After five seasons on the dramedy The Game, Tia Mowry-Hardrict is taking a walk on the lighter side for her latest role. In the NickMom sitcom Instant Mom, premiering September 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, she plays a former party girl who married an older man (Michael Boatman) — and inherited the three kids from his first marriage. The real-life mom of 2-year-old Cree (with husband Cory Hardrict), Mowry-Hardict has a lot to share about motherhood both on- and off-screen.
Your character's three stepchildren are older than your son, but as a mom, do you relate to her?
Definitely. Stephanie is a cool, hot step mom and that's kind of how I see myself. I'm not the traditional kind of mom. I'm kind of like the new millennium mom, a woman who does not let herself go. Stephanie's a fun, energetic, charismatic, enchanting woman who wants to be the best mom to these kids. She still focuses on her goals and aspirations. She's fashionable. The wardrobe is Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choos, all designer clothing. She's running after kids in five-inch heels. And that's me in real life. She's a fish out of water. All of this is new to her. But she's enthusiastic and she's having fun doing it.
How does the new job compare to doing The Game?
The writing is very different. On The Game we hit serious, controversial topics. I was happy, then I was crying, which was very challenging. This show is a comedy, and we're in front of a live audience, which I love and I missed. It's instant gratification. And it's great practice for an actor. It really keeps you on your toes. You have to know your lines!
Cree is 2 years old. How are you handling the terrible twos?
I've only cried twice since I became a mother. Once was when he was born, from the emotion and the adjustment. The second time was when he had his first fit at a farmers' market. We had an audience as he lay on the floor and screamed. I picked him up, calmed him down, took him to the car and went home and cried. Dealing with the terrible twos is one of the hardest things I've discovered since becoming a mom. That, and fatigue.
What is Cree into?
Everything! He loves reading. He picks out books and I read to him. He speaks Spanish, at two. He's very smart. I'm very proud that he's starting to use the bathroom on his own now. He tells me when he has to go potty. He takes after me: fun, funny. But he looks like my husband.
Have you thought about having a second child?
I think if I had another child right now, I would probably go crazy. I'm too busy with my career. I don't want to bring another child into the world and not be able to give him or her the attention that they deserve. I want another child desperately but time is not on my side right now. I've had an infertility issue with endometriosis — my first pregnancy was hard. We touched on that in Tia & Tamera this season. I will have another child but I don't know when. My husband and I want to have two kids and adopt a third.
You have a movie coming out September 27. Details?
I'm in Baggage Claim with Paula Patton for Fox Searchlight. I play this crazy girlfriend of Trey Songz. It's hilarious.
You're so busy! How do you juggle it all?
I take everything a moment at a time. I do have help. And my husband is the biggest supporter. I would not be doing what I am right now if it weren't for him. He's there for me and he's such a good, hands-on father. I'm very, very happy with the way things are going right now.
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(photo: Parisa / Splash News)