Tia Mowry has the original movie “Double Wedding” coming up June 20 on Lifetime – with herself and twin Tamera sharing executive producer as well as starring credits. Her “The Game” series is staying alive for a new season on BET. On the home front, she’s two years into her marriage to handsome actor Cory Hardrict and still sounds like a newlywed when she talks about him. Things are looking bright indeed.
But Tia remembers all too well how she felt 11 years ago, facing a life transition, wondering if her career was over. Like other former juvenile stars before her, she had to remake herself, in a way, to find out.
“When ‘Sister, Sister’ ended in ’99, I chose to go abroad. In 2000, I stayed in Italy for three months. I traveled around the world – Egypt, Paris, Spain. I was away from my comfort zone, from all my friends and family,” she tells us, adding that her twin sister, Tamera, was on hand for part of the journey. “I had to rely on my own strength and God.”
While on the other side of the world, she weighed possibilities for her future, asking herself, “’What is it you really want to do?’ Did I want to pursue psychology” – her major at Pepperdine – “or acting?
”When I landed back in America, I kissed the ground. I was so glad to be home,” she goes on. “By then, I realized, ‘I want to act. I really do.’ But I had to start from the bottom and work my way up. People still thought of me as a little girl, but I was a woman in an adult body. I went out and started auditioning for guest parts. I moved out of the house, to a place of my own in Studio City, where I could feel the energy of being a beginning actor again, out doing the hustle and grind.”
Determined, Tia started getting through to casting directors. The industry began to see her for the adult she had become.
Meeting with “The Game” creator Mara Brock Akil, “I had to really, really dig deep,’” she recalls. Akil told her, “‘This is going to be controversial. We write about controversial subjects. We write about sex.’ I thought, ‘You can do this.’”
Of course, Tia did land the lead role of Melanie Barnett in the comedy-drama that takes viewers into the lives of NFL players’ wives and girlfriends.
Looking back, Tia says, “I learned I could rely on myself and my abilities when I went away. It was so important. You have to believe in yourself in order for other people to believe in you.’”