Adrienne Bailon-Houghton is heading Home…
The 38-year-old Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian American singer, actress and television personality is set to recur on the fifth season of Raven-Symone’s Disney Channel series Raven’s Home.
Bailon-Houghton will reprise the role of Raven’s high school bully Alana from That’s So Raven, according to TVLine. What’s more, Alana is now the principal of Bayside, where Booker enrolls after he and Raven move back to San Francisco to care for her father.
“I’ve always been hopeful about [playing Alana again], so to be able to make it happen was a dream come true,” Houghton tells TVLine. “I always love working with [Raven-Symoné]. We did the first Cheetah Girls movie when I was 19, and now I’m 38, so we’ve stayed friends for almost 20 years. We laugh at the fact that we were playing the high school students… and now we’re playing the parents. It’s so bizarre!”
The entire experience of returning to Raven’s world was “wildly nostalgic” for Houghton, beginning with the flowers she found in her dressing room from Gary Marsh, the president and chief creative officer for Disney Branded Television.
“Gary has been one of those beacons of light throughout my career, ever since I was in The Cheetah Girls,” she says. “I would call him my industry father. To have a letter from him, welcoming me back to Disney Channel, I almost bawled my eyes out. I was so happy to be back. Not only was That’s So Raven filmed on that lot, but I also did The Suite Life of Zack and Cody on that lot. I remember all of our Cheetah Girls photo shoots and promo shoots. Even just being in the dressing room was insane.”
As for Alana being the principal, Houghton admits she was “fully shocked” by her character’s new gig. “How genius of the writers of this show to create that dynamic where the school bully becomes the principal,” she says. “It’s funny and ironic, and I’m loving being the authority figure.” Sure, it’s possible that Alana will eventually have a “pivotal moment” that inspires her to change her ways, but Houghton says she’s “having too much fun torturing Raven Baxter as a grown woman” to let that happen anytime soon.
Raven and Alana’s confrontational (yet playful) dynamic is on full display when the women eventually reunite, which Houghton credits to her and Raven’s decades-long friendship.
“We were able to have fun when Alana was the bully because we were comfortable enough to do all that physical comedy,” she says. “There are things we created and did that we were able to do because we were really friends.”
A premiere date for Raven’s Home Season 5 has not yet been announced.