After more than 16 years, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh is making her highly anticipated return to the Disney Channel series, Raven’s Home, as Tanya Baxter. In an exclusive interview with ET, the actress shared her excitement about this long-awaited homecoming.
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The Unexpected Comeback
Fans were thrilled when the news broke on June 21 that Keymáh would be appearing on Raven’s Home. Her last appearance as Raven’s mother was in a season 3 episode of That’s So Raven back in 2005. Keymáh’s character, Tanya, left the series to take care of her grandmother and pursue law school in London. Now, in the upcoming season 5 finale of Raven’s Home, Tanya surprises the family by returning unannounced to celebrate Victor’s 60th birthday.
“It’s so exciting. I can’t even believe it,” Keymáh told ET’s Deidre Behar. “People have been clamoring about this return for years, and I’m very, very aware of how excited they are.”
The Long-Awaited Reunion
Keymáh reveals that people noticed her absence from the show even years later. She recalls, “Over the years, ‘Where is she? Where is she?’ And when Rondell [Sheridan, who plays Victor,] did a guest spot, I was like, ‘Whoa, I see the dad. Where’s the mom?'” She expressed her joy for the opportunity to revisit the character she created two decades ago.
Recently, Raven-Symone reached out to Keymáh to bring her back to the show. Keymáh enthusiastically accepted the invitation. “They asked me if I wanted to come play with them, and I said yes,” she shared. “I think they always planned to have me come back on the last episode of this season. And so I’m so glad it worked out perfectly.”
A Different Show, A Familiar Feeling
While Keymáh and her That’s So Raven family keep in touch sporadically, she admits that they aren’t as close as they used to be. However, she emphasizes that she didn’t feel obligated to appear on Raven’s Home. She sees it as a different show that stands on its own.
“I’m a fan of shows too. And I like when people come back and you go, ‘Oh wow. Now they’re all together!’ I have that same excitement,” Keymáh shares. “I don’t think I would ever have said no, but I never felt like, ‘Hey, how come…?’ It was a different show.”
The Familiarity of Home
Despite feeling nervous before returning to the set, Keymáh quickly settled back into her character’s shoes. “She, Tanya Baxter, was so familiar to me that it was easy to jump back into her shoes – literally,” Keymáh laughs. “And to have Rondell there and to have Raven there, it just was so familiar. Because I’ve seen this show, when I looked at Isaac [Ryan Brown, who plays Raven’s son, Booker], I thought, ‘Well, that’s my grandson!'”
Fans can expect a surprise when Tanya makes her appearance on the season 5 finale. Keymáh promises some exciting Easter eggs for the loyal That’s So Raven fans. “There are a few moments, but there’s one moment in particular where you’ll go, ‘Yeah, that’s them. That’s them from 20 years ago,'” she teases.
The Future of Mama Baxter
Should Raven’s Home be renewed for a sixth season, Keymáh expresses her enthusiasm for continuing to play Tanya. She hopes the show will continue because she believes it’s a wonderful series. “With or without me, I really hope there’s a season 6… If they asked me, I’d come back. Of course. And I think it would be lovely and cute,” Keymáh states.
A Virtual Reunion
While Kyle Massey, who played Cory Baxter on That’s So Raven, wasn’t present for Keymáh’s return, she reveals that she had a surprise virtual reunion with him. With Raven-Symone’s help, they FaceTimed Massey to share the exciting news.
Keymáh reflects on the impact her character has had on the show and its viewers. “This experience, because it was such a slow boil, I’m enjoying it so much,” she says. “The fans and Raven and Rondell, everyone made this happen. That the work that I did 20 years ago was so much in the hearts of everyone that they really wanted me to do it again just means the world to me.”
Don’t miss T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh’s return as Tanya Baxter on Raven’s Home! The show airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.
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