Both sisters have acted in further TV shows and movies (Double Wedding, The Hot Chick) since, and this year sees the launch of Tia & Tamera, their first reality show. To celebrate, we got on the phone with Tamera to talk about getting married, her sister having a baby, and of course whether she's still in touch with Marques 'Roger' Houston!
Why did you choose to do a reality show?
"My sister and I fortunately have been in this business for a very long time. Ever since we were 11. Throughout those years people have always wanted to know our dynamic. We've been very private, which I think has been great. Timing is everything and we both have these amazing milestones just naturally happening. We thought now would be a great time to give back to our fans, to let us show the world who we really are. We've been approached to do a reality show years ago but we just wanted to make sure that the timing was right."
What have we got to look forward to on the show?
"What people are going to be surprised about is that Tia and I are really different. We're nothing like the characters on Sister, Sister. We're kind of swapped. I was the crazy mischievous one on the show - Tia was the studious, more serious one. You'll get to see our real personalities come out. We're not always cheery, happy-go-lucky with each other. We're normal sisters going through two very amazing transitions in our lives."
How did you get on during filming?
"We expect each other to be there 100% of the time for each other - and looking back that was just impossible. We fought for it - and we took it personal. 'Why can't you be there for my bridal shower?' 'Because I can't, I'm pregnant!' Then Tia's like 'Why can't you be there for my ultrasound?' And I'm like, 'I can't, I'm in Napa, planning my wedding!' There was a lot of miscommunication, but most of all our love for each other triumphed."
Were you worried about giving up your privacy?
"Yes, I was. You're subjected to people's opinions of you as a person. I'm totally fine with people criticising me in shows... people like this show, or don't, you're entitled to your opinion. But when people are criticising you as a person, I have to say it's a little bit different. But it only makes you stronger, and makes you focus on you knowing you, who you are - you have to be you!"
How much control did you have over what was filmed?
"Not that much! At first Tia and I tiptoed around the situation, kind of being protective of what we said and did. The producers had a little talk with us and they were like, 'Listen, the only way people are going to relate to you is if you are fully yourself. You have to be able to let your guards down and be free, and just let go. That's what people are going to relate to'. We didn't have much control - say we did something that we didn't like, you can't go to the network and say, 'We didn't like that'. They would say, 'Well, that was reality - we shot reality - you can't change reality!' You'll find out that Tia and I are two very different people, and people will relate to us. Most of all sisters, because sisters are never really alike."
Were you inspired by other reality shows like the Kardashians'?
"I was more a fan of Kimora Lee Simmons, simply because she's a career woman and you get to see how she balances motherhood, being a career woman and just being this celebrity. Her show really was inspirational, it's positive, and so is LaLa [Anthony']s show. I was really, really inspired by positive reality shows."
Do you still get recognised everywhere from Sister, Sister?
"Of course! I love to travel the world. My husband and I always travel and everywhere we go I've been to Italy, of course London, Ireland and you just receive so much love. It's a treat to hear people still talk about how amazing the show was and how it impacted their lives. I am so grateful for that show. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for our fans. We love it. I absolutely love it."
Are you still in touch with Marques 'Roger' Houston and the rest of the cast?
"Yes. You'll see Marques went to my wedding, it's awesome. And Jackée ['Lisa' Harry] actually does a guest appearance on the show."
Is it true there'll be a second season of Tia & Tamera?
"There are rumours - we haven't had a definite pick-up yet. It's a massive hit in the States, which is a blessing. It's awesome, it's very surprising! Everyone loves it, they just love it. So who knows, we might."
Why do you think you and Tia have avoided the 'child star curse'?
"I think it's because of our support system. Our parents are just wonderful. They are not in the business, they just kind of focus on encouraging us to be the best people we can be. They're more interested in who we are - our character - than what we're doing. They always taught us that acting is just a job. You're not better than anyone else. I think I've learned to balance life and career. I don't live out my career, I live my life."
I read that you and Tia are considering a jewellery line...
"We've been getting a lot of feedback about our accessories on the show, and Tia and I are bringing up some amazing ideas. We don't know if it's going to be a jewellery line yet, but we will definitely have something for our fans. We wanna just share something with them, whether it's clothing, whether it's a jewellery line, we're figuring that out as we speak. We want our fans to choose the first item we're going to bring out."
Tia and Tamera premieres Wednesdays at 9pm only on Style (Sky: 253) in the UK, and continues on the Style Network in the US
> Tamera Mowry: 'Tia and I have twin telepathy'
Watch a clip from Tia & Tamera below: