Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Real Housewives Take Over Beverly Hills

Photo by: Adam Olszewski/Bravo

Many people would contend that there isn’t much that’s real in Beverly Hills. But the new school of housewives on Bravo’s powerhouse franchise might disagree. The latest clique, includes a pair of former child star sisters, a soon to be ex-Mrs.-TV-star, and the owner of a mega-sports franchise. And as with the stars in the other shows of the series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills promise to pack just as much drama—with a touch more Hollywood glamour to boot.

In a recent conference call interview, we spoke with co-owner of the Sacramento Kings Adrienne Maloof, Nanny and the Professor Star Kim Richards, and restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump. Sadly, Kelsey Grammer’s almost-former wife, Camile wasn’t a part of the call, but as we saw in last week’s premiere we’ll get to see plenty of her in the season ahead.

See what Adrienne, Kim, and Lisa had to say about what separates their series from the other Housewives’ shows and what makes them distinctly Beverly Hills.

Q: How do you think your show differs from the rest of the franchises?

ADRIENNE: Well, I think you’re going to see a lifestyle that’s a little bit more sophisticated. I mean I think you’re going to see a lot of celebrities involved. And it’s obviously the entertainment capital of the world so you’ll get a little bit of that.

KIM: You get the Hollywood, the glamour, the drama… We’re all mothers and businesswomen.

LISA: I think it differs though because Bravo’s being very clever in the fact that each city has its own identity. And Beverly Hills just brings a different level of glamour, sophistication to it.

But also I think there’s a lot more humor in this one. And I think the visuals are incredible. I’ve seen the first episode and I loved it. I just… think it’s much... lovelier.

KIM: We… had fun… I was really nervous watching the first episode but it was really enjoyable. We laughed. We held our hands over our faces. There were embarrassing moments. But it was a lot of fun.

LISA: But that is probably an answer to the question being extremely different to the others, the lifestyle. And just the whole sensibility of Beverly Hills is different but not diminishing the others in the other way but they’re all unique.

Q: Aside from Kelsey Grammar, obviously, what other celebrities can we look forward to seeing?

KIM: Oh, I guess you’ll have to tune in to see. There’ll be some people popping in and out here and there I think so.

Q: So in addition to being on The Housewives, some of the other housewives have additional projects on the side. Do you have any endorsement deals or other projects?

KIM: I have a jewelry line that’s coming out and a water bottle company that goes to charities.

ADRIENNE: I’m working on a shoe line.

LISA: I’ve been so busy with my own lifestyle in terms of my restaurants and the wine I’m wholesaling and all my skincare line that was already in existence so in terms of endorsements no. But just really keeping busy with what I have already.

LISA: I think once the show airs there’ll be many more opportunities.

KIM: Yeah. See my things were also things I had… that had started before the show had come.

Q: So you’re just going to be able to really use the show as a platform.

KIM: Yeah.


LISA: Yeah.

Q: One of the hallmarks of The Housewives shows is catfights. Can we expect any of that from Beverly Hills?

LISA: Just a little bit. You’ll see...

KIM: Expect a little bit of drama...

LISA: You’ll get plenty of drama.

KIM: A little bit of conflict.

KIM: There’s a lot of fun, excitement, a lot of emotion… For me personally, I was moving and daughter coming home so… there’s a lot of stuff that happens. But you’ll see the normal drama and conflict of course.

Q: Have you been surprised by aspects of filming that you enjoyed more than you thought or that it wasn’t as much fun as you were expecting?

LISA: I was surprised actually. I thought the first season would be more introductory and… everybody getting to know each other. But I was surprised how quickly it got intense.

And the emotional rollercoaster, I was surprised by that because the amount of time you spend together you tend to invest a lot in all the women because you do spend so much time together. And then when emotions kick off you it was pretty hard to watch sometimes to be honest.

ADRIENNE: And I also think it’s very cathartic too because you’re really looking at yourself and just experiencing… these emotions onto such a grand level.

KIM: Opening up yourself to the real world with reality which I think we all had this thing we were going to go in and show certain pieces of ourselves. And like Lisa said, all of a sudden these conflicts started so early on. And there’s a lot of embarrassing, humiliating, sad moments, screaming, whatever, things that… I personally didn’t expect. And it was quite overwhelming for me personally.

LISA: Well the thing is when you say something it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It belongs to the world really. So of course there are regrets. And you get so used to the cameras. And things aren’t staged. They aren’t scripted.

Everything happens organically. So sometimes you’re on an express train and you end up in a situation where you think, “Oh God, I don’t want to be involved in this.”

There were a couple of times that really surprised me that I thought, “This is a bit too much.” It got a bit too intense. I did want out… So yeah, there were a few surprise moments absolutely.

KIM: And I felt the same way. There were moments I just said, “This is too much. I don’t think I can do this. This was too overwhelming.”

Q: You aren’t able to censor your life at that point. It is what it is.

LISA: Well I think when you enter into this arena the one premise is that you have to be honest.

ADRIENNE: You have to be very really real.

LISA: If you’re not honest then there’s no point in doing it. So then when you are more honest with your feelings, that’s when things normally kick off.

ADRIENNE: Yeah. Well I think each girl you’ll see the real personalities… At the end of the day you, it’s not acting. It’s very real. And each one of us brings something so unique and different that...

LISA: Yeah. We are all very different. You’re right, Adrienne. 

Q: Were you all friends before Bravo approached you?

LISA: I live next door to Adrienne.

KIM: And, of course, Kyle and I are sisters. And then I met Lisa through my sister, Kyle. And because Lisa lives across the street from Adrienne, I met Adrienne.

LISA: And Camille was a friend of all of ours. So we brought her into it. And then Taylor was a friend of Adrienne’s.

But it was funny actually because Kyle and Kim were signed first. And then when I knew Kyle was on board because I thought she was amazing and… I wanted to do it because I knew it would be fun because she and I would have a good time together.

And then suddenly it was three of us. And then Adrienne lived next door to me and I really wanted her to do it.

LISA: She holds me responsible for that one. And then Camille we all knew. And we just tried to get her involved.

Q: Is everyone still friends even after all the drama of the show?

KIM: I think you’ll have to tune in and watch.

LISA: You’ll have to watch that one.

LISA: Some relationships...

ADRIENNE: Solidified.

KIM: I think we all respect each other.


KIM: We all love each other.

ADRIENNE: Not exactly.

Q: Can you each talk about your decision to do the show?

LISA: Well, it was an opportunity that doesn’t present itself every day. And I entered into this arena, I must say, with a little trepidation.

But I looked upon it as a challenge. And at times it was that. It was extremely challenging in several ways but predominantly emotionally challenging.

But it also looked like it was a lot of fun. And it was just something different to do. And I had a very busy life already. And as soon as I knew Kyle Richards was on board then I really wanted to do it because I knew we would have a great time.

But of course there were downfalls and pitfalls throughout the show… and times when I regretted it. But I did overall have an amazing experience.

KIM: For me, I’ve been in retirement for many, many years and raised my four kids. And when I was approached with this… Kyle and I were approached and it sounded like something fun to do with my sister and something my kids are getting older and I thought it might be something fun for me to do to get back to work. I’ve got my jewelry line. I’ve got my water bottles. But to do something fun like this.

And so I sat down with my four kids and we all talked about how they felt about doing it. And everybody was on board. And… Lisa said it sounded fun and exciting.

And then once the cameras come in and the mics are on a lot of conflict, drama, emotion and a lot of stuff erupted that were completely unexpected that I didn’t foresee upon signing up for this.

ADRIENNE: And I decided to do it. My husband approached me actually and said there’s an opportunity to do The Real Housewives… And I was extremely hesitant. But then giving it some thought I thought it would be a fun experience, a great opportunity to showcase maybe our businesses, my philanthropic work, and something new.

And then I just started thinking, “My gosh, life is an adventure or nothing at all.” So I just went for it. And… it’s been eye-opening and very cathartic.

Q: How familiar were you all with the other shows in the franchise?

KIM: I watched Orange County a few times. And I really liked it. I love Orange County. The other shows I’d glanced at a few times.

But pretty much I thought Orange County was fun and exciting and it looked fun. I was familiar with Orange County to a small amount of there. I enjoyed it.

I’d watched all of them actually. I did my homework before I entered into it. But I knew that this would be different.

As I say, I think Bravo’s been very clever in bringing in different identities to each franchise… I’m not, as I say, diminishing the others at all but this would be totally different to all the rest of them. But I thought they’ve all been fabulous. That’s why the franchise has been so successful because they’ve all had such strong identities and been different to anything else on television.

Q: Now that you’ve done it and you’ve completed a season would you do another season?

LISA: [I’d] need to think about that but I had a great time.

ADRIENNE: Yes. I would as well.

KIM: I think that I learned so much this last season that absolutely a second season would be fun. And there’ll be things that you won’t be seeing me do second season, possibly, you saw me do first season.

LISA: Can we have that in writing, Kim?

KIM: That… I’ve personally learned this season that… would be a little bit different for second season. But I would definitely be on board.

Q: Q: Kim, sisters can have ups and downs and Kyle is very outspoken. Are you guys still friends? 

KIM: I think this is, as I explained it, is probably the most fun I’ve had... I’ve had a lot of fun, the most fun with my sister during this time. But also the most conflict we’ve ever experienced in our lives. And I think for you to see where our relationship is at right now you’ll have to tune in and see.

But it’s something… that’s not going to repair itself or it has quickly. There was a lot that went on. So...

Q: Oh wow. That sounds serious.

KIM: That was unexpected.

Q: Does she live across the street from you?

KIM: No she doesn’t. No she doesn’t. But like I said I was shocked at some of the things that went on and some of the things that she has to say. And I think she felt the same way about me. So I guess this was an eye-opener for the two of us that we didn’t foresee.

LISA: But I think things like that happen always between families. Don’t they Kim, really? It’s boundaries that [are] dropped and broken aren’t they when you’re sisters?

I certainly know you say a lot more to your family than you would say to your neighbor. You know what I’m saying?... But I feel the love there between you two. I mean absolutely that... shows through.

KIM: Yeah. No… you definitely see the love that shines through even though there is conflict. The loyalty and the love will always be there.

Q: Kim, did you think the show was going to be more about you and your sister and it ended up becoming something completely different?

KIM: You’ll have to tune in and see. But yes, there were moments I just said, “I don’t want to do this. I can’t do this.” There was too much conflict.

I love my sisters and I love my children. And my children love their cousins. And… the conflict that was created at moments definitely put me at a moment where I just said, “I don’t know if this is for me… at this time.” It was very overwhelming and emotional.

But you’ll have to tune in and see… Let the audience decide for themselves. But yeah, there were those moments.

Q: Kim, you obviously have a very famous family beyond you and your sister. Since your niece, Paris Hilton, is such a big reality star in her own right, did she give you any advice before you went on the show?

KIM: She just said be yourself… To me, Paris has always made lemonade out of the lemons.

So, I think that’s the piece of advice our mom gave us and something that she said to us, just be yourselves and don’t let… the negative things that people have to say bring you down in any way. Because there’s going to be the people out there that do that, so just find the positive and have fun with it.

Q: And could you each tell us how you feel you represent Beverly Hills in a unique way?

KIM: I grew up in Beverly Hills—a childhood as an actress. So that represents a certain side of Beverly Hills being an actress. And it’s got the Hollywood aspects and so for me I think there’s probably that the most, growing up in Beverly Hills, and being a child actress, and having that Hollywood... Moving to the Beverly Hills hotspot.

LISA: I don’t know how I represent Beverly Hills. I suppose living the Beverly Hills lifestyle, the gorgeous lifestyle that Beverly Hills facilitates I live to the utmost.

I have restaurants here right in the heart of Beverly Hills, a skincare business, again, right in the middle of it. So I do have that quintessential Beverly Hills life.

But I’m a foreigner here. So I moved here from France. So I’m probably the last one to ask.

ADRIENNE: And I think that being in a multifaceted business and also being in the entertainment business, Beverly Hills seems to fit as part of that puzzle for me.

So living here and being in the business, the entertainment business, and the lifestyle. You’ll see on the show my house, Lisa’s house, and the neighborhood that we live in. So I think that brings something close to Beverly Hills.

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