“So Far, So Great” is the theme song to Disney’s popular TV show "Sonny With a Chance," starring actress-singer Demi Lovato. It also could be the theme for Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, the show’s executive producer.
The three-month job she got about a decade ago as an assistant to director Brian Robbins turned into a working partnership with him and a happy career. The Los Angeles native has been pivotal in the theatrical releases of "Coach Carter," starring Samuel L. Jackson, and "Wild Hogs," starring Tim Allen and John Travolta. She has also been behind some of Nickelodeon’s beloved TV shows — ”All That," "Kenan and Kel," "The Amanda Show," "The Nick Cannon Show" and "Cousin Skeeter.”
A little over four years ago, Sumpter Bridgett took on yet another role — mom, a role she repeated barely two months ago when she gave birth to a second daughter.
She, husband Pardé Bridgett - an advertising copywriter - and daughters Hunter and Hendrix live in Los Angeles.
In many fields, women who rise to the top are either single or childfree. What has been your experience in Hollywood before you had children and once you became a mom?
I’ve been really lucky to work at family-friendly companies since I started in the industry. I never felt like having a family was problematic, not that that’s, unfortunately, everyone’s experience. I’ve always worked for people who’ve had families, so it’s been great.
When you’re choosing films or TV shows to produce, does the fact that you’re a mom, and a mom to girls, ever influence your decisions?
Absolutely! I think that’s why I enjoy working in the kids’ space. Because when we were developing “Sonny With a Chance,” my daughter and my nieces (I have three nieces) were my target audience so it actually was appropriate for me to bring my work home with me. And we could watch shows together and they could give me their feedback. If I can get all of them in a room and giggling, I’ve done a good job.