Actress Tia Mowry has grown up before our very eyes.
Now 30-years-old, the Gelhausen, Germany-born actress has abandoned the curly locks and floppy hats she donned opposite her twin sister Tamera Mowry while starring on 'Sister, Sister' and now sports a sleek, sexy look on her CW series 'The Game.'
Unlike other child stars, Mowry and her sister were never consumed by the troubles that have plagued many of their counterparts.
The NAACP Image Award and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award-winning actress believes good parenting is the reason she and her sister weren't tabloid staples and have continued to remain successful in this fickle industry of show business.
Now married and hoping to have kids of her own, Mowry wed actor Cory Hardict ('He's Just Not That Into You'/'Lincoln Heights') on April 20, 2008 in Santa Barbara, Calif.
During our insightful conversation, Mowry talked about starting a family, spoke about the future of 'The Game' and shared which stage production she'd love to take a stab at.So many people are upset at the thought that 'The Game' may not be renewed by The CW. How do you feel about the matter?
My husband always tells me, 'Tia, it ain't over until the fat lady sings.' She may be warming up right now. That's when you have to have faith and know that whatever is meant to be will happen, but in the meantime, we have to try and do whatever we can do to keep a good show on the air. I just found out that 'Friday Night Lights' just got picked up. That is a show that has been fighting to stay on the air and I believe that their creator or executive producer or whoever is behind the show is really, really fighting and really fought to keep it on the air and that's what we're doing over here. We're really fighting to keep 'The Game' on the air and we're not going down without a fight. It's frustrating when you've worked for three years on a show and when you know that the show has a lot of potential to last probably about five or six years because of the fan base that we have and the critical acclaim that we've received, it's a show that you would think would stay on the air. Unfortunately, we just don't know right now. We will know once they release the lineup, which is either May 21st or May 23rd. In the meantime, I'm just trying to stay optimistic and I'm trying to get fans to say how much they love the show, write in to www.CWtv.com and let them how much you love the show. Sometimes people don't think that it matters, but it does!
On my syndicated radio show, I said that if The CW doesn't want the show anymore, maybe a network like TBS can pick it up since its having great success with original sitcoms and those shows by Tyler Perry.
I strongly believe in that because I've actually been a product of that. 'Sister Sister' started out on ABC and we went to the WB and finished out five years on the WB. Basically the 'Friday Night Lights' deal was with DirecTV. It is possible and it can happen. I believe that our shows can fit on other networks. It's weird because there are so many politics that are involved with this business that I don't even know about and a lot of fans and other people don't know about. It really depends on how these networks create these deals and if they feel that it's beneficial because it's all about making money in this business and if they feel like they can make some more money from it then great. Unfortunately, I don't know. I don't know what's going on. I won't know what's going on until they announce if the show is coming back on or not. That's why in the meantime all of us actors have to do what we have to do. We're starting to go out on other sitcoms and we're auditioning again. It's been extremely difficult because I'm not ready to let go of 'Melanie'. It's so funny because I love that character. I can speak for all of us saying that we really do feel like these roles were created for us and they've been the best roles for all of us. We love working and you don't know how many times our cast has met on our downtime. We're like family and love working with each other and to just have that stop would be sad. It would be a very sad day.
What type of stories do you hear from fans of 'The Game?' Any one story in particular stand out?
I was actually at a car wash and I was walking my dog Chico who just looked at me because I just said his name. I was walking him and then all of a sudden this woman stopped her car and got out. I was like, 'Oh my God, what is going on?' She just said, 'Oh my God, are you from 'The Game?'' I was like, 'Yes.' She goes, 'I have to tell you this story. My husband has just been sent off to Iraq and for his care package, he requested me to put DVD's of 'The Game' in his care package. He loves the show, can't live without it and actually I have been told that he sits there and the whole platoon that he's in or his whole company sit there and watch episodes of 'The Game.' That just touched my heart because my mom and dad are both retired from the military and that's why I do this. I do this to make people laugh, to feel, to cry and that's what acting is all about to me. When I feel that I can really make someone forget about what's around them for a minute, which is war and people dying and fear and all of that; for them to be able to get into our show for 30 minutes is mind blowing to me and it makes it all worthwhile to just continue to do what I do.
African-Americans don't seem to be the flavor of the month in Hollywood right now as far as television is concerned. However, on the flip side, you have someone like Shonda Rhimes who produces 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Private Practice' who is having amazing success with her multicultural dramas.
That's something that I love about Shonda Rhimes and the show is that you see so many faces of color. You see Asians, Latinos and African Americans. Not only that, they're real people. You see people that you can relate to on a daily basis and that's what television is all about. It's about sitting back, watching something and either feeling good about it or saying, 'Oh my gosh, that is exactly what I am going through and I can relate to her.' That's what makes you continue to want to watch. I would like to see more of the shows that embody all of the different races, shapes and sizes of people. We need more of that on all networks, CBS, Fox, and NBC. We don't need to just limit ourselves to one network. What I dislike is when we start to segregate ourselves. For example, you just have Spanish stations, which is all Spanish shows or just one network that just shows African American shows. To me, that's not how this world is so why do we need to make television look like that? One thing I loved when I was on television and I was thinking about this the other day, you had 'Family Matters' and that was an African American show and right after that was like 'Boy Meets World' or 'Step by Step,' which was a White show. Now it seems like, why do you have to have a whole lineup of just African Americans or Latinos? That's not what this world is about.
Has it been hard for people to view you as an adult? So many child stars struggle because Hollywood does not want to allow you all to grow up.
At first, it's very hard. Even when you're going on auditions now, after 'The Game' I still run into people that still think I'm the little girl from 'Sister Sister' and I'm like, have you been watching the show? It's always a challenge and a struggle when you start out as a child actor because people tend to label you because that's all they seem to know you as is the girl from 'Sister Sister.' One thing that I do feel blessed about is that I did allow myself to grow up. You didn't see me in lingerie or forcing myself on the public to say I'm an adult now. I'm not on a cover of 'King' Magazine, which I'm not denouncing anybody who has done that, but personally, I allowed myself to grow up. I went to college; I went to Italy for two months and traveled the world. I went to Egypt and Spain and I allowed myself to evolve and then I threw myself out there and auditioned again. Some people get it and some people don't. I had to work hard for 'The Game.' I really had to let Mara Brock-Akil [creator of 'The Game'] know that I'm not that little curly haired girl that was on 'Sister Sister' just talking about boys and homework. I'm a woman now and life is all about experiences and when you're an actress, you bring those experiences to life in characters and I'm able to do that. I'm just thankful for Dawn Ostroff, who is President of the CW, Mara and Kelsey Grammar for giving me that opportunity to say I can do it. To me, that's what it's all about. I love a challenge.
You sang the theme song on 'Sister, Sister' with your twin. Would you like to do a project that would allow you to showcase both your acting and singing like a Broadway production or something?
A lot of people don't know that my sister and I did on off-Broadway play before we landed 'Sister Sister.' We were actually doing an off-Broadway play when they told us that the show got picked up. I loved it. I loved being on stage. I've told my agents that I want to do it. It's just finding that right role, but I would definitely love to do Broadway and its great when you see people like Gwyneth Paltrow doing that. That's when you really thrive because it's so intimate when it's right in front of the audience. I would love to do theatre. Playing Roxie in 'Chicago' would be so much fun because even Ashlee Simpson did that. I would so love to do that. It would be so much fun.
Sitcom stars of yesteryear never made money from their shows being sold and sold again. Things had changed by the time 'Sister, Sister' came on air and I'm interested in knowing do you still benefit now from your show being aired daily in both syndication and on cable?
I think the main thing is that 'Sister Sister' is a phenomenon and it's all over the world. How we're able to benefit from it is as it goes from network to network, the networks actually see our popularity. For example, 'Sister Sister' was extremely popular on Disney. It was beating their original programming and it made Disney realize that we were popular. That creates a franchise with them for 'Twitches' so we did 'Twitches 1' and 'Twitches Too' years after 'Sister Sister' was over. Now, 'Sister Sister' is on ABC Family and is doing exceptionally well on ABC Family. My sister was able to book a show called 'Roommates,' which is on ABC Family now. We're seeing huge benefits from it even on the CW. I have a huge audience with women and that's what CW is geared towards and that's what they're looking for. Of course I have to work hard and bring in whatever my talents are, but it does play a role and it does benefit me in some kind of way.
Because you come from a popular teen franchise, have you ever thought about partnering with your sister and doing what Nick Cannon is doing for Nickelodeon and developing new teen series for television?
My sister and I are working on that now. We are producing a Lifetime movie right now. My sister was also on 'Strong Medicine.' I had actually done an episode of 'Strong Medicine' and they saw the popularity of both of us and they said, 'Let's do a movie together.' We're definitely building a production company right now to show African-American women in a positive light and that we're great role models and can make fun loving, great movies for the family. That's actually my goal if you ask me where do I want to see myself in five or ten years, I would really love to have a family of two kids right then and really have a flourishing and thriving production company that's geared toward to making and creating family movies, television, reality, you name it. If Tyler Perry can do, I can do it too.
Right now, I really want to have kids. I'm so ready! I love children and not only that, I have my mom and my dad who are like, 'Come on, I want to be alive to see some grandkids.' I think maybe two or three years from now.
There are three kids in your family, right? You, Tamera and Tahj.
I have another brother too, his name is Tavior. He's 14 and he doesn't want to have anything to do with the business. It's almost like you know how you hear about The Osbournes? It's that one child that you're like, 'I didn't know they had another daughter.' Tavior is extremely smart and really, really good at sports. He runs track and plays football. He's kind of into that. I do want to have about three children and that's why my mom and my dad are telling me to get on it now, but it will happen soon when it's time.
Before I let you go, if you could write yourself into any cast on television right now, which shows would you pick to be on?
I would add myself on two shows. One would definitely be 'Grey's Anatomy.' I love that show. I would love to dive into that show. I'm older than what I play and I play like 22 to 25. I could get by a little bit with 28, but to have a young intern come in who is really arrogant and cocky, but uses that as a defense mechanism for her. She thinks she's good, but she has a lot to learn. I think that will be great to show a confident African American woman coming into the field. It would be kind of life 'Melanie,' but times a hundred. To be honest with you, one of my favorite episodes this season was when I got to see Melanie become a doctor. You never saw her do it again and I think the show is really that relationship, but I really wanted to explore that. I really love that side of acting and being something that you're not. I would love to play a doctor because I've always wanted to be a doctor. The other show would be 'True Blood.' I'm obsessed with the show. I've met two of the actors and I don't think they ever want to see me again. I love that show and I would love to play a vampire or something very mischievous, sexy and just all around bad.
Andrew Eccles, ABC
Donna Svennevik, ABC
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Matthias Clamer, The CW