Still two peas in a pod

2011-11-18 13:33

When Tia and Tamera Mowry burst on to our TV screens back in the day in their kitsch 1990s outfits, I was an instant fan.

I fell in love with their TV characters – identical twins who were separated at birth and eventually reunited.

So when I met one of the twins at the Michaelangelo in Sandton last week, I was a little star-struck.

Looking fresh, with a glow I put down to wedded bliss, Tamera (I know it’s her because she has a mole) soon put me at ease.

The twins’ reality TV show, Tia & Tamera, which airs on The Style Network, takes a voyeuristic look into the 33-year-old sisters’ lives and their individual milestones – from the birth of Tia’s first child in June to Tamera’s wedding to TV news reporter Adam Housely.

Tamera says that she and her sister felt that now was the right time to do a reality show.

“We have had many offers to do a reality show, but Tia and I didn’t feel it was the right time.

“Now we have our own production company and when we met to talk about one of the things we wanted to do three years ago, this was it.

Fortunately, it came at the right time where we are both experiencing major events in our lives.”

As for the challenges of a reality show, Tamera admits that there have been a few.

“The most difficult thing about this was making myself vulnerable and letting people into my life. The cameras are constantly in your face, but over time I became used to it.

“We wanted people to see the real us. I was getting married and needed my sister 100%, but she was pregnant and couldn’t really be there in the way I wanted her to be. This show is us uncensored – all the arguments, the fights, the laughter, everything. People will see that as much as we are identical, we’re very different women.”

As former child stars, the two ran the risk of being drawn into substance abuse and peaking too early.

But Tamera says that a strong family network was the key to keeping them clean.

“We grew up in a church. Our parents are very strict and made sure that we stayed grounded. When we dared to let our celebrity status get to us, our mother told us off.

“We were 16 and it was our first time flying to New York first class. When we arrived at the hotel, we had people asking us for autographs. Tia and I started feeling like we were kind of a big deal, but mom said to us, ‘You better get off your high horse, or I will slap you off’. Since then, we haven’t let any of the fame go to our heads.”

After the success of their TV show Sister, Sister, the pair worked on very different projects – Tamera in the medical drama Strong Medicine and Tia in the basketball sitcom The Game.

Tamera says the success of the reality show has proved that they can work on a project together and
make it work.

While the twins are restarting their careers with their reality show, their Sister, Sister co-star, R&B singer Marques Houston, has long since left his nerdy character Roger behind.

“It’s so funny because even today I still call him Roger or sing one of the funny songs from when he was a 10-year-old member of the group Immature. The song is called Da Munchies. Trust me, it’s worth Googling,” says Tamera.

» Find out what it’s like to be Tia and Tamera on The Style Network on Wednesdays at 9.15pm

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