The newest addition to the Real Housewives of Orange County, Heather Dubrow, arrived on the scene with a Chanel bag full of one liners, a solid marriage, a touch of Hollywood glam, and a bottle of champs or two. Though Bravo has yet to announce whether the franchise’s original show will be back for Season 8, fan-favorite Heather seems like a lock to return. Every bevy of blondes needs a brunette!
Wetpaint Entertainment spoke with Heather recently, and while she couldn’t tell us anything about whether she’s filming for RHoOC, she gave us some scoop on the restaurant she’s opening with friends, life post-Alexis Bellino, and, of course, champs.
Wetpaint Entertainment: How were you approached to be on Real Housewives of Orange County?
Heather Dubrow: I was pitching a show with some of my friends about opening a restaurant, and one of the places we went to was Evolution [Media]. And through a series of events, they asked me to be on the show. And I had never seen the show, so I was pretty reticent about joining a cast that I heard was not very nice to each other and threw wine and behaved not exactly in an exemplary manner towards each other. So needless to say, I was pretty worried. So I said no for a while and then my husband pretty much convinced me that this was a great idea.
Your husband, Terry Dubrow, is no stranger to reality TV.
No stranger to reality shows. He was on The Swan and a host of others. So he’s really comfortable in this genre, but I’m not. And having come from scripted television, I think it was a really difficult thing for me to wrap my brain around perhaps doing something of this genre.
You seem to have fit in pretty quickly.
I think we did OK. I think if my husband was here, he would say that one of my things is that I have the ability to get along with most people. I have friends of all different socioeconomic backgrounds and all race, creeds, cultures. A person’s a person to me, as long as they’re authentic, that’s all that matters.
Terry’s been a really amusing addition to the show.
He’s a funny guy. […] Just ask him.
What was the biggest challenge of coming into a group of women you didn’t know?
I think coming into a group of women is difficult no matter what. Coming into a group of women on television is quite frankly daunting. I definitely had my guard up. I also think, for them, having someone new come in — and I’ve never watched the show before, so I don’t know how it usually happens — but I assume that they’re looking at me thinking, what’s her story, who’s she gonna be friends with, whose team will she be on, if you will. But I’m not like that. I’m not on anyone’s team. For me, I was sort of glad that I’d never seen the show because I was able to enter the situation with fresh eyes.
What can you tell us about your appearance on Life After Top Chef? Is it related to your restaurant?
Terry and I both actually filmed with Fabio. I love Fabio Viviani; he’s an incredibly talented guy. His mixologist, Jacopo, is also amazing. We’re working on it [the restaurant]. The problem is, there are very few locations in our area. What we want to do — we want to do it right. And I don’t want to open just to open somewhere.
I, as you know from watching the show, can be incredibly picky about certain things when it comes to restaurant stuff. For me, I want to make sure it’s conveniently located, it’s in the right neighborhood, it got the right valet parking, it’s the right size space. We don’t want to go too big, but we don’t want to go too small. So it’s been a little bit of a challenge. There is one space we absolutely adore, but it’s being built right now and it’s not gonna be done for eight months. So we’re still looking … and I’m in constant contact with Fabio and his partners. And you know, we’re seeing what happens. I’m in no rush. I don’t need to do it tomorrow.
You recently appeared at the Golden Foodie Awards. How was that?
I actually went as a supporter of Tamra’s and Vicki’s because their Wines by Wives company was part of that situation. I, as you know, love to eat, and I’m thrilled to see good restaurants in Orange County. For me, I was actually so happy to have some new places to go after being there.
It’s rumored there were cameras there, but you probably can’t talk about that.
No, I can’t.
Have you seen Vicki since she became a new grandma? She must be so excited.
She’s very excited. At the Foodie Awards, I actually filled in for her because the baby had jaundice. And Briana was upset, so she went back to the house, but the baby’s fine.
Of course, having four kids, I think most of my kids were yellow for the first few days. But, you know, as a new mom, it can be really upsetting. So Vicki went to be with her and called me and asked if I could fill in for her presenting.
I saw Vicki last week, and she looks great. And she’s super happy and Briana and Ryan and the baby are doing great, so it’s a good time for her.
She went through a rough patch last season, especially with Tamra.
That was an unfortunate situation, and I think also, people had some questions about [Vicki’s boyfriend] Brooks [Ayers]. And I think it’s tough when you’re in a relationship and you’re happy and you feel like the world’s against you; that just can’t feel very good.
With Alexis Bellino gone, there’s a spot open on RHoOC. Who do you think should fill it?
It’s a tough spot, because I think the truth is — first of all, I can’t even confirm that we’re having another season, but hypothetically if we were to do an eighth season, I just hope that they would bring on someone that would challenge everyone a little, like I think I did. I think that’s an interesting dynamic and good for a group to mix things up a little bit and maybe bring in an element we don’t already have.
Do you think there’s an element missing right now?
Well, I’m not sure, but I mean, I don’t think they thought I was missing, but people seem to think that I was a good addition. So, I hope that they continue in that vein and find someone interesting and challenging to the group.
Recently on Twitter, you hinted that Alexis was trying to negotiate with Bravo to get a bigger salary, and that’s why she’s not coming back. Is there anything more you can say?
I’m really not allowed to talk about that stuff. We all have moments where we get a little hot under the collar and start tweeting things we shouldn’t. But I’ll tell you this. If you saw my last tweet, I wished her well. I think this is the bottom line: I don’t like the term bullying being bandied about like this. Bullying is an incredibly serious issue, and it’s just not applicable in this situation.
When you sign on to be on a reality show, you understand that it’s your role to have an opinion. It means that if you’re someone with filters, you need to take your filters out and say what it is that you’re thinking. Because it’s all about relationships and opinions and being vocal about them. And I think Alexis, having been in her third year this past year, is cognizant of that fact. So, I think, my perception is that when it turns on you and it’s not working out for you, it’s very easy to run to the corner and cry victim. But that’s just not that case. You know, this is the show. The show is about relationships and opinions. We all go into it with open eyes. I’m done discussing this. As far as I’m concerned, the Alexis chapter is closed. I wish her well and her family. I have no ill feelings. I really don’t. And listen, everyone moves on.
How do you think the dynamics will shift in the group with Alexis gone in the hypothetical eighth season?
I don’t know. I think it takes a lot of the pettiness out of it. I’m not sure. I know for my part, and I only can only talk about me, I have really good relationships with Tamra and Vicki and Gretchen. I really like them all and we have really nice relationships — Terry and I — have nice relationships with them and their significant others. This is a show about our lives, and what we’re doing. And I know that we have a lot of fun things going on right now. Fun things in my personal career and some things that my family are doing and even just the day-to-day relationships with the children.
Tamra is getting married, and I’m trying to throw her a really fantastic bridal shower. That’s going to be fun and unexpected. She doesn’t know what we’re doing yet; she’s gonna love it. If we do another season and all this stuff gets shown, then I think it’s gonna be really fun. And I hope that if we do go forward and they do bring other people on, it’ll obviously change the dynamic, and I’m not saying everyone's going to be all flowers and ponies but I hope that the audience can see some of everyone’s best self and really see the relationships instead of worrying about little petty things.
Have you gone on any auditions recently for any acting roles?
I’ve gotten some really nice offers to do some shows. My main thing in life right now, I have four children under the age of eight, I work a bit on reality television, and you know, I have other sides, the restaurant and other projects I’m working on, my charity work. I constantly strive to maintain a balance in my life and my family, so I don’t feel like I can take on so much but just enough that keeps me feeling creative and makes me feel like my old self again but doesn’t take away from my family. I do feel like right now with the opportunities are presenting themselves to me that I may have found that balance.
If you could cameo on any other Real Housewives franchise, which would it be?
Beverly Hills. I know Adrienne [Maloof], and of course I’ve met Lisa [Vanderpump]. I’ve met them all. They’re all really cool, nice girls. But I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Kyle [Richards] in her store for a few hours. Or in Lisa’s restaurant, where I’ve been. But I wouldn’t mind hanging out with her and having a little champs.
Is there a moment you wished Bravo had show from Season 7?
The one thing that I wish that they had shown, it wasn’t like really controversial or anything, but Collete crawled for the first time on camera. It was so stinking cute.
Can you give us any champs recommendations?
Absolutely. I like lots of champs, but I do love the Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé — no one’s paying me for this, by the way. I love a brut rosé. I like a pink champagne. I also like Champagne Perrier-Jouët, the Belle Epoque. That’s one of my favorites. It’s really good. It’s got a beautiful bottle with painted flowers on it. It’s gorgeous. Isn’t champagne fabulous?