On Young Hungry, Betty White guest-stars as the quick-witted Ms. Wilson, who has a tendency to slip in sexual innuendos and provocative language whenever she can. Offscreen, costar Emily Osment says the role isn’t much of a stretch for the 95-year-old Hollywood icon. “She’s so funny and crass,” says Osment, who plays chef Gabi on the Freeform series. “She’s a legend! I still can’t believe I got to work with her.”
Much like their characters on the show, Osment and White’s relationship on set quickly took an unexpected turn. “She called me a bitch one time, which I loved,” the Los Angeles native, 25, tells Us Weekly. “She was like, ‘Honey, you’re what we like to call a bitch [because] you’ve got blonde hair and blue eyes.’ She has blonde hair and blue eyes as well, so she was like, ‘We like to call ourselves that.’”
Osment reveled in the unconventional compliment from the actress. “I think I’m in a bitch club with Betty White!” she jokes. “To hear such a sweet, sweet woman who’s in her 90s use the type of language she uses she uses — she’s hysterical.”
On the series, now in its fifth season, Osment understands fans’ frustration with Gabi’s off-and-on relationship with her boss, Josh (Jonathan Sadowski) — but hints that the ups and downs will be worth the wait.
“You want to see someone having turmoil or falling in love or out of love, that’s what makes good TV,” she explains, noting another tumultuous onscreen romance. “When we all watched Friends, we wanted Ross and Rachel to be together so bad,” she says. “They would get together for a few episodes and then they would break up because that’s the fun part: the chase.”
Despite the show’s focus on the romantic relationship, Osment is proud of her character’s multidimensional personality. “Gabi’s a career woman, she wants to be a chef, she wants to work at a restaurant,” she says. “She’s a young twenty-something woman and she has big dreams!”
Though Osment says she’d be open to exploring future roles in different types of comedy or drama, there is one part she doesn’t necessarily want to re-discover: her Hannah Montana character Lilly. “I don’t think I could unless it was, like, current day or something,” Osment explains. “I don’t even know what that character would be now in her twenties!”
However, she is open to getting the cast — which included Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, Jason Earles, Mitchel Musso and Moises Arias —back together for their fans. “It’d be more interesting to see all of us as our normal selves now,” Osment tells Us. “I think that would be much more interesting, to get everyone together for an interview to talk about the last 11 years.”
Osment notes that the cast, who filmed together from 2006 to 2011, has remained tight-knit since the show went off the air. “I saw Jason Earles the other day,” she says. “I talk to Miley about hikes and dogs. We all connect in different ways, which is cool.”
The actress adds that the former costars have a unique bond to keep them connected. “You go through this experience together where it’s these formative years, 13-18, which is a terrifying age to be in general. You have acne, you cut yourself terrible bangs, you have no style, you’re just going through puberty and it’s terrifying,” she says. “You have these people that were with you for every step of the way, so it’s really nostalgic and sweet.”
Young Hungry airs on Freeform Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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