Thursday, December 17, 2009

Q&A: MAKE IT OR BREAK IT's Candace Cameron Bure

Earlier this week, We Love Soaps participated in a question and answer session with MAKE IT BREAK IT star Candace Cameron Bure, who plays Summer. The actress is best known for her run as D.J. Tanner on FULL HOUSE but is back on TV as a series regular on the ABC Family hit soap winning over a whole new set of fans.

New episodes of MAKE IT OR BREAK IT premiere on Monday, January 4th at 9 p.m. ET.

Roger Newcomb (We Love Soaps): Has your life been different than you imagined it would be?
Candace Cameron Bure: That’s a big question. I honestly didn’t have huge dreams or goals for myself as a child. I wasn’t one of those kids that said, “I want to be an actress one day,” or “I want to be a doctor,” or the president or a nurse. I am a go-with-the-flow type of person. I live life every day and see where God takes me and try to be used in whatever place I’m in.

I’m certainly thrilled with my life and what’s become of it and feel incredibly blessed with the family that I have. I love being back at work. If you ask me what kind of life I would want, it’s exactly the one that I’m living. I’m incredibly grateful and thankful for it and excited to see what the future will hold.

Roger Newcomb (We Love Soaps): That’s a great answer. I tweeted that I was going to be talking to you or hoping to --.
Candace Cameron Bure: I re-tweeted you!

Roger Newcomb (We Love Soaps): [Former DAYS OF OUR LIVES actress] Andrea Barber wanted me to ask this question: How come DJ got all the hot boyfriends [on FULL HOUSE] and Kimmy got stuck with the "offbeat" boyfriends?

Candace Cameron Bure: She knows she had the best boyfriend, that Duane, that said, “Whatever.” She had the best boyfriend on the show. He was just hysterical!

Kenn Gold (Media Blvd): I have to say I’m actually a Boulder, Colorado, native so your show really resonates with me. I grew up in that town and I love the show when I see it. The other question I have, I know you’re a Christian. You have one a character who promotes Christian values positively, which is really rare in this day of media. How do you feel about having that role, and did you have to fight to get your character, Summer, to have those values on the show?
Candace Cameron Bure: It was very interesting. I do hold a higher standard in some of the things I will do and won’t do. Some of that played into my character with Summer when we had created her, but originally I never asked if she was a Christian at all. That was something that after we talked, the producer decided it would be a great element to add to the show.

I was excited about that and it wasn’t something I was expecting. It’s been interesting for me because although I’m not Summer, we do hold a lot of the same views and opinions and values. It’s something I truly believe in, which is interesting as an actor, to really mean a lot of the lines that I’m saying and to believe in them.

I’m happy, being a Christian and portraying a Christian on television, and I want to make sure that it is a positive reflection of Christianity, unlike some of the views that we see in other characters on television shows that aren’t portraying Christianity so greatly. Anyway, it’s an exciting thing for me and I’m happy about it.

Jamie Steinberg (Starry Constellation Magazine): What is it about this show that you feel continues to draw in viewers?
Candace Cameron Bure: I think it’s a well-written show and the storylines themselves, because there’s so much drama; there’s a lot of conflict and having it based around gymnastics is something that hasn’t been on TV yet. I think is quite interesting for the viewers. I know we have so many fans who are gymnasts or have been in the gymnastic world and they’re so excited and pleased that there’s a show representing some of the things that they’ve gone through their whole lives.

And, also, being a teen drama and discussing the life of what teens go through and the hardships and drama itself – that’s something that hooks you and keeps you wanting to come back for more, to see what happens.

Jamie Steinberg (Starry Constellation Magazine): What about the role continues to challenge you?
Candace Cameron Bure: I’m having so much fun on the show and with this role. I mentioned before it is fun that I get to be a really positive person, and a go-to person for the girls in the gym if they want, especially for Lauren.

I’m a stable figure that hopefully represents love and that’s a great character to be playing. It’s fun for me to be in much more of a motherly role and an adult role, obviously having been on TV as a child for so many years. That, in itself, makes it nice to come back to TV as a completely different person in the sense that I’m an adult.

Traci Grant ( Have you noticed any changes in your day-to-day life since the show premiered? You have a whole new fan base and then, again, with the fans that have followed you all these years, has that impacted you in a way that you’ve been able to notice?
Candace Cameron Bure: I’m still recognized from FULL HOUSE; I think I will be my entire and that’s still where the majority of my fans are from. It is pretty fun for me when some of the younger kids come up to me say, “Aren’t you that lady from MAKE IT OR BREAK IT?” That tickles me to death.

I love having new fans that know me from this show – that’s always a fun thing, but I’m forever grateful and love my Full House fans. I guess I haven’t seen a huge, dramatic change in fans from being on the show. I think I’ve got a great group of core fans that have just followed me for a long time; it’s quite flattering and I’m appreciative of them all.

Sarah Fulghum ( I just wanted to say it is great having you back on TV. I’m loving your character, Summer. I’d like to know what are the similarities and the differences between your personality and Summer’s.
Candace Cameron Bure: We’re having fun because the show is so new and the characters are still developing so I’m learning a lot more about Summer as we’re diving into this back 10 [episodes] of the season. Something that I am not that Summer is is organized. We’ll see that Summer’s got her stuff together; she’s a bright woman, and she’s organized and she’s put together quite well. I guess being a mom of three I feel pretty disheveled most days. I can’t remember my car keys or what I just walked out the door to get. I will just go completely blank. I think that’s one big difference.

Another difference is I’m happily married with three children and Summer is still looking for love. She’s never been married and obviously she just broke up from a serious relationship at the end of Episode 10. She’s still looking for love. There’re a lot of differences between us. But, I think the common factor is the Christian faith that we share.

Sarah Fulghum ( I definitely agree. Also, your clothes on the show are just the cutest.
Candace Cameron Bure: Thank you, I agree.

Sarah Fulghum ( Do you have input on that or do you just have an amazing wardrobe?
Candace Cameron Bure: It’s both, but we have an amazing costume designer, Mary Kate - that’s just funny, her name [laughs]. Well, Mary Kate is great and we talk a lot about the wardrobe, but I think because I’m the only one in the show who’s technically not a gym mom or one of the gymnasts, so she just gets to have a lot of fun with me and put me in great clothes. A lot of them are the designers and the type of clothes that I wear in my own life. I come out on stage every day and all the girls on the show check me out to see what I’m wearing. They say, “You have the cutest clothes on the show.” That’s totally all our costume designer and I give her props, she’s awesome.

Kiko Martinez (Extra Chicago): You took a five or six-year break from acting back in 2001. Coming back into it, having a familiar name is it an easy transition back for you into the work or did it feel like you were starting from scratch all over again?
Candace Cameron Bure: No, Hollywood embraced me and gave me a very warm welcome back. When I decided to come back towork, it didn’t take long at all. It was basically a little reintroduction of, “Hey, I’m back,” and everyone wanted to see what I looked like. From what most people say, I pretty much look the same as I did even ten years ago. I haven’t aged too much.

Aside from people just seeing what I look like, it was a very warm welcome. The calls started coming in right away. I didn’t have to fight hard at all, which is a beautiful place to be; I’m grateful for it.

Kiko Martinez (Extra Chicago): I wanted to ask you about what you said earlier in the interview. You said that you hold a high standard to choosing roles. Does it ever feel like you might be limited as an actress by doing this or is it not something you think about?
Candace Cameron Bure: I definitely am limited, absolutely, but that’s okay. I’m the one that’s limiting myself and I’m limiting myself by choice. I want to do things that either will have a message at the end of the day, a good moral message, or things that will encourage people or families in a positive direction.

Not that everything is going to be perfect or everything’s happy; there are always struggles and conflict in television or movies and participating in those are great. I don’t have to do everything that holds the exact same viewpoint that I have, but at the end of the day, for me, I want it to have a positive reflection or redemption at the end of it, something learned from the situation. Yes, I’m limited, but that’s completely fine with me.

Troy Rogers ( Were you involved with gymnastics when you were young?
Candace Cameron Bure: I took gymnastics as a kid when I was probably four or five years old, maybe for a year and that was about it. My dad was a gymnast through high school, though, so I’ve always enjoyed the sport. It’s my favorite sport during the Summer Olympics; it always has been. Let’s just say I can’t really do the splits or anything; I’m not that flexible. I guess I wasn’t too good at it.

Troy Rogers ( You mentioned that being a mom of three gets you disheveled. Does that help you play the scenes with Lauren, being a mother yourself?
Candace Cameron Bure: I think being a mom and having the maturity and patience with children, that I can definitely draw on that when Lauren gives me those zingers of comments and lines. You have to take it all in stride and certainly I can feed off of that from being a mom.

Troy Rogers ( You mentioned the Olympics. I wanted to know, with the Winter Olympics coming up in Vancouver, when hockey starts, does that cause a split in your house? Do you root for the U.S. and [your husband] Valeri roots for Russia or how does that work?
Candace Cameron Bure: I’m an American and will root for everything American except when it comes to hockey. I’m not a traitor, but my husband did play in two Olympic games and of course I was rooting for Russia when he played in those games. I have a silver and a bronze medal sitting in my home that he took home. I’m incredibly proud of him and those medals. Even though he’s not playing in the Olympics again, my heart’s going to be with Russia because that’s his team and he won those medals with Russia. It’s the only team in the winter sports, hockey, when my heart goes with Russia.

Sherry Vonhalton (Have You Heard?): You were very successful as a child actress and have grown up to be a successful person. How did you escape the childhood curse and what would you suggest for those people out there now that are actors and actresses to help them avoid the curse?
Candace Cameron Bure: I had a very grounded, supportive family that was holding my hand through every day of this business, which is what I attribute to the reason why I came out the way I did and avoided the curse, as you call it. I think it has everything to do with the people that are around you. Faith and my family has always been the focus and that’s what my parents instilled in me.

As for advice for the kids, it’s not so much for the kids, but for their parents or their support systems that are around. I’d like to tell them to be strong and be selfless in the sense that someone’s well being and safety comes first than getting the next big-paying job or to be in the spotlight and sacrificing part of yourself just to become more of a celebrity.

Like I said, I’ve always attributed it to my faith and my family. I think having stepped out of the business for a while and coming back into it I have another fresh perspective. You kind of just see it for what it is, which is that it’s a job. There’s celebrity that comes with it, but you’ve got to not pay attention to that part in the sense of thinking that it’s reality. We’re all human beings and we’re all equally valuable and should be treated that way.

Elizabeth Gilbert (Pink Lemonade Magazine): I know you’re in the 9:00 timeslot and not the 8:00, but some of the storylines are a little mature. Does it ever concern you that you’re on a family channel and we can’t exactly let some of our younger kids watch some of the storylines?
Candace Cameron Bure: Absolutely; I’m a parent and my children are 11, 9 and 7 years old. Make It or Break It is on ABC Family, but like you mentioned, it’s the 9:00 timeslot and does have a rating of +14. Anyone that’s watching or any parents that are watching, which I hope parents are sitting down and knowing what their children are watching, would see that +14 in the upper corner of the television to know therating.

Even with my children and me it’s a major concern. I’m very aware of what they watch. Because the network itself has the word “family” on it, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s for only younger children. I think ABC Family is very specific to different age groups within a family. The show itself, I TiVo because my kids want to watch it because I’m on it; they’re interested to see what Mom’s doing, but the show’s not entirely appropriate for my children.

I will sit with the remote in hand. There are certainly parts that my children can watch and that’s what we do. We sit with the remote and we watch the gymnastics parts and parts that I’m in that are fine, but when there are those teen conversations that talk about sex or things that are too mature for my children, we fast-forward through it.

Elizabeth Gilbert (Pink Lemonade Magazine): That’s the exact same thing I do. One more question for you; back to your FULL HOUSE days. Do you ever keep in touch with the cast?
Candace Cameron Bure: Absolutely. I’m very close with Bob Saget and Dave Coulier. I just saw John Stamos last weekend. My family and I were in New York and we went and saw him in Bye, Bye Birdie on Broadway. I saw Andrea Barber just two nights ago. She came over to my house for a little Christmas party so we do keep in touch. The rest of the guys we try to see when we can. We’re close friends.

Megan Ward ( Summer worked really hard to get close to Lauren in the first part of the season. Now that Summer and Steve are over, how is that relationship going to be affected?
Candace Cameron Bure: It’s definitely affected in a positive way. I think that Lauren’s had a change of heart with Summer. Now that Steve and Summer, broken up she seems to be seeing things differently. I think the viewers will be surprised that her attacks, so to speak, will be directed to new people and not Summer so much.

Megan Ward ( As a mom of a preschooler I just have to ask, “How do you do it?” You have three children, you have a wonderful marriage, and you still have time to do so well in your role as Summer. Any secrets?
Candace Cameron Bure: I didn’t do it when I had a preschooler so don’t feel bad. I’m only doing this now because my children are all in school and fairly independent and can do homework on their own for the most part. It’s a hard balancing act, but I think those early years are such formative years and it’s so incredibly important to be there and not try to do it all. I think that’s why I survived because I wasn’t working at all when my kids were young.

Kristen Ackerly (Feeling the Vibe Magazine): It was so nice meeting you and your daughter on the red carpet here in New York the other day. She’s adorable; you both are great. How do you feel about being back on a series? What was the major factor in deciding to join this cast and be in a recurring role?
Candace Cameron Bure: I love being back on a series and so thrilled that the first series I’m back, off of Full House, is doing so well. That’s been incredible and such a blessing. This show, there were a lot of factors. I love Holly Sorensen, who created the show and writes ands produces the show. She’s doing an incredible job and I just love the competitive aspect of gymnastics.

Having a husband who’s been a professional athlete and lived in the world of sports, there was a major connection for me. It’s been a great show. Aside from, sorry, I feel a little bit redundant with some of my answers, but even the work week itself has been great because I am a mom. We have such a large cast, my work week is really minimal so it gives me a great balance to be able to be back to series television, but also have plenty of time with my children and my husband and to be a mom and a wife.

Kristen Ackerly (Feeling the Vibe Magazine): So many young people are bombarded with a lot today. As you said your faith is very important to you and your brother, Kirk, your whole family. Do you have a particular Scripture that would be good for young people in need of guidance?
Candace Cameron Bure: I love Philippians 4:13, which is, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” It’s one that I draw upon a lot because the word’s the truth. That’s just one of my favorite ones.

Kristen Ackerly (Feeling the Vibe Magazine): I love that one, too; that’s a nice one.

Ariel Alexovich (Chicago Tribune): Have you approached any of your FULL HOUSE costars or anyone from the gymnastics world about guest starring in this upcoming season?
Candace Cameron Bure: No, I haven’t; I haven’t even thought about it. I don’t know any professional gymnasts personally. I’m excited when a few of them have come to visit the set. They’re always looking for some guest appearances from gymnasts. We’ll see who pops up on the show. As far as the FULL HOUSE cast members, I haven’t thought about it. I think that’s something for the producers and the writers to decide. I don’t know that I’d have too much say in that.

Sarah Fulghum ( The series is filmed in California, right?
Candace Cameron Bure: Yes.

Sarah Fulghum ( Do you live in California or do commute?
Candace Cameron Bure: We moved to California over the summer because we were in Fort Lauderdale for the past eight years. The commute was just a little too far. We made the move and put the kids in school here in L.A.

Sarah Fulghum ( I was just wondering how you make that work. It’s kind of complicated, isn’t it?
Candace Cameron Bure: I was commuting for about the first two months that I was filming the show, going back and forth because my kids were still in school in Florida. When we realized the show was such a success right from the start, we made that decision to move.

It’s worked out great and my kids are thrilled. It’s coming home for me, to come back to L.A., because I was born and raised there and all my family’s here. My kids were thrilled because Grandma and Grandpa and cousins and aunts and uncles are all here. It wasn’t a difficult move, either; it was an exciting, fun move for us.

Sarah Fulghum ( Before the series began, I actually got a chance to chat with all four of the MAKE IT OR BREAK IT girls. They were absolutely stoked to be working with you. Do you find yourself mentoring them, kind of like a big sister? What is the relationship like?
Candace Cameron Bure: They’re such sweet girls; I’ve been having so much fun getting to know them as people and as actresses and seeing what they do and their different styles, even their different levels of experience. It’s different for all of them. I try to be an example to them just by doing what I do, to be professional on the set and to know my lines and to be there when I’m asked to be there and not hold anything up. It’s nothing that I’ll sit down and talk to them about and to mentor in that way. They’re learning as well, but I think for me that’s the best way I can do that is just living that example for them. Hopefully they can reap some of my experience by seeing it.

Sarah Fulghum ( I agree example’s the best way. Thanks so much for talking with me; it’s been a real treat.

Traci Grant ( I know you can’t give away too much about the upcoming episodes, but is there anything you can clue us into about what we should expect or something exciting that you remember from filming, anything like that?
Candace Cameron Bure: I am so nervous about giving too much away; I’m fighting to say anything. There are some characters that are brought back that we’ve seen before. There are some brand-new characters that you’ll be introduced to. This season is following the wave of Kaylie having placed first at Nationals and then following the story of Payson, who is badly, badly injured and has been given a diagnosis to never compete again.

There’s fun, exciting travel on the show that you’ll see with the girls who are competing and, what’s brilliant that they’re doing, is really intertwining different relationships together. Some new characters will unexpectedly come together and I think… there, that’s it; that’s all I’m telling you.

Alex Boisvert (Teen Hollywood 411): What has been your favorite episode to shoot so far?
Candace Cameron Bure: I can’t tell you the one because you’ve got to wait for it. I think my favorite one, though, that you’ve seen was Episode 10, All That Glitters, and for me, the breakup with Steve. That was, I thought, just one of the best episodes that we have shot. This is probably a silly tidbit, but my wardrobe has been quite great, but Summer wore little dresses just about every episode. I was never, ever shown in pants and now that I will be helping out at the gym more, Summer has some fun looks that she’s wearing that are a little more casual, with jeans and boots. That’s been fun for me. I get to wear pants!

Alex Boisvert (Teen Hollywood 411): Do you still keep in touch with the FULL HOUSE cast?
Candace Cameron Bure: Yes I do; we’re all pretty close.

Alex Boisvert (Teen Hollywood 411): Have there been any funny or embarrassing moments on the set?
Candace Cameron Bure: We’re always having fun. I think that we hold such a fast pace that it doesn’t allow us to make for as many jokes as we would like, but there have been a couple times on the set with Peri Gilpin and Neal, who plays Sasha. We had a couple of laughing moments where we absolutely can’t stop laughing and it’s been “Take Five”, “Take Six”, “Take Seven”, because we go into that hysterical mode and can’t pull it together. We’ve had some good times.

Emily Dodi ( Summer has stuck by Lauren through so much even as hard as Lauren’s tried to push her away. Why do you think Summer has stuck by her?
Candace Cameron Bure: I think Summer is trying to represent what unconditional love is. I know that has a lot to do with her faith and God’s unconditional love for every one of us. I think Summer’s trying to live that out. It’s especially hard with Lauren because she hasn’t been nice to Summer. I think she’s been such a great example of being that love and the stability in her life that she sees that she needs. I think that Summer has really learned from her own past experiences in her life, having wished that she had someone like that in her life and now getting the opportunity to be that in someone else’s life.

Emily Dodi ( What do you think she sees in Lauren that maybe other people don’t see?
Candace Cameron Bure: I think there’s a little bit of that little-girl-lost type of thing that Lauren is so over top at times that a lot of times it’s really because the person is struggling so badly with their place in life or who they are or not feeling loved or accepted. It comes out in venomous ways sometimes. So I think that Summer can see that in Lauren that it’s probably a lot more insecurity than it is being a bad person.

Emily Dodi ( You just alluded to the fact that Summer sort of has a past. Have you created a back-story in your mind for Summer that you use in the role?
Candace Cameron Bure: There’s a little bit that was shared on one of the episodes when she had a serious talk with Lauren about her past and just finding love in all the wrong ways and trying to be accepted by physical love and realizing that isn’t where it comes from. I’ve of course in my mind expanded a little bit upon that and having a back-story for Summer and even where she found her faith and drew upon that.

Having talked with the producers and the writers on the show; we’ve kind of created a little bit more, but there’s still room for more development with Summer’s character. I’m always looking forward to seeing what the writers are going to do and to have the opportunities to talk with them about seeing more things like that come out through Summer.

Emily Dodi ( She’s such a great character. What would you say her dreams are or her goals?
Candace Cameron Bure: I think Summer really wants to get married and have a family and have kids. She’s a very smart, organized woman and I think she really has that A-type personality that probably thinks she can do it all and do it all well. I think she has a big future in store for herself, but she needs to find that man first, her husband, to get the ball rolling.

Megan Ward ( I write for a TV site. What’s your TV pleasure? Obviously you TiVo Make it or Break it, because it’s fantastic. What else do you watch as a family?
Candace Cameron Bure: I don’t watch this as a family, but my favorite show is Lost and I just can’t wait for the new season to start. It’s just my all-time favorite show. Let’s see, as a family we watch a lot of The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. We watch a lot of the animal shows like UNTAMED & UNCUT and the ANIMAL RESCUE. I think we’re big animal lovers - we have two dogs. That’s what my kids like and it’s safe television to watch and educational, too. We actually don’t watch too much TV during the week. That’s the time it gets shut off because we devote it to reading and homework, but on the weekend we love to do Movie Night so any great family movies we love.

Kristin Ackerly (Feeling the Vibe Magazine): What type of music do you listen to?
Candace Cameron Bure: I listen to mostly contemporary Top 40 Christian music. I do like to listen to oldies, which my parents listened to when we were growing up. My kids will listen to more pop music today and I feel so old. I used to listen to a lot of pop music and my parents would always complain. Now I’m the one complaining. My kids listen to it; not that all of it’s bad, but I just like to unwind and de-stress; I just like more mellow music.

Kristin Ackerly (Feeling the Vibe Magazine): I don’t blame you. Any particular artist that you like in the Christian world?
Candace Cameron Bure: In the Christian world, so many that I love. I love Third Day and Jimmy Needham, Leland, Chris Tomlin, one of my favorites. In the secular world, I can’t stop listening to Michael BublĂ©’s new album, Crazy Love. It’s just on repeat; my kids love it. My kids know all the songs. We sing every song together. He’s probably one of my favorite people right now, to listen to.

Kristin Ackerly (Feeling the Vibe Magazine): Did you all watch Santa Baby 2 on Sunday?
Candace Cameron Bure: I have it TiVo’d; I can’t wait to watch it. I didn’t get to watch it on Sunday, but it’s something that I’m looking forward to.

Kristin Ackerly (Feeling the Vibe Magazine): Movie Night, there you go.

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