In 1992's The Cutting Edge, Moira Kelly's ice-cold skating queen reluctantly partnered with D. B. Sweeney's fallen hockey star to pursue Olympic gold but also find love as a pairs team. Fourteen years later, ABC Family's The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold (premiering Sunday at 7 pm/ET, following an airing of the original) finds Kate and Doug's way-older-than-14-(but-deal-with-it) daughter, Jackie, lamenting her own shattered ice dreams, only to eventually join with Alex, an in-line skater, to seek Winter Games glory. Playing young Ms. Dorsey in this follow-up is Christy Carlson Romano, with whom TVGuide.com traded Qs and As.
TVGuide.com: So you're what happens when D. B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly have a baby.
Christy Carlson Romano: I guess so! [Chuckles] [The age] was obviously a cheat, and a lot of people are criticizing that, but it's a really good movie. It's got just as much heart, if not more, as the first one. And the stunt people from the first one who worked on ours said that we had more intensive skating.
TVGuide.com: Were you a fan of the original Cutting Edge?
Romano: You have no idea. That was sort of my first "favorite movie," so it was such an honor to be asked to do this. And I got to work with some people who worked with me on Even Stevens Sean McNamara directed it so, overall, it was a great experience.
TVGuide.com: The Cutting Edge was pretty cute, as their sparring turned into sparks.
Romano: Ross [Thomas, as Alex] and I really did capture that same essence, and that's what people are saying they really enjoy about this one. There is a lot of pressure for a sequel, being sort of already doomed coming out of the gate. But the fact is, we weren't in competition with the first. That was a great movie, obviously, and it had a cult following, but we made an extremely well-done movie of our own.
TVGuide.com: How much of your own skating did you do?
Romano: Oh, my god, I was on skates, seriously, 10 hours a day. I had a little bit of experience from when I was like 6 years old, because my mom and sisters did a lot of that, being from the East Coast. But I hated skating as a kid. I actually found my love of acting through ice-skating because I faked hypothermia to get off the ice. [Laughs] So coming into this film I was like, "Oh, I don't want to do it," but I got on the ice and this wonderful woman named Jamie [Isley], who trained the girls for Ice Princess, trained me, and she was so inspirational.
TVGuide.com: What's the fanciest move you can do?
Romano: Well, most actresses try their best to do a jump. I just spoke to Hayden Panettiere, who did Ice Princess, the other day, and they had months and months of training. We only had two weeks, and I only had one week working with Ross, so... you just try your best! I can do a toe-loop, and I can switch from front to back while skating on one foot....
TVGuide.com: Can you do that "spinny thing" where it looks like the skater is going to drill a hole into the rink?
Romano: No, I can't. That's actually not healthy to do more than once in a day!
TVGuide.com: Having done this movie, did you find yourself watching Skating with Celebrities or last month's Winter Olympics?
Romano: Since the movie, I've watched a lot of skating. And now that I'm actually more athletic because of it, I'm able to connect more.
TVGuide.com: I think it's safe to say that you're disqualified from being in Skating with Celebrities 2.
Romano: [Olympic gold medalist] Oksana Baiul did a cameo in our movie, and she was like, "Maybe you could do [Skating with Celebrities]?" I was like, "No, no, no. Not gonna do the reality thing yet."
TVGuide.com: How many black-and-blues did you rack up over the course of the shoot?
Romano: One, on my knee, from when I caught a toe-pick and went down. That was it!
TVGuide.com: Do little kids still run up to you because of Even Stevens and Kim Possible?
Romano: They do, actually. I have the same fan base I always used to have because of the Internet and Disney doing reruns. It's funny because people still think I'm 14, when I'm 21 going on 22. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: It must feel good to have such effusive wee fans.
Romano: Oh, yeah. You don't realize how big the Disney fan base is, but it's huge. My fan base realistically is ages 6 to 21, because when I was on Even Stevens originally, I was the appropriate age, and now it's like a cult classic. It's the Saved by the Bell of my generation.
TVGuide.com: I hear you're launching a perfume?
Romano: I am, yes. I've been doing some work with Club Libby Lu, which is a Claire's boutique kind of store for young tweens. It's like a "spa," if anything, for little girls....
TVGuide.com: Because little girls need a spa day after a long hard day of, I dunno, playing jacks?
Romano: [Laughs] No, but they do their nails and hair with sparkles and stuff.... It's really cute and a real self-esteem booster for the girls, and I really support that kind of thing. Little girls don't really have good role models....
TVGuide.com: Ever since the Olsen twins abandoned them.
Romano: Everyone has their growing pains and sometimes they're public, and that's difficult because in our society we hold [young role models] so high that they're almost set up to fail. Me, I've always tried to live my life with an eye on what my fans would want for me. I always think about that. It's like being a politician you can only do things that really go towards your agenda.
TVGuide.com: While that's an admirable credo, it must be difficult to follow.
Romano: A lot of people aren't up for the challenge, but my personal belief is that it comes with the job, it comes with the territory.
TVGuide.com: So it's not like you're repressing urges to carouse....
Romano: I lived and went to college in New York City, and I messed up plenty of times, which is important because it helps you as an artist to be able to draw on the pain and on the happiness. You can't really be a great artist unless you have that life experience. No one tells you that when you're a kid actor, and then everyone's like, "Oh, he's washed up because he has no life." If you don't balance yourself correctly, you're screwed, excuse my language.
TVGuide.com: What else do you have cooking?
Romano: I'm getting courted for a record deal right now, and it looks like I'm signing with Virgin. My music is going to be cool, like the female Aerosmith. I'm writing with the Matrix, who wrote the first Avril [Lavigne] record, and I'm set up to write with Dianne Warren... real hit-makers.
TVGuide.com: Just think, you could do "Skating and Singing with Celebrities"!
Romano: You never know!
TVGuide.com: Before we go, want to give a plug to your favorite charities?
Romano: I have a story, actually, about Make-A-Wish and these two kids named Josh and Caitlyn. Josh is an 8-year-old who has had two heart transplants, and after his first one, Make-A-Wish came to him and said, "What do you want?" He said, "I want to be animated into Kim Possible." We had just started airing a new season, but he waited two years and we finally just got him and Caitlyn animated into the show. It was the most amazing thing. I'm in love with Make-A-Wish. And St. Jude's Hospital is amazing I've heard so many stories about the way the money just goes straight from donations to the kids. Those kinds of causes are really important to me.