In Hollywood, celebrities often wear several different hats. Some act and play music. Others star on reality shows and design clothing lines. But perhaps no one’s gigs are more different than Jennifer Gimenez, who helps supports patients on the brink of death on Rehab With Dr. Drew while also being an ally to BFF Brandi Glanville on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Jenn, who opened up about keeping her sanity working both jobs and clued us in about a major spoiler coming up later this season on Rehab.
Wetpaint Entertainment: How does treating this group of “regular” addicts differ from treating celebrities?
Jennifer Gimenez: It’s really different. They’re not doing the show for their careers or for any other ulterior motive. They have nothing left and nothing to lose. They’re raw, they’re real, and they’re very, very sick. They’re what I call Level 10 Hope-to-Die alcoholics and drug addicts.
Can you explain what you mean by that, a Level 10 alcoholic or addict?
Someone who’s Level 10 literally cannot stop using once they’ve started. They’ve lost themselves entirely — mentally, physically, emotionally. There are no more “yets” in their life, as in “Well, at least I haven’t done this yet”or “I’m not so bad; I don’t do that, yet.” They’re desperate. But the good news is that’s the best place to be in for someone who wants to get sober. They need to be willing to go to any lengths.
Considering they’re that sick, is a month of treatment enough?
There’s so much aftercare needed. They were in for 21 days, which is when we shot the show, but many of them went into sober living and aftercare with Dr. Drew and Bob. I’ve been involved with some of them now, and it’s a good three months later.
Can you describe the toughest moment of filming?
You will see something that will shock you. There is something coming up that has happens between a patient and me and it’s just… jaw dropping. You think you’ve heard it all, but you haven’t. It ended up being a therapeutic experience for both of us, but it was very brutal and very intense.
You also appear on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Is filming that show and filming Rehab like night and day?
Well, actually the shooting schedule crossed over for a day or two there. There were two days where I worked on Rehab for 18 hours straight, then had to go shoot a scene for Housewives. But that’s just my life. I adapt. Compared to what I do on Rehab — which is help people decide if they want to live or die — Housewives is actually where I get to let my hair down. I get to dress up and put on my heels and just kind of go with it. There’s drama, of course, but it’s much different.
At the end of the day, I’m blessed to be able to do both and do my job as a counselor at the KLEAN treatment center and pursue an acting career. And I know none of it would be possible if I hadn’t gotten sober.