I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the most popular Real Housewives husbands, Dr. Terry Dubrow. Terry accompanies his wife Heather on The Real Housewives of Orange County and now has his own show, Botched on E! with Dr. Paul Nassif, formerly a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
I am really enjoying your new show Botched with Paul Nassif on E!, how long have you and Paul been friends?
TD: “I knew him before he was married to Adrienne [Maloof]. I was commuting from L.A. to Newport Beach and after he finished his residency at USC we were partners for a few years and that was in the 90’s, so we have been friends since the 90’s. I remember Paul asked Heather and I to go out to dinner with him and his girlfriend, so Heather and I went to dinner with Paul and Adrienne. And that’s when we all met. We’ve been friends forever.”
How were you approached to do the show?
TD: “I was sick in bed with a 103 degree fever and my phone rings and it’s him [Paul]. He said, ‘Let’s do a show about fixing bad plastic surgery.’ I told him I killed plastic surgery on TV with Bridalplasty [laughs] and he said, ‘No, no, this will be good.’ So, I sent an email to the Housewives producer, I said ‘Paul just came up with a great idea for a show about plastic surgery that’s not cheesy that will allow us to display our friendship, skills and our experience.’ The producers responded in five minutes. Within two weeks we shot a fizzle reel and two weeks from that E! bought the series.”
It’s fun to see you in your element. You are a great doctor. Did it challenge your skills when you repaired some of the rare cases we’ve see on the show?
TD: “Oh yeah. This is the most difficult level of plastic surgery there is; revisions of revisions, it’s the highest risk. Normally plastic surgery has about a 5-15% complication rate, this stuff is about 35%.”
What is the most difficult case you’ve ever seen?
TD: “There is a patient coming up on a future episode that went to Mexico for a discount tummy tuck. Instead of using an anesthesiologist in Mexico they put blocks of ice around around her abdomen to freeze her abdomen up so she wouldn’t feel it. But afterwards the frostbite killed the skin. So she lost all the skin on her abdomen. So that was one of the most challenging, because where do you get the skin from? But I’ll tell you that first one, that uniboob with Alicia. First of all symmastia is one of the most difficult things to fix. But that was the worst case I’ve seen anywhere. So the very first patient I did [on Botched] was the most difficult breast surgery I’ve ever done. But every one of these cases we did were unbelievably difficult.”
You joked that Janice Dickenson was one of your most difficult patients. Can you recall a patient that was more difficult?
TD: “There were some things that Janice did that they didn’t show. But I had a patient once that I did a facelift on and she gets to the recovery center and she strips off all her clothes and ran down the street naked. [pauses] She had like a psychotic break, so that was one of the scariest patients. But all around Janice is the most difficult patient I’ve ever had. She got into some drug issues and then she was not compliant, she wouldn’t do what I asked, she was calling me a d-bag, but they didn’t show that. We call it the Janice Dickenson experience [laughs].”
What is one of the biggest differences between filming Botched rather than RHOC?
TD: “I was concerned how they were going to edit us on Botched, because let’s face it, Orange County Housewives is part-reality, part-editing. They got me a car because we did most of the work at Paul’s office [which if we do season 2 we’re gonna do most of it in my office]. So I’d be sleeping in the car because I had to go to such extreme hours for this show. I’d wake up, freak out and go, ‘Oh my god, if they give me a Housewives edit I’m going to look like the weirdest doctor ever. [laughs] So I would call the producers up and make sure they weren’t going to make us look like we hated each other or were jealous of each other, they go, ‘This is not about that.’ [laughs] So I called them about five or six or seven times to get reassurance that they wouldn’t manipulate the editing to make it look like something other than it was, and they didn’t.”
You are without a doubt among the most popular of the Housewives husbands. How did you and Heather decide to join the cast of RHOC?
TD: “Oh that’s my fault. I’m a big TV fan like you are, I like the business of TV. I like to follow the ratings and am interested in the story. I was sitting around with my wife and her girlfriends at a restaurant in Newport Beach and the food was really bad. One of the husbands said, ‘Let’s open up our own restaurant,’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ I was thinking you know, all of my wife’s friends are so pretty and this is going to be such a spectacular failure we should put this on a reality show. So I pitched it around town and we were about to sign with a production company and I said, ‘You know what? Let’s go to those Housewives producers.’ So we go to one last meeting with Evolution Media and I tell them about the story and the women and they said they loved it. I’m driving home and one of the producer’s at Evolution texts me to call him. I call him and he said, ‘We love the show, but you’re wife… We want her on Orange County Housewives. So he said we will introduce the show you wanted to do on Orange County.
So I get home and long story short Heather says, ‘I’m doing that show.’ For three months she fought with me and wouldn’t do it. And then finally, the last two weeks, the production company said you have to decide whether you’re coming on now. You have to sign the contracts. And so, I stopped talking to her [laughs]. I told her life only presents you with a limited amount of opportunities and it’s what you do with them that counts. And she said, ‘Fine!’ So I signed the contracts, she started filming and here we are third season.”
Your sense of humor is so charming… I have to know, are you as funny off-camera?
TD: “Heather jokes that when the cameras are on I’ll be a little jokier, but I am much more jokey when the cameras are off. You can ask my kids! I keep it under control because if I do joke she gets mad at me [laughs]. Besides my medical practice, my first approach to everything is that I’m silly. I’m myself [when the cameras are up] on Botched and on Housewives of Orange County.”
Do you have a favorite OC Housewife besides Heather? 🙂
TD: “Tamra. You know what I love about Tamra? Well first of all, she’s hilarious, but she’s real. There is no BS there. She’s going to give you her real opinion and take it to the bank. So I love Tamra.”
What has been the best thing to come from being on RHOC?
TD: “The opportunity to do Botched, to be honest with you. From going from doing cheesy plastic surgery reality shows to getting together with your best buddy and using all those years of experience and training to do some real good. Now I get to treat people with disfigured problems. It’s so refreshing and fabulous to be able to do that. Someone who is devastated by a surgical complication whose life is completely trashed, to be able to do that, and make them normal again; better, pretty… that’s the coolest thing in plastic surgery. That’s what I love about this show.”
In a preview for later this season we see you getting into an argument with David Beador. Can you give us any details about why you get so angry?
TD: “Yeah. He said something to my wife. I don’t even know this guy and right away he’s acting like he knows us and he can be really loosey goosey, so he says some really insensitive things to my wife in the setting of having ragged on her about her relationship with Shannon. The rule is; when you are a Housewives husband don’t rag on a Housewife. So he says some sexually suggestive things to my wife that I hear about and he hears I hear about them and he doesn’t even call me. So I start to get really upset about it and you know me, I’m easy going as the day is long, right? Very little upsets me but be careful what you do with my wife and my kids. That’s just not cool. There’s no question I put him in his place. I went nuts.”
Watch Botched Sunday nights on E!
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