Little People, Big World’s Matt Roloff Talks about the Reality of Reality TVAugust 23, 2011 6 Comments
When you live your life in front of a camera, your family life takes on a whole new meaning, as evidenced recently through the suicide of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” husband Russell Armstrong, a situation some speculate had to do with his financial and marital problems that were going to be played out in public.
The pressure of life under a microscope can take a seriously toll on a family, but not always. TLC’s hit show “Little People, Big World” is an example of how this can come out as a positive for a family.
When told the network their filming schedule was too much after several seasons, the executives worked with them to find something that fits nicely into their lives.
Matt took a break from filming one day to tell Family First that instead of the 300+ days of filming per year, the Roloffs negotiated a new arrangement that allows the family to be filmed just 40 days per year and packaged into a series of 4 one-hour specials, airing this fall.
Matt says this new arrangement, which Matt says is “much more healthy,” still allows their fans to see how things are going on the family farm they run in Portland, Oregon but also allows his family time to live their lives.
Asked what is different about life without the cameras on all the time, he said they are able to do more things as a family such as attend weddings and go to church.
When you have cameras following you around everywhere, you have a lot of paperwork that goes with that, he says. Not everyone wants to have their wedding filmed for television and not everyone going to church wants to sign a release to appear on tv.
The lighter schedule also helps the Roloffs “get close again as a family,” says Matt. He mentioned that sometimes during the heavy filming schedule of the past, he would actually hear some things his wife Amy was feeling for the first time when he viewed the show. “I would see how she felt when I watched an episode,” which Matt says was a little “crazy” for him.
Over the years, viewers have watched the family’s evolution, such as Matt and Amy’s challenges and healing of their marriage and of their four children growing up. This year, one of their older twin sons, Jeremy, leaves for college, which is part of what fans will see in one of the up-coming specials.
Also this year, we’ll get to see Matt celebrate his 50th birthday, coming up in October. During the month of October on the farm, the family opens up the grounds to the public for pumpkin season. Besides 110 acres of pumpkins, the farm has all kinds of other attractions such as a pirate ship, an Old West town, a stagecoach, petting zoo, hay pyramid and much more. Matt likes that even in your family can’t make it to Oregon for pumpkin time, you can enjoy it via their TLC specials.
Matt expressed his thanks for the television show because it has helped their family accomplish some great things – educating the public about Little People as real people, giving their family more financial security and being able to give back through the various charities he and Amy are a part of.
Matt’s charity, Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy (CoDA) helps people with short stature in all kinds of areas such as education, adoption, scholarships and more. Amy’s charity is called Amy Roloff’s Charity Foundation which helps local Portland charities as well as the California-based Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA).
Please check out the new specials airing on TLC and also Matt’s Facebook page, which he says he visits often and posts frequently.
Marijo Tinlin is the editor in chief of Family First, one of the oldest family-oriented websites on the internet. She is also the author of the new book “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American” available at www.raisinganamericanpatriot.com.
Tags: Amy Roloff's Charity Foundation, Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy, Dwarf Athletic Association of America, Facebook, family life, Jeremy Roloff, Little People Big World, Matt and Amy Roloff, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, reality tv, Roloff Family, Roloff Farm, Russell Armstrong, television, TLC ChannelEntertainment, Television