her almost cameo on the One Day at a Time reboot. “We were almost able to work something out. I had one day off and I was flying in the night before and I had to start my show the next day and I think it was just too much. I don’t just want to go in and do just one day. I haven’t acted in five years and I wanted to have the script for more than one day. And I want to be able to really be there with them and soak it all in. Maybe after this quarantine is all over, I’ll still be able to do something with them. I really love all those great people behind the show. What they’ve done is really amazing. I want to do it so bad!”

The original One Day at a Time series centered around a single mom named Anne Romano (Bonnie Franklin) who raised teen daughters Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara (Bertinelli) Cooper. Romano was a very involved parent who patiently dealt with her daughters’ teenage angst and mood swings, as well as the stress of climbing the corporate ladder as an advertising executive while dealing with building superintendent Schneider (Pat Harrington).

“I have such wonderful memories from those days,” Bertinelli, who was 15 when the show debuted, recalled. “I was learning from the best. Bonnie was like a second mother to me, I absolutely adored her. And Pat Harrington just made me laugh so hard! Mackenzie really was like my sister. It was wonderful to grow up on that set. I learned so much.”

“One of my favorite episodes on One Day at a Time was when Barbara breaks her nose. I don’t know why that one really sticks in my mind but I really liked that one! And I really loved the pilot, it really changed my life forever,” she continued. “I knew at the time, before I made my entrance, as a young 15-year-old girl I was thinking, ‘This is going to change my life. This is real.’ It changed my whole life. I can still see the audience and remember the smells that were unique to the set and I can even feel my hand on the doorknob right before my queue to go on. I remember thinking that my children will be able to see this one day. Of course, I don’t think my son has ever seen it! It’s tough to find the whole series for some reason. People would love to watch these days! Not to take away from the new One Day at a Time, because it’s so good.”

Last month, Bertinelli celebrated her 60th birthday while social distancing. Her birthday was a simple occasion – a birthday cake prepared by her husband Tom Vitale, and a virtual dinner party with her friends. In lieu of gifts, she wanted to give back to those who need help the most right now. Bertinelli donated $60,000 to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Give Directly, No Kid Hungry, and Blessings in a Backpack.

In addition to this, Bertinelli had a special gift for her fans. On May 10, the actress’ Food Network series Valerie’s Home Cooking will return for its eleventh season.

As Bertinelli reflected on the past and how much she’s accomplished, she can see many parallels between her life and that of her One Day at a Time character.

“I feel like Barbara would have an almost similar life to mine. She would most likely still be married to Mark, maybe with some grandkids…and maybe even her own cooking show on Food Network,” she said.

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