Tia Carrere is a ‘gravy on everything’ kind of person. And don’t skimp on the mac salad

Hawaii native Tia Carrere is embracing her Filipino culture in the new comedy “Easter Sunday” coming out in August.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:02 PM HST|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 4:55 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii native Tia Carrere is embracing her Filipino culture in the new comedy “Easter Sunday” coming out in August.

“It’s like a ‘Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ but with Filipinos. So, better food,” said Carrere.

The 55-year-old Filipina Hollywood star came from humble beginnings in Kalihi.


“I used to catch a bus to school. Two public busses and I needed to get a transfer! I would go down Kalihi Street transfer at Farrington and then go onto King Street to Sacred Hearts Academy where I went to school,” said Carrere.

She was a natural performer.

“Well, my family, whenever we got together, I would just get up and sing. My cousin will play guitar and my uncle played the bass. So, it was just all built around music and performance at the family get togethers.”

Carrere got the attention of a movie producer’s parents at a modeling shoot for Crazy Shirts.

“So, I was in the grocery store, the Waikiki Food Pantry. The producer’s mother and father came up to me and said, Darling, you’re gorgeous. You should be in my son’s movie and I’m like ... ‘Me?!’”

Carrere made it big as “Cassandra” in Wayne’s World in the 90′s and in True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. She can also sing. Two of Carrere’s Hawaiian music albums won Grammys.

“That gives me chicken skin because it reminds me of when I used to sing to my daughter when she was just a baby and it made my heart swell.”

Carerre says juggling motherhood and Hollywood has been tough.

“Whenever I’d have to go to town, it’s like I feel guilty that I’m not at home and when I’m at home with her, guilty that I’m not doing everything I can for my career,” she said.

Carrere doesn’t visit Hawaii as often as she’d like,.

But when she is home, there is one restaurant that she has to visit.

“I have to go to the Liliha Bakery in Kalihi and I have to have hamburger steak, rice, macaroni salad, gravy on everything, butter roll and fruit punch. That’s my go-to,” she said.

Carerre is going on a Hawaiian music tour with slack key musicians Daniel Ho and George Kahumoku Junior. Their first stop is Napa, California in September.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.