Gabrielle Union Says Daughter Kaavia James Is a Tough Critic: 'She's a Roast Comedian' (Exclusive)

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Gabrielle Union's new film, Cheaper by the Dozen, begins streaming March 18 on Disney+, and she's saving the toughest screening for last -- her 3-year-old daughter, Kaavia James. 

The actress sat down with ET's Lauren Zima to chat about the Disney+ remake of the classic family film, sharing that none of her family has seen the movie yet, including her "brutally honest" daughter.

"I gotta wait 'til the bitter end, so, she's gonna see it at the premiere," Union revealed. "But, I mean, the woman told me to my face that my breath stinks, so I got to hold off on this movie, make sure she's in a good mood. Otherwise, I don't know what kind of grade she's gonna give us."

Union, who shares Kaavia with her retired basketball pro husband, Dwyane Wade, likened living with the toddler to living with the late stand-up comedian Don Rickles, joking that Kaavia is a "little roast comedian."

The 49-year-old actress and her daughter have gained many fans for their social media gags, which range from spontaneous dance parties to random shenanigans. Kaavia's willingness to participate in the videos highly depends on her moods, which Union explained means it's all a game of chance when they get to share things. 

"Some days she's into it, we have [what] we call a dance party, where we just put on whatever music and we dance to it. And some days she shows us her iPad and she's like, 'I’m on my iPad, get away, let me have my time!'" Union said. "So, if you just happen to catch her and you have your phone out, record, 'cause something cool or funny or interesting will be happening."

Union said that being a new mother and a longtime stepmother to Wade's 19-year-old son, Zaire, 13-year-old daughter, Zaya, and 7-year-old son, Xavier, was the perfect background for her when tackling the role of Zoey Baker. 

The reimagined version of the classic film follows the Baker family as they strive to find their footing as a whole while respectively learning to embrace everyone's unique role in the household. This iteration follows the journey of two separate families who become one, big blended family of 12 after single parents Zoey (Union) and Paul (Zach Braff) get married.

"When I first read the script... I wanted to be a part of something that our whole family could watch together and, you've seen some of my work, I don't do a lot of family-friendly type of stuff," the L.A.'s Finest star said. "So, I felt not only was it the perfect time for my own family but I think it's the perfect time for all the families who want to see different kinds of folks and different kinds of families reflected and celebrated onscreen."

And, although Union has her hands full at home, she admits that the Baker family's situation is not one that she could personally handle. "[The kids would be like,] 'Mom went to the store, and in six years she hasn't returned!'" she joked, noting that raising 12 children is a "whole different animal." 

She added: "Both of my parents are one of seven and I don’t know how my grandparents did that. Like, how do you give enough energy to each child and meet them where they’re at? Yeah, I think we are at max capacity at the Wade-Union household and that's why Zoey Baker is a fictitious character!" 

Cheaper by the Dozen begins streaming on March 18 on Disney+.

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