Frisky Q&A: Candace Cameron Talks Motherhood, Gymnastics & DJ Tanner
Candace Cameron is the girl who launched a thousand embroidered vests and neon scrunchies. Her story is the stuff of ’90s legend—after seeing her big brother Kirk’s experience on “Growing Pains,” Candace knew she wanted to be an actress and, after spots on “Who’s the Boss” and in “Some Kind of Wonderful,” she landed the iconic role of DJ Tanner on “Full House.” The show ended in 1995, and since then Candace has gotten hitched to pro hockey player Valeri Bure, and is now the proud mama of three children. She’s also acting again, playing Summer on ABC Family’s gymnastics-palooza, “Make It Or Break It.” Candace sat down with The Frisky to talk about returning to the television scene. After the jump, she dishes about everything from the Olsen Twins to which of her “Full House” uncles set her up with her hubby. Oh, and she’s also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the juice box. Because who doesn’t love one of those?
So first of all, I’m curious what it’s like being back on a TV set after so long.
It has been wonderful. I’m enjoying it so much and “Make It Or Break It” has been just a pleasure to work on. Not only the people and going to work every day, but the success of the show has been just pretty awesome.
And what’s happening next for Summer on the show?
She just kind of started maybe dating the coach, so they’re definitely gonna explore that relationship to see if it’s gonna work or not. They kind of have two different world views.
Did you ever do gymnastics?
I did take gymnastics for a very brief period of time when I was younger. And my dad was a gymnast in college, so I’ve always loved gymnastics. On my Facebook page right now, I have a picture of me doing a handstand from last weekend that my friend took. I was pretty impressed that I could do a handstand and hold it.
I’m impressed. I got to somersaults and gave up. I’m curious, do the girls on “Make It Or break It” know “Full House”?
They do know “Full House.” They were actually quite adorable in that the first week we were on the show. We were all having lunch together and one of them just broke the ice and said, “OK, Candace, we’re all really big fans of ‘Full House.’ Can we just have like 20 minutes to ask you all the questions we ever wanted to?'” I don’t even think they asked me too much—they got embarrassed at that point. They also told me about their favorite episodes and asked if I liked being on the show.
What about DJ Tanner was very much like you and what was very unlike you?
Well, DJ Tanner and I—we were both just teenage kids trying to navigate our way through life. I think the aspect of families being involved was very relevant to the show and my family life at home. I think the biggest difference was the fact that I was a working child actor and DJ was just kind of a typical teenager.
What are some ways that you know that DJ Tanner has had a lasting impression on pop culture?
There have been some little catchphrases that I would say on the show that are still being used today. Like “Oh Mylanta” or “You Nerd Bomber.” People tweet those things to me all the time and I just have to chuckle. I made those up as a kid. The writers asked me, “What are you saying?” and those are my little expressions. So it’s kinda fun that people still use them and reference them today.
While you were playing DJ were there any roles on television that you secretly would’ve liked a stab at?
No. I was so happy that I was on “Full House” and loved every minute of it, so I wasn’t wishing for anything else at that time. I don’t think the grass is greener on the other side.
And now, you’re a mom of three.
What are some of the best things about being a mom?
I absolutely love motherhood. It’s flying by so fast—my kids are 12, 10, and 8 years old. It’s hard for me to believe that my oldest is entering 7th grade. But motherhood has been incredibly wonderful and a huge part of our life is all about health and fitness. My husband is a professional athlete so I’m very excited that I’ve gotten to team up with Juice Box, who is celebrating their 30th birthday. My kids love juice boxes. I loved them as a child. And now it’s a way for me to ensure that my kids are getting a really healthy beverage option.
What are some of the hardest things about being a mom that maybe you didn’t anticipate beforehand?
Just the fact that your kids can steal your life. It’s a wonderful thing, but I don’t think I realized having kids at such a young age that a lot of things in my life would be put on the backburner. I’m very happy that they have been—I would do anything for my children. But it’s definitely switched up what once were my priorities to what they are now.
Are they watching “Make It Or Break It”?
Natasha loves it. We watch it after it’s been DVRed because as a concerned mom I do fast-forward through some scenes that I don’t find appropriate yet at her age. My boys sometimes will catch the show. But they’re more interested in catching a football game or a hockey game. They’re all about sports.
There are three of them just like on “Full House.” Do they have similar dynamics as the Tanner kids?
I never even thought about that. My kids are very, very different. They are quite the individuals, so parenting can be a little different for one than it is for the other. But they’re such fun kids. I enjoy them so much.
And is it right that you’ve been married for 14 years?
Yes, I have.
What is some advice that you might go back and give your single self?
I met my husband at 18 and I’m thrilled that I did—we’re happy. But my best friend is single and she’s really enjoying single life. I think that maintaining friendships is really, really important. I think that if you’re looking for your husband, it’s probably better not to look because I find that the harder people look, the less luck that they have. I think love might find you unexpectedly.
Were you into hockey before you met your husband?
I wasn’t into hockey before I met him. It was actually Dave Coulier from “Full House” that’d taken me to a hockey game and introduced me to my husband.
How into hockey are you now?
I enjoy watching hockey. I mean, I love the sport and I was very committed to going to all the games that my husband played in. Now that we’re not in it, we’re watching games, but we’re not hardcore fans in terms of a team because he played for several different teams.
Back on the “Full House” tip—how surprised were you when the Olsen twins became the moguls and stars that they did?
I think we were all surprised. They were 9 months old when they started the show! To see them where they are now, it’s pretty amazing. I absolutely love their clothing lines. Some of my favorite pieces in my closet are from their Elizabeth and James line.