Millions watched Candace Cameron grow up on the hit series Full House from 1987 to 1995. She was one of the few child stars to survive Hollywood unscathed. Now she’s raising three children of her own and is back on television.
Then, Candace was DJ Tanner. Now 34, she’s married to former NHL star Valeri Bure, (a one-time Calgary Flame and Montreal Canadien), raising three children, jumping back into television on the series Make It or Break It and releasing her new book, Candace Cameron Bure: Reshaping my mind, body and soul. Despite the hectic work schedule, Candace still considers herself to be a stay-at home mom looking after Natasha, 11, Lev, 10 and Maksim, 8.
PC: How did you begin acting?
CCB: I started acting when I was five years old, and really just kind of fell into it. My mom’s friend, who had children in the business, encouraged Mom to go see her agent. After a couple of years, Mom finally agreed. And so, I started auditioning at five and enjoyed it, and so did my brother [Kirk, who starred in Growing Pains]. We started working pretty regularly right off the bat.
PC: You were 10 when you started on Full House. Did that mean full-time hours?
CCB: Yep. It was five days a week. We would start in July and go through until April. And then we would have the summers off. So it was almost like a school year. It was a lot of hard work, but I loved it.
PC: The show was based in San Francisco, but shot in your hometown, Los Angeles. Did that make it easier?
CCB: Yes, and that’s really why the business worked for us. My dad was a public school teacher and my mom was a stay-at-home mom for many years and we were living in Los Angeles so it didn’t really change our schedule that much. My mom was able to take us to auditions and my dad was home early enough from work to be with my sisters. It kind of all just worked out for us
without a ton of effort in the beginning.
PC: Growing up, do you think you had a fairly normal childhood?
CCB: I think my life was as normal as it could possibly be, considering I was on a hit television show. My parents placed such an importance on family and included my sisters in anything that I did, and included all of us in anything my brother did. Once we came home from work, it was back to daily chores. It was about doing homework, it was about just being a family. The rest of the entertainment business wasn’t a big part of our lives.
PC: What was it like growing up on television?
CCB: I remember at times it was quite embarrassing. My first kiss on the show was my first kiss in real life and I was only in the sixth grade. It was embarrassing having a pimple and you still have to go out there and perform. I definitely dealt with weight issues and not feeling confident and comfortable all the time, but as a performer, those things can’t stop you. You still have to do it and that is what being a professional is all about and I knew that.
PC: Are your children interested in acting?
CCB: Yeah, my 11-year-old daughter is pursuing it right now and she absolutely loves it. She’s been auditioning and has done a couple of commercials. I’m kind of doing the same thing my mom did with me, running all over town taking her to auditions and we’re having fun with it. My boys are not interested in acting. They are both athletes. They love playing hockey and tennis. My youngest son, Max, definitely wants to be a hockey player and follow in his dad’s footsteps.
PC: Now you have the two jobs of driving your daughter to auditions and driving your sons to the rink as a hockey mom. In Canada we know the importance of hockey.
CC: Yeah! Hockey in Canada is nuts. I’m glad I’m not in Canada for my boys playing hockey (because it’s so intense). But Canada produces great hockey players.
PC: You lived in Canada for a while when your husband played hockey. How does the Canadian lifestyle compare with life in L.A.?
CC: Yes, we were in Canada for about seven years, living in Montreal and Calgary. It was a little bit of a shock for me, going to Calgary, after being born and raised in L.A. The pace was so much slower than Montreal, and certainly slower than L.A. Lev was just a baby and Natasha was about two. Some days I was itching to get back to L.A. just to have more movement and action, and at the same time, it was wonderful because I had two brand new little babies and the slower pace was actually a really nice lifestyle as I entered into parenthood. Calgary ended up being really great and it was the highlight of my husband’s career, so we have nothing but fond memories of Calgary.
PC: Your new show, Make It or Break It, is about a group of competitive gymnasts and focuses on a lot of teen issues, including sex, relationships and girls with attitude. Do you think about what your kids will be like at that age?
CC: Absolutely. My daughter loves to watch the show. We watch it together after it’s been recorded so I can fast forward through some things that I don’t think are appropriate for her at this age. I hope that Val and I are doing a good enough job that my daughter or my boys would never have the kind of attitude the character Lauren has on the show and never treat anyone the way she treats some people. I know we were all teenagers at one point and I know all those issues are coming up, especially for my daughter, who’s in sixth grade. And sometimes the show is a really nice springboard for conversations as she is growing and maturing.
PC: In this issue of ParentsCanada, we interviewed a parenting expert who advises talking to children about sex at an early age. How do you feel about that?
CC: I have talked to my 10-year-old son and my daughter. We had separate discussions with them on just the basics because I wanted to make sure we were the first ones that talked to them about it and that they weren’t learning it from friends or school or television or movies. They know it and they get it. So, now I am just very careful about what they watch on TV.
PC: Do any of your kids have cell phones?
CC: Almost all of my daughter’s friends have one. So I hear it almost everyday, “But mom, I’m the only one left in school that doesn’t have my own cell phone.” I’m like, “Great! Good for all of them.” It doesn’t convince me to give her a cell phone. Sure, a phone can be convenient at times. We have a spare cell phone with a number that is not used very often. So, if our kids are somewhere that we feel they need to have a phone, I can give them that phone. But really, it doesn’t happen often. My son is in the fourth grade and I would say that 50 percent of the kids in his class have their own cell phone. Fourth grade. Nine- and ten-year-olds. They have iPhones!
PC: What is your kids’ routine like in the summer?
We are incredibly involved with our kids, especially in the summer. For
the most part, we are home every day with them. Living in L.A., we are
at the beach every single day. Our house is only three blocks away from
the beach, so we are pretty much beach bums. We boogie board and skim
board and throw the football and Frisbee. We are a really, really active
family. We are with our kids practically 24-7. I think my kids would
probably like to get away for a week or so to a camp, because they
probably get tired of being with us all the time, but I love it. The
time passes by so fast, especially as a parent and you see your kids
growing every year. I just want to spend as much time with them and
enjoy every year as much as I possibly can.
PC: What about Facebook? Does your daughter use any social media?
No! She doesn’t have a Facebook account or a Twitter account. She
doesn’t even have her own computer. This was the first year we allowed
her to have an email address and that’s because her school is very
progressive with computers and doing work online. I am so overly
protective when it comes to technology because there are so many dangers
associated with it. We have had a few instances in our family where our
children have seen inappropriate things on the Internet. We monitor it
as closely as we can. At this age there is not a chance she will have a
Facebook account. The more kids that have Facebook or Myspace and the
more parents that allow it makes it that much harder for the parents
that don’t want their kids to have it. There is pressure from the other
kids upon our own kids. It gets tough.
Published June 2010