Having the eyes of the world upon them, since their rise to fame as the stars of ‘Little People, Big World,’ has caused a lot of changes in the lives of Matt Roloff, his wife Amy and their four children. Some changes have been good, some not as good.
‘We were in Hawaii and a couple of ladies walked by Jeremy during dinner and shoved a piece of paper in his hand and said he dropped this and of course it was their phone number. That’s the kind of stuff that may not happen if they weren’t on TV but it’s cute to see,’ reports Roloff, smiling as he speaks of one of his 20-year-old twin sons. As viewers know, Jeremy is 6’1′ and Zachary is 4’4′.
He goes on, ‘We get recognized quite a bit. People are sometimes very respectful and give us space and other times they’re overzealous. You do start to build a wall because you get bombarded at times. I grew up where you smile at everybody but you can’t make as much eye contact because suddenly you’re talking to all kinds of people.
‘It definitely does take some getting used to. I don’t know how we adapted to it but we sort of have. We live life and they do their jobs. Sometimes we do have to say, ‘Hey, we need to take a break for a couple of days.’ When every move you make is being watched and judged, you may not discipline the kids like you should because you don’t know what people are going to say or think. Other times you forget the cameras are there and go about your business as you normally would.’
How have the kids managed? ‘My kids have dealt with it amazingly well,’ he replies. He adds admiringly, ‘It’s hard enough to grow up as a teenager but to also have the world scrutinizing your every move is really tricky business.’
Roloff tells us the family was happy to take a trip recently and ‘We got reacquainted. I realized how polite they are and how they have their heads on straight. We were very selective in the beginning about how much we would let them do as far as interviews or missing school for something. We tried to keep them as normal as possible and they all still have the same friends,’ he says, referring to his brood that also includes son Jake, 13, and daughter Molly, 16, both of whom are of average height.
‘We continue to evolve as a family,’ he notes. ‘Relationships change like with any family, but they happen to be filming it. Our society is so fixated on sitcoms where nobody ages or changes, but that’s just not reality. You’re getting what really happens in life with people. You learn, you grow, you make mistakes — that’s just real life.’
And the realness of the Roloffs continues to be among the attributes that attract viewers to their ‘Little People, Big World’ the most. — Emily-Fortune Feimster