Us talks to the HGTV star about his health, new shows and working with his ex
Ch-ch-changes! HGTV’s Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa talks to Us about working with Christina Anstead postdivorce.
Sometimes your family gets an unexpected renovation. Three years after filing for divorce, Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead have settled into coparenting their two kids, Taylor, 8, and Brayden, 3, while Anstead preps for baby No. 3 with hubby Ant (the two got married last year). Despite the shakeup in their personal lives, the former couple have a strong foundation and are sure to keep up their costar chemistry in the eighth season of Flip or Flop (Aug. 1, HGTV), which El Moussa calls “one of our best seasons, if not the best.” He also has a new digital ondemand HGTV show, Tarek’s Flip
Side, which will give people “a better idea of who I am and what I believe in,” he says, plus a just-announced solo HGTV project, Flipping 101
With Tarek El Moussa. We sat down with the reality-TV star to talk about his remodeled career and family life.
Q: Fans have seen you and Christina go through so many changes and chapters on the show. Is navigating conflicts easier now that you’re not married?
It’s easier now than it was a few years ago, when we were going through the separation and divorce. Filming together right now is the best it’s been in a very, very long time.
Q: Are you and Christina still able to surprise each other?
You know, we are, because being apart these past few years, we’ve each individually changed quite a bit, so the dynamic has changed. We have different lives now.
Q: How do you coparent successfully?
[Parenting] the kids is the most important job in the entire world for us, so no personal drama can get in the way of that.
Q: What’s it like living so close to each other, in Yorba Linda, Calif.?
It’s really great. I love knowing the
kids are a block away and if I ever want to swing by and see them or
give them a hug or a kiss, I can.
Q: Can you tell who the kids take after yet?
My daughter Taylor is very similar to me. She’s like my twin. We have the same personality. We’re just kind of quirky and witty in the same way. We joke around a lot, we tease, we just enjoy life. We’re both super high energy, super type A.
Q: How would you describe your parenting style?
I’m a pretty laid-back dad. As a parent, my main focus isn’t discipline — my main focus is making sure I raise good people. I just want them to have huge hearts. I don’t sweat the small stuff, I try to let them be kids.
Q: Does your parenting style differ from Christina’s?
I know at her household they have different rules — stricter, I’d say.
Q: Have you gone on any great dates recently?
I went on one last night, actually!
I’m always out and about with
friends and that’s how I meet people.
Q: Would you ever let Christina set you up with anyone, or is that way too weird?
Sure, why not? If she finds me the perfect specimen, then yeah. That sounds great.
Q: Do your kids watch you on TV?
My kids never watch me on TV, but I do bring Taylor to sets. We have a blast. Shooting the scenes, she has the biggest personality. We did some shopping and design scenes together, and she’s helping design houses.
Q: What do you think of Christina and Ant as a couple?
We see each other at soccer games and dropping the kids off, and he
seems like a nice guy.
Q: Are you hoping to have a relationship with their soonto-be son?
To be honest, I’m sure I will. [He’s] the brother of my children, right? So... of course, yeah. I plan on treating Christina’s new son as well as I possibly can.
Q: If your kids came to you one day and said they wanted to do a reality show when they got older, what advice would you give them?
Getting on TV, there’s a lot of great things about it. I think you have to understand that your private life is going to be an open book, but it’s just all about how you deal with it, you know?
WHEN YOU’RE NOT MARRIED, YOU START TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOURSELF. I’M DIFFERENT THAN I WAS A FEW YEARS AGO.” EL MOUSSA