We became best friends, we started the movie. And we fell in love. And I never went back to school because I fell so in love with him.
Middle of a Love Story throws back to when Skype was the ‘Zoom,’ and screen recording was quite difficult.
This was the last time we caught up with actress, mom, director, social media activist, Soleil Moon Frye--also known to the world as her famous TV character, "Punky Brewster."
Soleil recently released her collection of home movies that she recorded with a video camera and compiled over the years called, “Kid ‘90.” The result is a time capsule featuring some celebrity heavy-hitters growing up with Soleil in the same era.
"Kid 90" is an incredible documentary on the lives of these celebrities like herself who made a name for themselves in Hollywood during the '80s to the '90s.
Soleil was only 7 years old when she became a household name worldwide. Today, the multi-hyphenate has once again, “found her spark” after the release of “Kid 90.” She also recently reprised her role as a divorced mama--the adult “Punky,” in the Punky Brewster reboot on Peacock.
But her main role remains as “Mom” to her 4 children--Poet, Jagger, Lyric, and Story.
ON HER MOTHER, SONDRA
She was an incredible mom raising us. She was a single mom and really did an incredible job. We were always able to be kids. We have an amazing life, and you can see how close my brother and I are, and how much of an extended family it is.
I was born in the month of the sun, and my mom loved the song, “Morning, Noon and Night.” Thus, Soleil Moon.
ON HER BROTHER, MEENO PELUCE
For me, it was a huge part of my youth. My brother really helped to raise me, and he was my best friend, my brother. I can’t imagine growing up without that, you know? We had a large extended family.
My mom created a summer camp out of our house, so literally all of the kids in the neighborhood, all of our friends would come and spend the summers with us. It was like, “Camp Soleil. Camp Mama Moon.” My mom was an amazing chef, so everyone came from all over
When I was little, they were both actors. I grew up watching my brother and my Dad--I didn’t speak until I was 3-years old. But when I started...it’s so funny because I would hide behind my mom. I’d be watching my big brother act, and when I was 5, I said, “Mom, I wanna give this a try.”
(*Now separated, the couple co-parent their 4 children)
I met Jason, we worked together on a movie. And I had a huuuuge crush on him, and literally he played it so cool. He was like, totally. He knew that I was kind of fickle, so he’d be like, “Hey, what’s up?” You know, super cool guy. And I had a big crush on him, and we became really good friends, and I pitched him an idea of a movie that I wanted to direct.
And so I pitched his company and they said, “OK well, if you do it and write it in a week, maybe we'll think about doing it.” So I went home and wrote everyday, for 24 hours a day. And then I sat next to my brother and he typed it up for me and I dropped it off at their doorstep, and I went back to school because I was going to college in New York at the time.
And I got a call, like a week later, they were gonna make the movie. So I came back [to L.A.] and we went into production. We became best friends, we started the movie. And we fell in love. And I never went back to school because I fell so in love with him.
I had a big crush on him, and we became really good friends, and I pitched him an idea of a movie that I wanted to direct.
ON HER KIDS
You know, when I was little, I used to tell my Mom that I wanted a hundred kids. And she’s like, “Great! Become a teacher.” For me, I’ve always loved kids. And as you can see, it’s been total happy chaos in our house, so I figure, like, two or five [children] is probably around the same thing, haha.
When Poet was born, I never knew that the human spirit could love in such a way as you love your children.
Soleil: Can you believe? My baby girl? My 7 and ½ year old?
Kariz: I can't! It’s too much. I can’t believe she's [Poet] 7, no!
Soleil: It’s crazy…
Kariz: And every day is too fast. Oh my gosh. [Introduces Soleil and Poet to her baby boy] This is Mathis…
Poet: Your baby is sooo cute!
Kariz: Thank you! This is Mathis, he’s really amazed [at the Skype call].
Soleil: That baby is sooo cute.
Kariz: Thank you!
Soleil: [To Poet] I’ll see you, ok? Can you say bye?
Karia: Poet, we miss you! We miss you, honey, we miss you!
Soleil: We wanna see you! Come visit us! Or we’ll come visit you!
Kariz: Yeah, that’d be great! [To Poet, blows kisses] Mwah!
Soleil to Poet: I love you.
Soleil to Kariz: Isn’t it so crazy that you can be in the Philippines and we can be here?
Kariz: I know!
ON CREATING CHANGE, AND PARENTING
I feel like we’re coming into this incredible time of social consciousness where the gift to help each other and support each other is so incredible. And whether it’s a smile, a handshake, whatever it is, that the power of “us” is so incredible if we act together.
...the power of “us” is so incredible if we act together.
And so I think we really are the next generation of activists, active parents, and that we have this incredible ability to create change. And also for us to think outside of ourselves, you know--in raising our kids, and being parents that our little ones can teach us so much about ourselves. I mean, I learn more from my kids than I could have ever learned about myself. I always thought I’d pass on this incredible knowledge and wisdom and yet I find that everyday, they’re passing that wisdom and knowledge on to me.
Kariz: All right. So what have you been up to?
Soleil: The kids are getting bigger by the second!
Kariz: I am! I am though! I eat too much cookies, I eat too much cookies! But anyway…
Soleil: Embrace it, I love it.
Kariz: I know you’ve been up to a lot. I’ve been catching up with you virtually, and I’m part of the 1.4 million followers on Twitter.
Soleil: We have an awesome community on Twitter, an amazing community on Facebook, and I get to connect to moms every day, to all these amazing moms. I am having so much fun connecting everyday to all these incredible parents--and dads, of course.
Kariz: (Soleil’s dog, Elliott joins in) And little puppies! OK, how did you guys spend Valentine's Day?
Soleil: Well, we spent it with the girls, of course. And on the weekend, we had an amazing scavenger hunt, which, of course, my big brother, Meeno--whom you know well--and Ilse [Meeno’s wife] put together, it was amazing. We went all over the city with the kids. This is like the sixth year we've done it. We've been doing it since they were babies. We go all over the city, the kids have a blast. This one was at The Grove. And it was very exciting. There is a video on the site, I have to show it to you, it's super cute. They put clues everywhere, and you go and find the goodies, and it unveils the next goodies...it was so much fun.
And then Valentine's night, mommy made dinner for Jason and the girls [only Poet and Jagger were born at the time]. We all had dinner together. It was very fun.
Kariz: So sweet. So nice. I know you've been traveling…
Soleil: Yes! Traveling like crazy. I am back and forth to New York, which is so much fun.
Kariz: I know! What’s in New York?
Soleil: I was there the day before Valentine’s Day. But I came back. I go back next week to go back to, “The Today Show” and see all my friends over there, which has been so much fun. And then of course, I wanna be home for the girls. So I do the insane, 12 to 18-hour trip. You know? Where it’s like, “Get in, go, taping, come back to it make it home by dinner.”
And I love it. And I love getting to share all my fun, inspiration, ideas. I love crafting. So I love going on [shows], and doing crafting pieces. And food. I love tech gadgets. I love talking about technology. I love Mom-trepreneurs. We’re doing a whole piece on momtrepreneurs, which is great where we're finding incredible moms that are building businesses and inspiring us. So that's been amazing.
Kariz: Were you recently in Haiti?
Soleil: Yes, I’ve been to Haiti a few times in the last few years. It's been incredible--an amazing experience, working with an incredible, just unbelievably inspiring organization, called JP/HRO (now called CORE Response)--and seeing the incredible progress there has been beyond inspiring. And I'm planning my next trip. I'm hoping to make it a few times in the next year and a half again.
And it's just such an amazing, beautiful place. The people are so inspiring, and the work that they're doing there is just truly incredible. So I've been really blessed to work with them, and I'm having an amazing time.
...unbelievably inspiring organization, called JP/HRO (now called CORE Response)--and seeing the incredible progress there has been beyond inspiring.
The founder is one of the most incredibly inspiring people, Sean [Penn]--and he is amazing, and so incredibly committed. He is there month after month, and just giving his all. So it's amazing.
Kariz: I know apart from Haiti, you were also in India with the girls...
Soleil: I went to India with the girls, which was so much fun! It was an absolute blast! We journeyed to India. Of course, as you know my big brother had been there with their kids and they loved it. And we had this amazing, amazing, experience...
Kariz: How long were you there for?
Soleil: We were there for a few weeks. We spent Thanksgiving there. The people were so beautiful. We got to see the Dalai Lama, which was amazing! I mean, so incredible and the kids got to spend time with him. And it was so inspiring because the girls had done projects in school and they actually brought them to him, which was so beautiful--and he was amazing. So it was just the whole journey. We went to Delhi. We went to Rajasthan. We rode on camels, elephants--I mean, it was just the whole thing was so amazing, so liberating. And it’s so amazing to show the kids another part of the world, and culture. They were just--we were all so moved.
We got to see the Dalai Lama, which was amazing! The kids got to spend time with him. And it was so inspiring because the girls had done projects in school and they actually brought them to him...
Kariz: Yeah, I'm sure! And I saw a photo, an amazing photo of the girls with the Dalai Lama.
Soleil: I mean, how cool, right???
Kariz: How many people can say that?
Soleil: I put it up on my Facebook page!
Kariz: I know, I know!
Soleil: Oh, I'm so happy for you! I love seeing you and catching up and visiting, and all that good stuff.
Kariz: Same here…
Soleil: And I'm gonna send you tons of pictures from our amazing adventures, and all that good stuff.
Kariz: Please, I would love that. Thank you so much. You’re amazing. And you're an inspiration to all of us. Thank you.
Soleil: (Blows a kiss) Awww, thank you.
Kariz: We’ll see you soon? Yes.
Soleil: Bye, honey!