Whatever Happened To Chelsea From That's So Raven?

Who could forget Chelsea from "That's So Raven,one of two BFFs to the main character? The Disney show followed Raven, a teenage girl with psychic powers who gets into all sorts of comedic scrapes, often accompanied by her friends Chelsea and Eddie. The character of Chelsea was played to perfection by Anneliese van der Pol, who remained Raven's trusted and loyal sidekick throughout the show's run from 2003 to 2007. 

The role of Chelsea is still arguably van der Pol's best known role, but she didn't exactly retire after "That's So Raven" wrapped. In fact, her career is doing pretty well, even though she tends to stay out of the limelight. This all seems to be by design, though, because van der Pol is still crushing her career, and she even made a return to Disney in 2017 in the "That's So Raven" spinoff, "Raven's Home." But what else has Anneliese van der Pol been up to since "That's So Raven" went off the air?

The actress behind Chelsea from That's So Raven had her big break on the show

Landing the role of Chelsea from "That's So Raven" was a game-changer for Anneliese van der Pol. She's credited the role as her big break, and it came after many years of training. Van der Pol revealed to The Global Town Hall that she had been taking performing arts classes since she was just 6 years old.

Van der Pol's journey to landing the role of Chelsea from "That's So Raven" was intense. She told Media Mikes that she went to a big casting call and three more auditions. She even had her hair dyed for the role, but she still didn't land the part until the original actress cast as the character was fired, paving the way for van der Pol to take over. 

"The best part probably was really her innocence and her positivity," said van der Pol of her character. "My character [was] so nice and gullible. It was very refreshing to play such an airhead who had such a thirst for life."

The star who played Chelsea from That's So Raven had a supporting role in Bratz

While Chelsea from "That's So Raven" may have been the role that brought Anneliese van der Pol fame, it wasn't her only prominent early role. "That's So Raven" wrapped in 2007, and, that same year, van der Pol starred in the movie "Bratz" as mean girl Avery. The character of Avery was a major change from the sweet and lovable Chelsea, and the role showed off van der Pol's dynamic range.

"Bratz" was based off of the popular Bratz doll franchise, but the beloved toys didn't translate well on the big screen. The film has a 10% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 46% audience score as of this writing. Unfortunately for the cast and crew, critics largely panned the film. "I could actually feel my brain stem shrivel up as I watched it," wrote Ty Burr for The Boston Globe. "Bratz" was nominated for several Razzies, as noted by the Intelligencer, including worst supporting actor and worst actress.

Anneliese van der Pol starred in Vampires Suck after playing Chelsea from That's So Raven

Anneliese van der Pol admitted to Media Mikes that she wasn't the biggest fan of the "Twilight" franchise before landing a role in its 2010 comedic spoof, "Vampires Suck." The actress best known as Chelsea from "That's So Raven" revealed that she hadn't even seen a single "Twilight" film before going in for her first audition. The audition process was a quick one, and van der Pol "just didn't have time to see the movies."

Van der Pol auditioned for the lead role of Becca, but was then asked to read for the character's friend, Jennifer, who is based on Anna Kendrick's character in the "Twilight" movies, Jessica. Van der Pol channeled Kendrick's "Up in the Air" performance in her audition, "but more over-the-top." The actress clearly impressed because she landed the "Vampires Suck" role. She described her character as "the all-around b****y girl that is jealous of the lead character."

Van der Pol may have landed the role, but it didn't turn her into a big "Twilight" fan, even though she eventually watched the movies while filming "Vampires Suck." "Not really into the vampire craze, let alone chick-flick led story like that," she said. "Not my thing."

That's So Raven's Anneliese van der Pol had other TV and film roles

Anneliese van der Pol may have gotten her big break as Chelsea from "That's So Raven," but the Disney Channel show didn't translate to ongoing success on screen for the actress. At the time of this writing, Van der Pol has only had a small number of film and television roles added to her resume after "That's So Raven" wrapped. Since "That's So Raven" was one of her earlier roles, that means she only had just a few film and television roles period. Her IMDb profile shows just over two dozen roles over the course of her career.

Her first credit after "That's So Raven" was 2008's "Hannah Montana: One in a Million," in which she reprised the role of Chelsea. She also had a few guest roles on television shows, including "The Battery's Down," "Shake It Up," and "uncool." Van der Pol has also appeared in the films "Extremely Decent" and "5 Weddings." She even appeared in a documentary, 2014's "Stage Door Divas."

You may have seen the actress behind Chelsea from That's So Raven on Shalom Sesame

As Anneliese van der Pol once told E! News, she maintains a "nice Jewish household." One of her roles after "That's So Raven" helped her get in touch with her Jewish heritage as well as share it with others. The actress starred in 11 episodes of "Shalom Sesame" from 2010 to 2011. The show was an update of a 1986 show in the style of "Sesame Street" geared towards Jewish American children in order to teach them about Jewish culture. "I think it's really important to educate children in a fun way and a not too confusing way," van der Pol told the Associated Press about the 12-part series (via the Hartford Courant).

Notably, van der Pol traveled to Israel for the first time to film the show, but she wasn't the only familiar face to appear on the series. "Shalom Sesame" featured several other well-known performers like Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Stiller, Christina Applegate, and "Will & Grace" star Debra Messing.

The actress has a thriving theater career

While Anneliese van der Pol hasn't had a huge number of TV and film roles since "That's So Raven" wrapped, she hasn't been without work. The actress has been landing plenty of roles, but they have largely been on the stage rather than on the screen. Her credits include the musical "Vanities" in 2008, which was scheduled for a Broadway run the following year but was postponed due to financial difficulties, according to Playbill. Other credits include the Arizona Theatre Company's productions of "Emma" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" in 2012 and 2013. She also appeared in the Scottsdale Musical Theater Company's staging of "Annie" in 2018.

Theater has always been van der Pol's first love, and the actress behind Chelsea from "That's So Raven" has been acting on stage for a long time. "Nothing is like the live audience aspect," she told the East Valley Tribune. "I always feel a bit more challenged, if I'm being perfectly honest in the theater than I ever do in television."

Anneliese van der Pol landed a role on Broadway after playing Chelsea from That's So Raven

Anneliese van der Pol's biggest stage role was on Broadway as Belle in "Beauty and the Beast." According to Playbill, she played Belle from the beginning of April to the end of July in 2007. It was the perfect way for van der Pol to move away from "That's So Raven" after the Disney Channel show wrapped. The character of Belle was a big contrast from her "That's So Raven" character. While Chelsea is a rather naïve character, Belle is a bookworm yearning for adventure.

Van der Pol was thrilled to make her Broadway debut in such an iconic role, especially as she landed the lead without having to work her way up from the chorus. The actress told Media Mikes that Belle was a dream role for her. "The songs are beautiful and they wrote some new ones also," the actress said of the Broadway show. "It was just amazing, everyone was so nice. I also loved living in New York."

The star who played Chelsea from That's So Raven isn't very active on social media

Because most of Anneliese van der Pol's roles after "That's So Ravenhaven't been televised, it would be easy for fans to come to the conclusion that she largely retired from acting. It's an understandable assumption, especially because van der Pol doesn't seem to be super into social media. While she has the requisite social media profiles, she doesn't keep them very up to date or share very much beyond the occasional (often work-related) photo or status update. Her Instagram feed features plenty of photos of her with her castmates, while her Twitter account and Facebook page only seem to be updated sporadically. 

She also maintains a Cameo profile, where she boasts five stars with over 260 reviews.

In a connected world where it seems celebs are always posting selfies on social media and giving us glimpses into their personal lives, it seems like the actress who gained fame as Chelsea from "That's So Raven" is determined to keep her personal life private, and it's kind of refreshing.

Anneliese van der Pol reprised the role of Chelsea from That's So Raven on Raven's Home

In 2017, Anneliese van der Pol returned to the Disney Channel in the "That's So Raven" spin-off, "Raven's Home." She reprised her role of Chelsea on the show, playing her as a divorced woman who moves in with her best friend, Raven, who has also gone through a divorce.

Van der Pol was excited for the show and not just because it was an opportunity to reunite with Raven-Symoné. The actress told Bustle that she was excited for the show's empowering feminist message. "I think it is very rare that you see two mothers on a show, leading a half-hour sitcom with children, and that's it," she said. "You don't have a guy, you know, coming in saving the day with all the funny lines."

The material might sound heavier than fans who grew up with "That's So Raven" remember, but van der Pol insisted that the heart of the show remains the same. While Raven and Chelsea from "That's So Raven" are very much grown up on "Raven's Home," van der Pol told TV Line that their characters hadn't "changed very much, except that they're adults and mothers."

Anneliese van der Pol, who played Chelsea from That's So Raven, is still close with her on-screen BFF

Chelsea and Raven were on-screen best friends in "That's So Raven," but, in real life, Raven-Symoné, who played Raven, and Anneliese van der Pol, who played Chelsea from "That's So Raven," were also quite close. In fact, the pair are still BFFs, and knowing that their on-screen chemistry wasn't faked in the slightest somehow makes "That's So Raven" that much more delightful. 

Their friendship was at the heart of both Disney Channel shows "That's So Raven" and "Raven's Home," and it was built upon their mutual respect for each other. "Raven and I have always really respected each other's talent, and that goes a long way," van der Pol told Today in 2019. "And if somebody can make you better in your job, and you can make them better, I mean, you better stick together." Van der Pol continued to rave about her pal, calling her a "genius." 

Their friendship is definitely a two-way street. Raven-Symoné once captioned an Instagram photo of the duo with, "The ying [sic] to my yang."

The actress who played Chelsea from That's So Raven works hard to stay in shape

Anneliese van der Pol is one of those actors who doesn't seem to age very much. She was in her early 20s when she starred as Chelsea from "That's So Raven," very convincingly portraying a high school student and making her one of several Disney Channel stars who were older than we realized. By the time she landed her role on "Raven's Home," she was already in her 30s. Even though years passed between the two shows, van der Pol barely looked any older.

The "That's So Raven" star works hard to stay healthy and to maintain her physique. Van der Pol revealed to The Global Town Hall that she's something of a fitness fanatic and that she goes to "a circuit training gym that involves a weight training and cardiovascular workout." Van der Pol said the workout is pretty intense, "but the results are worth it."

She also eats a pretty healthy diet, consisting of "salmon, chicken, artichokes, whole wheat toast, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese." She does indulge on occasion, though, saying she particularly loves Mexican food — and margaritas. 

The celeb known for portraying Chelsea from That's So Raven wants to star in her own sitcom

Anneliese van der Pol has certainly proven that she has what it takes to be a major star. While she is definitely successful, though, she isn't quite as well known as her "That's So Raven" co-star Raven-Symoné. Van der Pol doesn't seem bitter about this, but she does hope to branch out and maybe even have her own shot at helming a sitcom some day.

In 2017, the performer told Naluda Magazine that she would like to see herself "leading an adult sitcom" down the road. She also hopes to add another Broadway credit to her acting resume. "Or something like that," she said. "One can hope."

One thing is for sure: No matter what the future holds for van der Pol and where her career takes her, she loves performing and is going to keep doing it.

Anneliese van der Pol, aka Chelsea from That's So Raven, mentors young actors

Anneliese van der Pol isn't just thriving in her acting career — she's also been helping other young actors learn the ins and outs of show business through Actors Giving Back. According to the program's website, which is no longer online, Actors Giving Back, which still maintains a social media presence, "is a private celebrity based talent development program and acting school" that "takes its clients by the hand and teaches them the ropes of how to get involved in the entertainment industry..." Actors from the ages of 7 to 22 are eligible for the program and are coached by professional actors, many of whom, like van der Pol, are Disney alums.

Van der Pol was listed as a celebrity acting coach on the website for Actors Giving Back, which was founded by "Wizards of Waverly Place" star David DeLuise. Other coaches who starred on Disney included "Wizards of Waverly Place" actors Bill Chott and Jennifer Stone, "Kickin' It" star Dylan Riley Snyder, and "Bunk'd" actor Nathan Arenas.