Having a long career in show business is a blessing. Being on multiple shows is an adventure. Coming back on a popular show is thrilling and exciting. Especially if you have been on the same show a long time ago. Punky Brewster’s Cherie Johnson is here to discuss her return to the classic that thrived in the 80s. Along with discussing returning to the role of Cherie, Ms. Johnson will also discuss other projects as well as what she’s been up to these days. Now we get to hear Ms. Johnson’s story of being in the business for almost four decades and the role changed her life.
Q: How does it feel to be revisiting the role of Cherie on the revival?
A: It’s a incredible dream come true I never realized I wanted. Working on Punky Brewster is what made me fall I love with the entertainment business. I thought every set would be like Punky! (They are not). To be able to come full circle after so long is such an amazing magical experience.
Q: When you first auditioned for the original series, what was the audition process like?
A: I had 7 auditions for the part. But the most exciting part was every time I got to hangout in the chair, drawing pictures with my friend who I met at the first audition. Lol it was Soleil! This was way before technology so children only got to hang out when they saw each other! I was just so happy she was always there. The last time we were called in to audition was my favorite because they called us in the room together and just watched us play dress up. If my memory serves me correctly we had on layers and layers of the things they had available. I wasn’t worried about all the men in the room watching us. (The network executives including Brandon Tartikoff or my Uncle David) I was just busy playing with my new friend.
Q: Punky Brewster handled a lot of serious subjects that was ahead of its time. What was the most challenging subject to cover on the show?
A: The most challenging was probably the challenger. Soleil wanted to be an Astronaut and real people lost their lives with millions of children watching. At the time I never realized how many peoples lives that show really touched. Just because of that episode I have connected with people and made life long friendships.
Q: What was your favorite storyline?
A: The Anniversary episode. When I was able to visit my parents gravesite. That episode I felt like I was able to show my talent instead of just playing the goofy kid I really am. It separated the character Cherie from the girl Cherie. Often I’m confused between the two myself and I enjoy drama but for some reason I always get hired to do comedy and I don’t think I’m that funny.
Q: In the revival, what should we expect from Cherie’s character?
A: Cherie’s has found her passion through her friendship with Punky and has become a social worker. She loves children and spends her days trying to place them into the perfect homes. Cherie is in a loving queer relationship. With a successful attorney Lauren, who is played by the talented and beautiful Jasika Nicole. I was really excited about coming back and I love that Cherie is queer in the story line because I truly believe representation matters. It matters from a character you have known your whole life!
Q: I see you had a recurring role on Family Matter’s, tell us about that?
A: I was able to join the cast on their second season to play Laura’s best friend and Waldos girlfriend Maxine. It was a beautiful 8 season ride growing up amongst such talented castmates.
Q: I’ve noticed you have a podcast. How long has that been going on for?
A: Cheries World Podcast has just started our 3rd season where we have been producing 52 episodes a year. The show is the best way I could open up my life to my audience friends. I’ve never met and introduce them to people I admire and have grown up with or people who inspire me. Courtney my co host and shows producer is that younger hipper friend who keeps his ears to the street and keeps me up on current events. Cherie’s world can be found anywhere you listen to online. That is including podcast, Spotify, Amazon, Apple, IHeart, or you can watch it on YouTube. A new episode drops every Wednesday!
Q: What would you say your biggest guilty pleasure is when not working?
A: Food. I am a huge foodie! I cook but I rather eat! Lol
Q: Last question. What else should we be on the lookout for? What advice do you give to those climbing up the acting ladder?
A: I have been doing my best to hide my daughter from the world. But she came to me and said her dream was to become an author. So I finally printed my 6 year old’s book “Cucumbers are Delicious.” Which can be found on Amazon or my website www.TherealCherie.com along with my natural hair care line Wild Cherry!
Never give up statistically we get one job out of 100 auditions. It’s OK that we hear more no’s than we are yeses! Because we work so hard is why our victories are so sweet.
Cherie definitely has the heart and spunk of being in the business as well as a good mindset. She has managed to keep a simple life while maintaining a busy career. Both in front of the camera and behind the microphone. You can catch Cherie Johnson on the reboot of Punky Brewster on Peacock debuting Feb 25th. In the meantime you can follow Cherie on social media at @CherieJohnson75.