To put it straight up, I didn’t think there was anybody who looked like me who could sing like me,” says Carrere, 25, about auditioning last year for Wayne’s World. “So I pulled out all the stops and gave them ‘Moon River’ in a Chinese accent: ‘Heart-breaker, dream maker….’ ” Naturally, she won the role—that of the kung-fu-fighting heavy-metal babe who puts the schwing! in this spring’s megagrosser—because of her great voice. (Good one!) In fact, Carrere also boasts legs sleeker than a racehorse’s; a bod worthy of the many extreme close-ups! it receives; and a face nearly as beautiful as the arch villain of the movie, Rob Lowe.
All pretty hormonal for a Honolulu-born Filipino who went through an all-girls Catholic school with “pimples on my forehead and short hair that didn’t cover them.” But at the store one day “buying something vile like ground beef,” Tia was told by an elderly couple she ought to be in movies. Conveniently, their son was a producer casting bikinis for the surf ‘s-up epic Aloha Summer. Then came two years as Jade on General Hospital (“a great learning experience”) and a ride-on in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.
Carrere not only landed four songs on the Wayne sound track but also a solo-album contract. The movie’s success was “a pleasant surprise—I never anticipated it,” she says. Carrere is now reading scripts when not fretting about her looks: “Some people are naturally thin. I have to work at it. I’d like to have a thinner middle and thinner legs, but I’m battling genetics.” No weigh!