I recently had the opportunity to interview Real Housewives of Orange County Star Alexis Bellino. Alexis talks about what happened in Season 7 and how it changed her outlook on things in Season 8. She discusses what really happened with Fox 5, her friendship with Gretchen, and where she stands with the women now!
How did Bravo originally approach you to join The Real Housewives of Orange County?
AB: “Jeana Keough was an acquaintance of mine. One night we ran into her at a local restaurant and she said to me, “Hi Alexis! I turned your name into Bravo to be a Real Housewife. Your family is perfect for it. Hope you don’t mind.” I was speechless and think I turned pale when she told me that! But here we are… 4 years later!”
Did you have any hesitations about joining Reality TV?
AB: “Yes, of course. Jim and I went through many, many long discussions about it. We also met with our family, pastor and therapist to talk it through. We felt it was a huge decision to not be taken lightly.”
Even though Season 8 just started, I already feel like we are seeing a new side of you and Jim. You seem happier and less stressed, would you agree?
AB: “Jim and I have always been this way. We’ve filmed a lot of happy, funny, light hearted scenes in the past 3 years. Unfortunately one of the downsides of doing a reality show is only a tiny snapshot of your life is actually shown! America is finally seeing these scenes instead of them winding up on the editing room floor.”
You will be introducing your friend, Lydia McLaughlin to the women. How did you meet Lydia and have you been friends for a long time?
AB: “Lydia moved into my neighborhood 2 months before filming began and we started hanging out and doing play dates. At first, I had no idea she was even trying out for the show!”
Was it hard introducing your friend to this group of women?
AB: “I think Lydia definitely felt some of the tension from the women once they found out she was my friend. However, Lydia came in with no pre-conceived ideas and learned to like/dislike the women based on her own experiences.”
I know Season 7 was very hard for you. In your opinion, what changed between you and Gretchen?
AB: “I think I have a different view of what the word “friend” means. I want friends in my life that show love, honesty and integrity. Gretchen claims that she was simply being honest with me in Costa Rica. I happen to feel that a friend would have come to me in private way before a Costa Rica “intervention,” instead of ganging up with women that were not a friend to me. In three years of friendship she never once mentioned any faults to me that I needed to work on.”
Do you think you and Gretchen will ever be friends again?
AB: “No. Acquaintances? Yes. But I can’t trust her with my friendship again. I don’t waiver or trade teams when times are tough with my friends. If you are my friend I am loyal to the bone, and I want that type of friend in return.”
Do you think Gretchen and Tamra’s friendship will last?
AB: “Hmmmm, we will have to wait and see. Only time will tell.”
I understand you’ve gotten to be good friends with Vicki. What was something about her that surprised you when you really got to know her?
AB: “She is just as fun and crazy and cooky off camera as she is on! We will be at dinner in a fine dining restaurant and she will bust out a loud “WHOO-HOO,” just as she does on the show. It’s hilarious!”
Do Jim and Vicki get along now?
AB: “Yes, they have for over a year now. Vicki actually took the time to get to know Jim and saw what a great guy he truly is instead of listening to others negativity.”
In an interview Tamra Barney said she started focusing on things you two have in common in order to move forward in a relationship. Do you feel like you and Tamra are in a better place?
AB: “You will have to watch the season play out. The difficult part is that we may not be alike, but we work together, so we have to be amicable in order to do our job. We are both focusing on what we do have in common vs. how different we are.”
How is your relationship with Heather Dubrow?
AB: “We are in a better place at this moment. However things always change once the season plays back on TV. I will be optimistic for now.”
Congratulations on your Trampoline Park! What was the inspiration behind starting the business?
AB: “Jim is an entrepreneur (yes, the women don’t like this title, but I think he has proven now that he deserves it, and I was correct to give him that title three years ago). It’s funny how the trampoline park came about. We took the kids to jump at one 2 years ago, and the minute we walked into the park Jim got this glazed over look in his eyes and he says to me, “I want one of these.” I never saw Jim the rest of the afternoon and by the time we left he had met the owner of that franchise and scheduled a meeting with the owner of all Skyzones to discuss purchasing the Orange County and San Diego counties. Here we are tow years later with our first two locations open and working on location #3.”
For the viewers that are still confused about why you no longer work at Fox 5, can you clear up what happened?
AB: “Ultimately Fox 5 decided it may not have been the best idea to incorporate reality TV and a News Station. It made for entertaining TV for Real Housewives to show my on-the-job bloopers, but it didn’t do the station any favors. For the record, I hosted plenty of segments at Fox 5 that went off without a hitch – those just weren’t shown (but you can still view them on the Fox 5 website). The folks at Fox 5 and I are still very good friends, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity they gave me. It was a really fun and exciting time in my life.”
How would you describe Season 8 of RHOC?
AB: “Season 8 is the season of “Alexis with all the dead ends cut off!”
Are you working on any projects you’d like to share?
AB: “America will see this coming up, but ever since my cameo role on General Hospital, I started taking acting classes, and I have been pursing that. It’s really exciting!”
Is there anything you’d like to say to viewers?
AB: “Being guarded about what you say and when you say it does not make someone “phony,” it simply makes them kind. I’d rather go through life being gossiped about than be the one doing the gossiping. There is no testimony without a “test,” and season 7 was a true test for me. I am so thankful for everyone who has stood beside me, tweeted me, and loved me through it. XOXO”
Photo Credit: Bravo