'Family Matters': Reginald VelJohnson Says Working With Jaleel White Was 'A Challenge'
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Clickables , Television

'Family Matters': Reginald VelJohnson Says Working With Jaleel White Was 'A Challenge'

After Family Matters star Jo Marie Payton spoke out about working with Jaleel White on the show, Reginald VelJohnson is also adding his two cents.

The show followed the lives of the Winslow family and their loving but often annoying neighbor, Steve Urkel.

White starred in the sitcom as Urkel. The show covered issues that every family goes through. Though the cast seemed like a tight-knit group on TV, Vel Johnson spoke about how difficult it was to work with White at times.

VelJohnson talks about White

VelJohnson starred on the show for nine years. Initially, White was only supposed to be a one-time co-star, but turned out to be a main character. The cast has previously spoken about having to adjust to White as the star and once his popularity grew, so did his ego apparently.

“He was a wonderful kid, [but] I think working with him was a challenge. Working with everybody was a challenge, and there were some moments where he was a little difficult,” he told ET Online. “But overall, I have nothing but good memories from him.”

 

“I think, you know, a lot of the kids grew up on the set and we had to deal with children… and that was an interesting experience, dealing with children as they grew up,” he said.

“I went to my dressing room and locked the door when I [rehearsed] my scenes because that was the only way. Because kids have a lot of energy… [and] you couldn’t deal with it.”

He also recalled an incident that upset him.

“I remember one incident, he [and] the kids were playing basketball on the set, and I just couldn’t take it. I said, ‘Please, please stop the basketball!’ And they wouldn’t stop. I said, ‘Listen, you either stop the basketball playing or I’m gonna leave.’ And I left. But there was no more basketball after that.”

Payton also had her issues with White. During the episode “Original Gangsta Dawg,” the two had a disagreement over a scene, noting White threw a tantrum of sorts.

"I was going to whip his behind," she recalled.

She later learned that she had to remember White was a child actor. It was all part of his learning experience.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2022 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.