Tamera Mowry-Housley Hasn't Seen Twin Sister Tia in Over 6 Months Since Pandemic Hit (Exclusive)

Tamera reacts to twin sister Tia’s emotional interviews with ET about not seeing her during quarantine and experiencing racism as kids.

Tamera Mowry-Housley is missing her other half. No, not her husband, journalist Adam Housley, her biological other half -- twin sister Tia Mowry-Hardrict.

In a new interview with ET, the 42-year-old actress reveals she and her twin sister have not seen each other in person for over six months, since the coronavirus pandemic first hit in March. “I still haven't seen her, physically,” Tamera laments. “I live in Napa and then there was a surge in L.A., and right when we were actually going to head up there, there was a surge in L.A. and it wasn't wise for all of us to go there… we were going to meet up, [Tia’s] working on Family Reunion and the time, it didn't work. But I know for a fact when we see each other we're just, we're gonna cry.”

There were definitely tears back in March when Tia video chatted with ET, and got choked up over not being able to see her parents and siblings. Their solution? Keeping in touch with FaceTime and Zoom, which is a tradition Tamera says they’ve kept up over the months in lockdown.

“Every two weeks, we Zoom each other and we have happy hour. We have a glass of wine, we talk about what's been happening. I mean, we text almost every other day. But there's something about visually seeing your loved one, but there's something even better, obviously, just the human connection and touch – and hug and I just I can't wait to do that.”

Tamera confirmed this is the longest the twins have ever gone in their lives without seeing one another, and to make matters worse, their hectic work schedules as actresses have made restrictions even stricter.

“We've been mapping it out. We've been like, ‘You know, it's been like, six months!'  And it sucks, because with COVID, and when you're working on a set, they are so particular. It's more like a skeleton crew now, so it’s insane.”

The former The Real co-host also opened up about another topic that’s affected her and her sister: racism. Tia revealed to ET in August that when she and Tamera were teenagers, they were turned down by a popular magazine to appear on the cover because of the color of their skin. Tamera echoes her sister’s sentiments and remembers the experience vividly.

“She's 100% right, that absolutely happened to us and it was a very unfortunate, sad, confusing time for us,” Tamera recalls. “Sister, Sister, at that time, was huge, and it was a magazine that it was a dream for us to be on the cover of. And we didn't think we were going to get any pushback because of the state of Sister, Sister. Like, how could you say no to a very popular show that had teenagers on it?”

At the time, Tamera remembers their former publicist not telling them the reason why they couldn’t appear on the cover, out of fear of hurting the twins’ feelings. Still, Tamera says she and her sister demanded to know why.

“My sister and I are the type of people... we're very real, so we wanted to know the truth, because it was so confusing why. And she was pissed, the publicist, because she knew it was wrong. There was no reason why we shouldn't be on the cover. But what we were told was -- and this is in addition to what Tia was saying -- was that to be Black and to be on the cover, we had to be like, a triple threat to sell. You couldn't just be an actress. You had to be a music star, a movie star, so we felt like we just weren't enough and it was like, ‘Wow.’"

"You would see other people on the cover who weren't all those things, but we had to be more -- we had to be triple threats, as they called it, and that hurt.”

Tamera credits her mother for warning her and Tia about these types of experiences, and teaching them how to have tough skin.

“She said, ‘Just know in certain situations, because of the color of your skin, you're going to have to work extra harder.’ And obviously, in that case, that was that was the truth… but what I used it as, I used it as fuel. I was like, ‘OK, that's what you think? I'm going to work even harder.”

That work ethic has helped Tamera achieve countless accomplishments in her professional career, and even some full-circle moments. The beloved sitcom that put her and Tia on the map in the ‘90s, Sister, Sister,  recently made its way to Netflix, and Tamera is enjoying connecting with an entirely new generation of fans.

“Woah!” she exclaimed. “Netflix gave it to the people and holy crap, I feel like I am reliving when Sister, Sister aired on ABC the first time. The coolest experience ever.”

One fan encounter that stands out? Tamera recalls sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s appointment near a pre-teen girl. Tamera noticed the young lady was "fixated" on her iPad watching the classic series, so she took it upon herself to say hello and introduce herself. The girl’s reaction? Shock! Tamera said the experience was “surreal.”

As for legions of loyal fans holding on to the prospect of a reboot or revival, Tamera says it’s all still up in the air. “We have not given up. It seriously depends on the timing, and I think the creative idea of it… I can tell you this, if there is a reboot in any kind of way: a movie, a series, or whatever, it’s going to be awesome.”

One fan Tamera can absolutely count on? Her 5-year-old daughter, Ariah. Tamera says the little one has not only discovered Sister, Sister on her own, using her iPad, but she’s completely enthralled and always wants to watch it with her mama. 

“It’s surreal, because in my mind, I still feel like I’m that little girl… and I'm like, ‘I can’t believe that I'm sitting here talking to my daughter about this show,’ Tamera marveled. “That makes me feel good, that I'm doing things that my children can watch and I'm comfortable with them watching it and that they’re fans.” Tamera later added that her daughter has expressed an interest in acting, and she said she will be there to “support her 100%.” When asked if she’d like to see Ariah and Tia’s daughter, Cairo, someday reprise the roles their moms made famous, Tamera gushed with a smile, “That would be so awesome!” 

But as Tamera warmly embraces the past, she’s also looking towards a bright future. Currently living away from Hollywood in Napa as she and her husband run their family winery and tasting room, Tamera is committed to living a healthy lifestyle, which she’s demonstrated throughout quarantine with her health and fitness journey. 

In support of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, Tamera opens up about using virtual Zumba exercise classes as her own form of meditation and self-care. “I have learned through exercise it always helps me mentally and physically, and I'm proud to say I'm one of those that lost like, 16 pounds during the quarantine.” 

Tamera’s goal is to reach her pre-baby weight and says she’s about nine pounds away from hitting that milestone. 

“People who have followed my weight loss journey, they have realized -- and this is in real life -- I've gone up.  I've gone down.  I've gone up.  I've gone down.  And the reason why I was yo-yoing is because I was on a fad diet...  You lose the weight quickly, but it wasn't sustainable for my life.”

“I am aware that I will not have the same body that I had before I had kids, meaning, my hips have spread, I have a little loose skin here and there,” Tamera joked, “So, it's all about balance.”