Though her role as Cassandra Wong in Wayne’s World was not her first role in a film, it is the role that made her famous. Tia Carrere is a name we all recognize, but it is her face we cannot forget. It’s been 30 years since she starred in Wayne’s World alongside Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, and she doesn’t appear to age in that time. She is lovely, and she’s making headlines. She’s talking about being rejected from roles, about not having it easy, and about everything in between. She’s a star, and fans want to know everything there is to know about Tia Carrere.
1. How Old Is She?
No one believes her age when they find out. She’s in her 50s, and we are always shocked to realize this. She’s aging so gracefully, and she’s making everyone else envious. She was born on January 2, 1967, in Honolulu. As of 2022, she’s 55 – if you can believe that.
2. She Dreamed of Becoming a Singer
As a child, she did not dream of becoming an actress. What people don’t realize about this talented star is that she had an entirely different dream. She was to become a singer. To take this one a step further, she spent time auditioning for the hit show Star Search, and she made it through to the first round. She was eliminated right away, but she did what she could.
3. She was Discovered
She was 18 when Star Search eliminated her, and she wasn’t feeling good about it. However, she was shopping in her local Waikiki when a producer spotted her. She was approached, and she landed a role in a movie called Aloha Summer. That was the start of her professional career. It wasn’t singing, but it was the next best thing.
4. Did You Know She Was a Daytime Soap Star?
It’s a start so many celebrities get, but no one talks about it. There’s nothing wrong with being a daytime soap star, yet here she is doing it without anyone even realizing it. She was cast in the hit show – and the show that’s still on the air – General Hospital upon moving from Hawaii to California. She was Jade Soong Chung for two years in the mid to late 80s.
5. She’s Twice Divorced
Though she was married twice, neither marriage worked for her. She married for the first time in the early 90s. She and Elie Samaha wed in 1992. Her first marriage lasted eight years. Two years following her divorce, she married Simon Wakelin in 2002. Her second marriage only lasted eight years as well. She divorced her second husband in 2010. They welcomed a daughter together, and they currently share custody of her.
6. Is Tia Carrere Too Ethnic?
This is the story has her making headlines in 2022 but is this true? As it happens, yes, it is true. She was turned down for role after role during her career, and not because she wasn’t good enough in auditions. She was turned down many times because the people making a movie or a show didn’t want to cast someone ethnic to play a character they didn’t feel was ethnic. It happens time and time again.
7. Playing a Filipino Character in Easter Sunday is a Dream Come True
Her father is from the Philippines, and she’s never played a character true to her father’s heritage or her own. She’s played everyone else, including Hawaiians – her mother is Hawaiian – but never a Filipino character. This is exciting for her because she’s honoring her own father and the fact that it’s becoming more prevalent for someone from the islands to play a role like this one, and she is loving it.
8. Tia Carrere Doesn’t Look to the Past
She loves the roles she’s played. She loves so many things about her career. However, she doesn’t love looking back. In fact, she’s not doing anything other than focusing on what is in front of her. When people remind her that it’s been 30 years since Wayne’s World, she’s not interested in looking back despite the success of that movie.
9. She’s an Animated Character
There are so few people who pay any attention to the voices of their favorite animated characters, and it shows. Did you know Tia Carrere is the voice of Nani the older sister of Lilo? She’s in one of Disney’s biggest movies, Lilo and Stitch, and it’s been 20 years since she lent her voice to this character. The fact that most people do not realize this is her is a lot.
10. Her Name is Not Tia Carrere
Probably the most fascinating fact about this gorgeous actress is that her name is not her name. She changed her name long before we ever heard of her. She was born Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo. Her sister called her Tia, so she used it when she went to work. She chose to use Carrere as her last name as a nod to Barbara Carrera, who was a famed actress in her day.