Idol Chatter

At least on television, that is. The former Full House star is headlining a new television movie, Truth Be Told, that airs tomorrow on Fox at 8/7c, in which she plays an unmarried marriage counselor who must fabricate a marriage in order to secure her dream job.

Films aren’t the only thing on her plate, however. In addition to raising 3 children and travelling the country to speak at churches and women’s conferences, she has a new book that hit the New York Times Bestseller list (Reshaping it All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness) as well as a starring role on a hit television show (ABC Family’s Make It or Break It, now in its second season). In between the busyness, however, she managed to find time to talk with Beliefnet about her new film, how her faith influences the roles that she chooses, and what happened when she stole an armful of stuffed animals from a carnival as a child.

BN: Let me ask first, you’re obviously very outspoken about your beliefs. How do your beliefs dictate the kinds of roles that you’ll take these days, especially in your latest film?

CAMERON: Well yeah my faith dictates a whole lot of what I’ll do. You know ultimately what’s important to me is quality family programming and family content. Personally I’m an advocate for healthy marriages and families and I do a lot of speaking around the country sharing my faith and talking to women’s groups, even specifically about marriage. And so when I read this character [in Truth Be Told], Annie Morgan, she’s a single marriage counselor, which is kind of the whole point of the story because she’s caught in this lie: she decides to pretend that’s she’s married so that she can get this wonderful job opportunity. Those were things that I was already passionate about and I honestly have never played a counselor in a film before and it’s a sweet, cute, little romantic comedy and so I loved that aspect in there where even some things that I could just add to the character, even dialog lines from personal experience and being married for 15 years. So that was a fun aspect on a personal note.

BN: Are you going to let your own children watch this one? [In the past, Cameron has not allowed them to watch some of her work if it was too adult]

CAMERON: Oh yeah, absolutely. They’ve gotten to see parts of it. We got a preview because we were watching it with bloggers and online so they’ve seen parts of the film and they were super excited but yeah most definitely. This movie is completely family friendly even the commercials, which I love because so many times you watch TV and there’s just inappropriate commercials that come on at even 8 o’clock. So you can sit here with your three-year-old and be very comfortable with everything that you’re going to see, but I know that adults will enjoy it as well as the kids.

BN: So given in the film that your main character tells a fairly significant lie in an attempt to get ahead professionally… how do you share with your own kids about lying and the consequences of lying? I’ve got a four-year-old and she’s just started lying to me and I have a really hard time with figuring out how to discuss that with her and deal with that. So how as a parent can you take a film like this and teach your own kids about lying?

CAMERON: Well I think the biggest thing is that when you lie there’s always going to be a consequence. Lying never wins at the end. That’s something I have to tell my children and remind them. You know it seems to easy to lie in the moment but you always have to tell more lies on top of it to cover your tracks, which is something that you see in the movie. And it always gets worse and then you’re living with the guilt of it. And so in my personal family when it comes to lying, I tell my kids, “If you’re honest with me right now and tell me the truth, even though you did something that you weren’t supposed to the consequence will never be as bad as what it would be if I find out that yore lying. So it’s always better to tell me the truth from the start and I will happily give you grace but if you choose to lie and then I find out your consequences are going to be pretty tough.” And then you have to follow through with those consequences if you find out that they’ve lied. And you know, I had to tell my kids over and over and over again, it still happens even as they get older, but they learn and along the way they’ve gotten much, much better at telling the truth the first time because they realize the pattern that I’ve created and my husband has created in our home, that we are honest with our word and their consequences never are as bad if they’re honest up front.

BN: Yeah, the first time your kids lie to you is a bummer.

CAMERON: Totally, totally is. I know.

BN: I think you operate under the assumption that this cute little cherubic child will never lie to you and then you catch them and it’s like, “Wow, where did you learn to do that?”

CAMERON: Exactly. It’s in our nature. We’re born with it, which is a scary thing.

BN: You had an interesting quote on your website in regards to the premier of the show you’re on, on ABC family. You said “Try not to be confused if Summer does something Candace wouldn’t.” And I don’t know if I’ve ever heard another actor discuss the intersection of their career and their personal life like that. Because you’re so outspoken about your faith, do you find that that makes your job as an actor harder sometimes? Are you concerned that people will judge you based on what one of your characters does because they associate you and the roles you play so closely?

CAMERON: They absolutely do. I come across it all the time and that’s why that letter I had posted in response because I had had so many letters that had come in. And one of the things I love about the current show that I’m on, Make It or Break It, is that it is not a Christian show. It’s on ABC family and it’s dealing with teenagers that are going through real issues and they’re all dealing with them in very different ways and not necessarily ways that I approve of as a mom or how I would want my children to [deal with it]. But I have a unique opportunity on the show, that I am playing a Christian character. And so because my faith is important to me and then they wrote it in that my character I would be playing would also be a Christian, many people would often assume now that I’m playing myself on television. And I’m not. I’m reading lines that the writers write for me so it’s not things that I necessarily would say, but a lot of people just don’t make that separation and don’t understand that. It is a struggle to balance or have people understand that I’m not Candace on this show. I’m certainly playing a character, and that character is not going to make the same choices that I would in my personal life, and try not to judge me based off of her actions. It’s just a wild thing that happens.

BN: In preparing for your role in Truth Be Told you didn’t happen to go back and watch the season finale from season one of Full House, where you tell a lie in order to get an autograph from your favorite music artist? Did you get some acting tips from 1998 Candace?

CAMERON: That’s hysterical. I forgot about that episode. It’s been so many years. Obviously I know you’re teasing with me. It didn’t reflect back on the last one. But it is certainly, you know, fun to be on the other end now and playing the mom role, adult roles and getting to give the advice instead of get the advice.

BN: Do you have any colorful or interesting stories from when you were a kid and you tried to pull off a lie yourself that didn’t turn out so well?

CAMERON: I know the one time I got caught red-handed lying and I don’t think I did it again because it was pretty terrible to disappoint my mom and my dad. But we were at a carnival and my sister, it was a school carnival, and my sister was working at the ticket booth and because she was my sister she gave us a whole bunch of extra tickets that we didn’t pay for. So we could then go buy the stuffed animals from the… like we had earned all these tickets when we didn’t. We all came home with these big stuffed animals from the school and when they did the money count they realized what had happened, that a lot of tickets were given away for free. Well we got caught and we had to return our stuffed animals and it was mortifying.

BN: Oh that sounds bad.

CAMERON: I think that was the end of that for me and my sisters.

BN: Any truth to the rumor that you might be guest staring on Glee in the future?

CAMERON: I’ve heard it before. No. I haven’t been asked.

BN: Last question. What do you really hope families take away from Truth Be Told?

CAMERON: I really hope that they will come together and just be entertained for two hours. I hope that it will be a time of togetherness, a time of good conversation and laughs. I hope that this is just one of those movies that will honestly bring families together. You pop some popcorn and just enjoy the time. It is about spending quality time together so I hope this is a really good excuse to allow families to do that.

Truth Be Told airs tomorrow on Fox at 8/7c.


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