If you grew up in the ’90s and your parents had cable, you definitely watched the Disney Channel. And, there's no use denying, you spent some quality afternoons marathoning (that’s what binging was called before streaming services) Even Stevens, or watching Disney Channel Original Movies.
If these Disney Channel staples are ringing any bells, then the name Christy Carlson Romano is probably not too far behind. There was no getting by Disney Channel without Christy making an appearance. She played Ren Stevens, the big sister to Shia LaBeouf’s Louis Stevens in Even Stevens and its movie. She voiced the title character in 2002–2007's Kim Possible, and even starred opposite a Lizzy McGuire-era Hilary Duff in Cadet Kelly.
Now all grown up, Christy is “a mom monetizing [her YouTube] channel, doing sponsored content, having fun and working when [she] can.” And two of her recent YouTube videos are getting considerable attention.
If you’ve ever wondered what Christy thinks about her former co-worker Shia LaBeouf, what happened to all the child star’s Disney money, or where she is now, keep reading.
Christy Carlson Romano on why she doesn't speak to Shia LaBeouf.
With 316,000 subscribers on YouTube, Christy is making quite a splash on the platform. Since August 2020, the former child star has been opening up on her time in the limelight. A recent video, titled, "Why I Don't Talk to Shia LaBeouf," has amassed over one million views — and as of this writing, it's only been live for one week!
In the roughly 10-minute clip, Christy addresses why she and former Even Stevens co-star fell out. "I'm honored that people would think that I would still be in touch with him because it means that we did a really good job of making you guys think that we were real-life brother and sister, but in reality, it wasn't really like that," she begins. "We weren't really close."
Christy explained that she learned a lot about Shia, a person she worked with everyday, the way many of us did: through Honey Boy, a film about how he grew up in the entertainment industry. "I didn't know a lot of the back stories that came out about where they were living at that time," Christy reveals, "and how much hardship they'd seen, and stuff like that."
The Kim Possible star does "kind of wish, if I'd known anything about him [back then], I could have been a little more patient." She admits the on-screen siblings "had a little bit of animosity" while working together. One of the moments that hurt her, she recalls, is when Shia thanked everyone on Even Stevens for his Emmy Award, except for her.
"I was hurt at the time because I felt like since day one, it was him and me," she remembers. "But because it was so life or death for him, it was his show and I was just around, because I was a girl."
After that, it took Christy some time to accept that Shia's career was skyrocketing in Hollywood, while she struggled to find work. "For a while, I think the ghost of who Shia was and who he became was really frustrating for me." She didn't watch any of his movies because "I was a bit salty," she says.
What is Christy Carlson Romano's net worth? Plus, who is her husband?
Christy concludes her video by saying that she and Shia have a "bond that is undeniable." as children who grew up as working actors. "You can't help but want to see the person succeed, you can't help but want to see them get the help they need or the support that they need, or whatever it is that they need."
In another video, titled "How I Lost All My Money," which has garnered nearly half a million views, Christy discloses how she "made and lost millions of dollars" since the age of 16, when she first started working with Disney.
The impetus for the video was an article that listed her net worth at $3 million. "I am not a millionaire in any way, shape, or form," Christy chuckles. "Don't look at that and think anything about anyone's life."
She mentions she wasn't taught how to manage her money, and spent a lot of it on "big-ticket items at Ralph Lauren," refurbishing a '72 Corvette, buying a G-Wagon Mercedes, and "a psychic [who] came into my life and managed to get a lot of money from me."
"I think over time, the value of money and the influence it had over me, it just got more and more complicated. And it shouldn't be complicated," she says. "Money should be very, very simple."
"Obviously," she continues, "I'm OK now. I promise you I'm OK. I have made peace with this."
These days, Christy, a mother of two gorgeous daughters — Isabella and Sophia — lives with her husband, TV producer Brendan Rooney, in an Austin, Texas home that features a speakeasy and even some wonderfully nostalgic callbacks to Kim Possible.