The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Shannon and Sophie Tweed-Simmons ditch Gene for their own reality series

  • Print

TORONTO - After letting cameras into their rock royalty lives with "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," Shannon and Sophie Tweed-Simmons are taking the reality TV spotlight away from the long-tongued family patriarch.

So, why did the mother-daughter duo want to do their own series, "Shannon & Sophie"?

"Sophie needed a job," Shannon, a St. John's, N.L.-born actress and model who is married to Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, said with a laugh in an interview.

"We like having the platform to reach people on a wide level and the best way to do it is through TV," added Sophie, 21.

"If you do have a charity or you're writing a book, even for outreach, it's a great platform," said Shannon, 57. "It's a good way to use your social media and television to get across your message, if you have one."

And they do have a message, concerning body image.

As viewers see on the series that debuts Tuesday with back-to-back episodes on W Network (at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT), the two embrace their curves and are open about pressures they've faced to fit a certain mould in Hollywood.

Sophie is also working with Cosmopolitan magazine on a body image feature and is writing a book on the topic.

"I have a co-writer, who is a boy, which I thought was really important, because I wanted both perspectives on body image," she said. "We're going to be talking to experts and celebrities about what they think body image is and all those issues."

"I think it also helps for them to see our show in a way that we're not skinny minnies and we don't wake up fully made up," said Shannon.

"Some people are naturally thin and that's OK too. But just don't starve yourself trying to get to an unattainable goal. And by the way, you can't stay there, I'm sorry, it's not healthy. Be healthy is the message."

"We're not perfect all the time," added Sophie. "She always taught me to just embrace my body. I'm taller than most people and I'm going to be bigger than most people. That's just my size."

The series kicks off with Sophie deciding to move away from home for good after catching her parents making out on the couch. Subsequent episodes follow her as she pursues her singing career and goes on several dates as her mother offers help and advice.

They two say they're close, and it's clear they love to banter on-screen and off. During a recent interview, the two were ribbing each other for several minutes and Shannon was giggling so hard she was in tears.

"She's more serious than I am. She's more sensible," said Shannon, a former Playboy playmate whose films and TV projects include a two-year stint as Savannah Wilder on "Days of our Lives."

"More reserved," added Sophie, who is also an actress and has her own charity in Surrey, B.C., a child advocacy centre called Sophie's Place.

The show follows them as they visit Whistler, B.C., and Vancouver, where Sophie lands a gig singing the Canadian anthem at a football game.

And what did Simmons think of them doing their own reality series?

"He just wants to be in it more, so we say 'No,'" said Shannon, who has been with Simmons since 1985 and also has a son, Nicholas, with him.

"He sucks the life out of the room, really, so there's no oxygen for us in there with him. And he has to tour, so that's good, and we get the house to ourselves. If only Sophie would move back in with me."

"I'll never move back," said Sophie. "I love you, but no."

Follow @VictoriaAhearn on Twitter.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Take It Easy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Carolyn Kavanagh(10) had this large dragonfly land on her while spending time at Winnetka Lake, Ontario. photo by Andrea Kavanagh (mom0 show us your summer winnipeg free press
  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Should Winnipeg control growth to deal with climate change?

View Results

Ads by Google