Callie Haverda Owns Her Awkwardness On That '90s Show
Because when your character's first kiss is also your first kiss, you gotta roll with it.
In Elite Daily’s series At The Moment, celebs dish on their current projects, pop culture hot takes, and everything taking over their group chats. Below, Callie Haverda discusses her new role at the center of Netflix’s That ‘90s Show and how she’s more like her character than anyone would imagine.
Being a teen is a weird time for anyone, filled with change, uncertainty, and a ton of emotions. Add in being an actor getting your big break on a high-profile TV reboot, and you’ve got yourself one wild ride. Such is the case for Callie Haverda as she makes her sitcom debut in Netflix’s refresh of That ‘70s Show, That ‘90s Show, playing lovably awkward teen Leia Forman.
If Leia’s last name — Forman — sounds familiar, it’s because she’s practically royalty in the That ‘70s Show cinematic universe. Leia is the daughter of Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon) from That ‘70s Show. The pressure of leading such an iconic reboot was not lost on Haverda.
“Since it’s the whole original team from ‘70s [working on our show], everyone was constantly telling us how big this was gonna be,” Haverda tells Elite Daily. “So obviously there was this anxious excitement.”
At 15, Haverda is the same age as her That ‘90s Show character, but that’s not where the similarities end. Haverda and Leia are both exploring new situations. For Leia, that’s a summer spent in her parents’ hometown of Point Place, Wisconsin, while for Haverda, it’s becoming the face of a highly anticipated Netflix series. Both Leia and Haverda are unafraid to nerd out over their hobbies and interests (debate team for Leia; writing, archeology, and her pet sulcata tortoise for Haverda). They even shared a big life moment: Leia’s first kiss on the show was also Haverda’s first kiss IRL.
“It was a big moment, but there were a lot of precautions to make sure everyone was comfortable, and I was very comfortable with my castmates,” she says. “We all respect each other and we all understood that this is acting, and it’s all just characters that we’re playing, so it was fun. We would have this dramatic moment where we kiss, and afterward, as soon as they called cut, we’d dance around and make jokes.”
Perhaps the biggest similarity between Haverda and Leia is their quirkiness. “I’m a pretty awkward person,” Haverda says. “I’m the type of person that gets embarrassed very easily, so I have to work on that.” Luckily, being part of That 90’s Show has helped in that respect. “It was such a great environment. We could really all laugh at ourselves and make fun of ourselves.”
Although Haverda is admittedly super similar to Leia, she’s wary of conflating her character and herself too much. “You need to daydream about what your character’s been through before because you obviously don’t want to just play yourself in different clothes.”
Speaking of clothes, Haverda has the perfect metaphor to illustrate both her acting mindset and one main difference between herself and Leia: her character’s choice in footwear. “Once you really step into their shoes — Leia’s Keds, which I was not a huge fan of — it definitely transforms [me],” Haverda says, adding that the Keds are her least favorite part of Leia’s wardrobe.
Below, Haverda shares what else you need to know about her in 2023 as you watch her bring back the ‘90s on Netflix.
This section has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Who is the last person you texted?
My castmates, Ashley Aufderheide (who plays Gwen) and Sam Morelos (who plays Nikki), in our group chat.
Favorite song to sing along to?
“Careless Whisper” by George Michael. It has so many good memories and it’s a very fun song to sing along to.
Any vegetables. I like to eat green bell peppers whole, like apples.
What’s the last dream that you remember?
I met this really old man, and he was on a swim team. I just remember going to his swim meet and cheering him on. I have no idea who he is.
Favorite place that you’ve visited?
I recently visited Costa Rica and that was my first time out of the country, so that was super fun.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Who do you turn to for advice?
Definitely my mom.
Ideal Friday night?
Curling up somewhere comfortable and either watching a good film or reading a book.
Who’s your acting role model?
Anya Taylor-Joy. I love her career and everything she’s done.
How would you describe your style?
Kind of all over the place. Every day I choose a new aesthetic for myself. I love clashing colors and patterns.
What’s the last thing you read that stuck with you?
On Sun Swallowing, a book of poems by Dakota Warren.
Comfort-watch TV show?
Honestly, That ‘70s Show. When I was sick I watched so much of it.
If you could live in any decade, which would you pick?
I have a current obsession with the Roaring ‘20s because I just watched Babylon.
A ‘90s trend you’d love to bring back?
A lot of people in the ‘90s wore these little clip things that you put on the back of shirts or dresses to cinch them tighter. I think that would help a lot of people, so to bring that back would be awesome.
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