If you were one of the millions of fans of the hit sitcom Full House, then you already know Candace Cameron Bure. She played the role of D.J. Tanner and, week in and week out, we watched her grow into a teenager right before our eyes. A couple of years ago, Your Teen talked to the busy mom of three about life with her own teenage daughter.
Interview With Actress Candace Cameron Bure
Q: Acting runs in your family. You and your brother, Kirk Cameron, are actors. How about your kids?
Bure: I am totally open to my kids going into acting. But my boys have no interest. They love sports like my husband (former NHL hockey player Valeri Bure). My daughter has explored acting a bit. She’s not pursuing it now, but it is something that she thinks about.
Q: Knowing the possible challenges of a “child star,” is there a particular age that you’d want your daughter to be?
Bure: I am not the type of parent who says, ‘You need to wait until you are this or that age.’ But having been a kid in the industry—I started at five—I know the dedication it requires. And the hours that parents have to put in. So the drive needs to come from her. Right now, she’s just not sure, but if she decides to become an actor and her heart is fully in it, I will support her.
Q: Do the tabloid stories about other young actors scare you?
Bure: No. I grew up in the industry and I know that it’s not necessary to go down that path. There are plenty of child-actors who never got mixed up with drugs and alcohol and, like me, are still working. It’s no different than sports. If you have a child who’s a gifted athlete and they have the opportunity to pursue a sport on a professional level, the same pressures come up. This is where the parents and the foundation they provide are so important.
Q: So was Full House as much fun as it looked?
Bure: It was a blast! It was eight wonderful years of my life and I think the same is true for everyone who worked on the show. In fact, this month marks the 25th anniversary of the pilot episode and the whole crew is getting together for a barbecue to celebrate.
Q: Do you keep in touch with other cast members?
Bure: Yes. We see each other a couple times a year and we all support one another’s charitable causes and events. Let’s just say when I get an email from John Stamos, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, Lori Loughlin, Jodie Sweetin, or anyone else from the show, I’m always ready to rally.
Q: Your faith is important to you. Tell us about it.
Bure: I was twelve when my family started going to church. It was new to all of us. We all grew in our faith, but I truly became a Christian when I was in my early twenties.
Q: Does it permeate everything you do?
Q: That includes your many charitable causes. How do you teach your kids about the importance of giving back?
Bure: My husband and I talk about it with our kids, but we also model through our actions. Our kids see us participating in charitable causes and they help when they can. The schools my kids attend are also service oriented and so at least once a month they are working in the community. Last summer, we also had the opportunity to take our kids on a mission to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International, one of my charities. They saw poverty at its worst. It was a huge deal for them and a real eye opener. As a parent I would love to do that once a year. Financially, I don’t think that will happen. But that doesn’t mean we can’t serve the poor in our own community.
Q: How about your kids?
Bure: Going on the mission trip affected all my kids for weeks but then, yes, it was back to their normal. We all need a constant reminder that there are people in this world who are struggling. This is why I think serving once a month in your community is so important. Of course, it is hard for a 14-year-old who can be focused on herself! We just hope they have it in their heads and it flourishes in them when they are adults.
Q: You’ve struggled with the eating disorder Bulimia?
Bure: When I was 19, it kind of just crept up on me. But mine was not the stereotypical Hollywood story of feeling pressure to lose weight. For me, it was about finding comfort in food when I was having a tough time and then not wanting to gain weight from overeating. Finally, I went to God for my comfort and not food. In light of my experience, I am very aware of how much I talk about my weight or scrutinize myself in front of my teenage daughter. Our kids watch what we do. At 14, there are days when my daughter says, ‘I’m so fat.’ We all did that as teenagers, but as a parent I try to stress the importance of being healthy by exercising and making good choices with food.
Q: Are you like the mom in Puppy Love?
Bure: Yes and no. I love dogs and I work hard at being a caring and loving mom. But I don’t think I’m as frantic as that character was. Being a single mother, the character has challenges I am fortunate not to have.
Q: How would you characterize your parenting style?
Bure: Well, if you ask my kids, I think one of the first things they would say is that I am strict. My fourteen year old would definitely say that. I think I am a fun mom, but I am not trying to be their friend. I don’t confuse that. I enjoy playing with my kids. I am actually at the beach right now with my boys. They are boogie boarding. It’s been a great day!
Puppy Love, starring Candace Cameron Bure and Victor Webster is part of Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, the network’s initiative to save the lives of homeless pets through adoption and to promote healthy relationships between people and pets. Candace Cameron Bure is a spokesperson for Pet Project.