What Beans From Even Stevens Looks Like Today

The year was 2000. In the December prior, preteens in their bedrooms across the nation braced for Y2K and the possible Armageddon that would follow. We put fresh batteries in our Gameboys (lord knows, we thought we'd need them), fed our Tamagotchis just one last time, and watched the New Years countdown on MTV. Of course, we're still here to tell the tale, so you know the millennium bug never wreaked more havoc than a tired mosquito. Instead of an apocalypse, Disney gave us Even Stevens, which is now a treasure trove of nostalgia. 

The series skyrocketed Shia LaBeouf into the kind of reluctant fame that makes him somewhat of a Hollywood enigma today. It even gave us the voice of Kim Possible, a modern day feminist icon who ended up being Christy Carlson Romano's most memorable role since. Even Stevens may have been canceled after three short seasons because, as LaBeouf once put it, "Disney wasn't trying to pay salaries like that," but its memory lives on. 

Today, fans still wax poetic (or meme-etic) about the lovable Bernard "Beans" Aranguren, the Stevens' pesky, bacon-obsessed neighbor. We've never looked at the breakfast food the same way again — and neither has Steven Anthony Lawrence, who embodied the character until the series met its untimely demise. These days? Lawrence is still living in the wake of his Even Stevens legacy.

Hey Beans, what's so funny?

A Beans by any other name just simply wouldn't be the Beans. Steven Anthony Lawrence was around 11 years old when his character debuted in Season 2 of Even Stevens, and his bold audition was what landed him the TV role — but it did more than that. The young actor actually changed the script before he even landed the part, already cementing himself in Disney history even if he never made it all the way to the small screen.

In a 2015 interview with HuffPost, Lawrence revealed that he used to tell jokes during his auditions as a "shtick" that would help him stand out in a crowd. During his Even Stevens audition, he told a joke about a pirate. When he got a second callback, he saw that his joke had been written into the script. "I'm going, 'Yes! Hell yeah, Mom! Woo-hoo!'" he recalled to the outlet. "But it wasn't even a sure thing yet, so I'm going, 'Oh my God, if I don't book this. It's my joke. I'm gonna be pissed, man.'" 

Of course, Lawrence did get the part, and thus one of the most iconic Disney Channel sidekicks in early aughts history was born.

Spending all that money on Beans

Steven Anthony Lawrence isn't like other Disney Channel stars who have managed to amass multi-million dollar fortunes (think: Hilary Duff, who's worth a plush $25 million). Even Stevens never made him all that rich. Actually, the actor financially struggled while filming the series.

During his interview with HuffPost, Lawrence revealed that he was still living in Fresno, Calif. while shooting the series about 218 miles away in Los Angeles. Lawrence and his father ended up putting a lot of miles on their car making the three-and-a-half hour commute and spent a lot of money on hotels. "I was living in a motel room five days a week, and I had to be back home during the weekend," Lawrence explained. "My dad would, you know, God bless his heart, drive me back-and-forth, giving up his life to help me. So obviously that isn't exactly cheap. So a lot of the money I made from Even Stevens went to just doing that."

As a result, Lawrence couldn't really afford the trappings of traditional child stardom (think: designer shoes and maybe even a car you can't legally drive yet). Still, Shia LaBeouf had his back. Lawrence told HuffPost that his co-star "took it upon himself" to buy him an original Xbox one year when money was "a little tight." Lawrence revealed, "That's the kind of stuff Shia does. He has the biggest heart in the world." Today, Lawrence is worth an estimated $1 million.

The end of an Even Stevens era

All good things must come to an end, and thus the Disney Channel closed the book on Even Stevens in 2003, after 65 episodes spanning three seasons and a feature length film. When Shia LaBeouf said "Disney wasn't trying to pay salaries like that," it seemed like the truth — at least for all the stars who weren't Beans. The same year Even Stevens ended, LaBeouf proved himself as a serious actor in Holes and never looked back. Still, that doesn't mean everyone was as happy to leave.

Speaking with HuffPost, Steven Anthony Lawrence revealed that the cast had grown so close over the course of three years that they spent their final day on set fighting off tears. "It was like a family. You know, you see the same people twelve hours a day, five days a week, for years," he said. "You're gonna get a little close to people, you know. It was really, really sad when the show ended. Everybody cried. It took so long to make through the last scene just because people kept crying."

And with that, an era was over. Lawrence was barely old enough to be in high school, and he was already an unemployed actor.

Steven Anthony Lawrence couldn't eat bacon for two years after Even Stevens

If there's one thing Beans loved, it was bacon — and Steven Anthony Lawrence certainly ate enough of it through the course of filming to feel utterly sick. The star isn't even sure how bacon became such a thing for his character. In an interview with HuffPost, he admitted that it was seemingly haphazardly written into the story during his first week of filming.

"One of the writers came up to me and said, 'Hey, Steven, by chance do you like bacon?'" Lawrence said. "And I was like, 'Yeah, I like bacon. You know, I like it as much as the next guy.' They're like, 'Okay, cool.' So after that, yeah, it was just bacon, bacon, bacon, ad nauseam."

Lawrence ate so much bacon during his years on-set that he needed to quit the fat-laden breakfast treat for two years after filming. He just couldn't handle one more bite. Even today, the actor prefers Mexican food, though he does still eat it on occasion. "I love bacon now," he told HuffPost. "But, you know, when you eat it every day for three years it, you know, God, it's repulsive." Time heals all wounds, apparently.

Beans from Even Stevens is still acting

Even Stevens was undeniably Steven Anthony Lawrence's most notable project beyond a small role in 2001's Bubble Boy. When the series ended, the Disney star more or less faded from the public eye, but he never actually left the industry. He's been there all along.

Off the heels of his House of Mouse fame, Lawrence landed a role in 2003's Cheaper by the Dozen, where he appeared alongside fellow former Disney Channel star Hilary Duff and comedy icon Steve Martin. That same year, he starred in the film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat alongside heavyweights like Mike Myers and Dakota Fanning. Two years later, he nabbed a part in Will Ferrell's Kicking & Screaming and Martin Lawrence's Rebound, which ended up being the actor's last major project. 

Since 2005, the artist formerly known as Beans has mostly picked up minor roles, including cameos in Weeds, Eagleheart, and the Bratz movie. According to HuffPost, he's also done a lot of commercials (ironically not for Beggin' Strips or the national pork lobby) and some music videos, including one for Marshmello and the late Lil' Peep.

Steven Anthony Lawrence held Will Ferrell's newborn baby

In a post-Even Stevens world, Steven Anthony Lawrence is just a regular dude who has frequent brushes with fame. Some call that living in Los Angeles, as most of us have witnessed on Vanderpump Rules, but Lawrence just seems to be one of those guys. He approaches his work with a sort of joy and openness that helps him form tight-knit bonds with his cast mates. This was never more apparent than on the set of Kicking and Screaming, when Will Ferrell bestowed on him the highest honor of holding his newborn baby.

Kicking and Screaming wasn't Ferrell's most notable film, though it probably could've been saved by a Catalina Wine Mixer. Nonetheless, it was one of the most memorable for Lawrence. In his HuffPost interview, the actor revealed that he "totally fangirled" when he first met the comedian, but Ferrell "turned out to be down to earth," and they totally hit it off.

"One of the nicest guys I've ever met," Lawrence continued. "I remember he had his first kid when he was shooting, and a couple days after the kid was born, Will brought him to set, and asked if I wanted to hold his kid. I'm going, 'Whoa! Uh, yes, Will Ferrell. I'll hold your child.'" Thankfully, it does not look like Beans dropped him, or else Ferrell would've been kicking and screaming, himself.

He's using his Even Stevens past to help the future

Beyond Steven Anthony Lawrence's acting work, the former child star's most rewarding role is as a teacher. According to HuffPost, Lawrence has been teaching acting classes since at least 2014, charging $40 a week. It's a small price to pay for the chance to learn from a certified Disney Channel star.

"Oh, God, I love it," the former Even Stevens actor told the outlet. "The kids are great. It's almost like working the stage. It's instant gratification when something clicks for a student. It's mostly technique of acting and kind of the business of the business."

In a 2018 interview with Business Insider, Lawrence revealed that while he teaches all ages — particularly, "anybody that's hungry" — kids are his priority. "I think it's a big, big, big blessing to get kids to start learning technique at an early age instead of just making faces in front of the camera," he said. "We underestimate kids. Kids can be pretty darn smart at times."

Beans is still tight with his Even Stevens costars

Here's the question everyone was wondering about: is Steven Anthony Lawrence still friends with Shia LeBeouf, in spite of all the fame and controversy? It's hard to say. What we do know is that Lawrence is still incredibly close with his former cast mates. After all, they sort of grew up together. In the actor's 2015 HuffPost interview, he revealed that he keeps in touch with most of his Even Stevens fam and supports their current projects. The previous Christmas, he even watched Christy Carlson Romano's new lifetime movie with his grandmother. Beyond that, the cast reunited in June 2020 — with the exception of LeBeouf — for a Zoom reunion.

According to BuzzFeed, the Zoom taught us a couple fun facts, including that Lawrence gave a super sweet final wrap party gift to Nick Spano, who played Donnie Stevens. It was an engraved star that read, "Nick: Castmates once; friends forever. Love Steven, AKA Beans." Lawrence also opened about his thoughts on LaBeouf's Honey Boy, which was supposed to be somewhat based on his experience with Even Stevens.

"To be real, honestly yeah I saw Honey Boy and it wasn't so much that everything else was so bad, it was that our set really was such a solitude and a home for so many people — cast and crew," he said. "We all took a great refuge in coming to work, because it wasn't work; it was coming to see our family." Awww! Lawrence really does care.

Steven Anthony Lawrence: naughty or nice?

Steven Anthony Lawrence has gone viral twice in more recent years — and none of it has to do with his acting. In 2014, he became a viral meme when a Twitter account called BeansMemes randomly appeared and started photoshopping his Even Stevens character into random photos. The second time happened a year later, when Lawrence was publicly outed as a mall Santa. Okay, technically, he never donned a Santa suit, but he was one of Santa's helpers. That's a big job in a suburban mall.

According to SFGate, who parsed through dozens of geo-tagged Instagram and Twitter posts, the actor picked up a temporary job at the seasonal Santa photo booth at Sunvalley Shopping Center in Concord, Calif. The newspaper speculated that Lawrence was method acting for his alleged role in Holly, Jingles, and Clyde. Per ET, the holiday film was listed in his IMDb credits at the time, but Lawrence is missing from the film's credits at the time of this writing. Who knows what happened? Maybe he got put on the naughty list.

Either way, Lawrence flaunted his side gig loud and proud. In a December 2016 Instagram post, he wrote, "What can I say ... I love my fans Kiddo. Come see ye ol pops as Santa's slave (helper*) at sunvalleymall in (meplease) concord CA, till Christmas." As former The Cosby Show actor (and sometimes Trader Joe's employee) Geoffrey Owens showed us, there's no shame in a day job.

Steven Anthony Lawrence doesn't get the Beans from Even Stevens nostalgia

Not all former child stars are easily identifiable as adults, but there's no doubt that Beans from Even Stevens has a recognizable face. That's part of what made Steven Anthony Lawrence's character so widely beloved, but it's been 20 years. The actor looks almost nothing like he did when he was 11. So, how the heck is everyone still recognizing him?

In his HuffPost interview, Lawrence admitted that he thinks "it's really weird" that he regularly gets recognized in the street or at his day job so long after his Disney Channel fame. At the time of this writing, he's rocking a beard which theoretically should make recognition even harder. It's basically incognito mode for your face, but to be totally frank, it also seems like the type of costume idea that would've worked for Louis or Beans during some of their regular Even Stevens shenanigans. Maybe that's why fans have it figured out. Either way, Lawrence isn't fighting his past.

"I feel like I've changed so much when I look in the mirror," he told HuffPost. "I don't know how people even barely recognize me. But I'll be walking down the street and people drive by for two seconds and automatically they'll go, 'Oh, my God! You're Beans! Ahhh!' God, even I would have to at least do a double-take."