There's something refreshingly down-to-earth about Jillian Harris. She's arguably one of the biggest success stories of The Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise — emerging unscathed from Jason Mesnick's ill-fated Season 13, heading straight to The Bachelorette Season 5, weathering the tabloid aftermath of her relationship with ex-fiance Ed Swiderski, and now working as a successful designer on-and-off her dream show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. But even after all she's done, you never really get the impression in interviews that she sees herself as a big deal.
Jillian just gave a nice long interview to Reality Wanted and she discussed why she went on The Bachelor to begin with, how she didn't deal well with the media scrutiny and what she has going on next.
Read on for some highlights from Jillian's interview:
How she dealt with the attention after The Bachelorette: "I never dealt with it well and I actually think that I suppressed a lot. I actually think I'm way funnier and way snippier and I've got kind of a sick sense of humor. I'm a total tomboy but I've always been afraid of being judged. I follow [DWTS’] Kirstie Alley on Twitter and I laugh so hard. She does not care what anyone thinks of her and sometimes, I wish I could do the same thing! It wasn't easy being judged and you want everyone to love you and think you're fabulous but I'm not always in a great mood or I have a strong opinion about something. I don't voice my opinion like that because I don't wanna deal with all the articles that come out and the backlash on Twitter. I'd rather stay neutral, which I don't think is a good thing either. When Ed and I had all the negative attention, I was really sick. I was stressed out and crying all the time. I was like, 'Why did I do this?' I didn't expect that. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me because I also gained so much for my life as well. I've been in the media for almost three years now. Now, if a negative article comes out. For example, on the back page of OK Magazine... I love them... but they posted a quote from me, comparing The Bachelorette to being on Extreme Makeover and my quote was, 'It's completely different show because I'm not making out with guys in hot tubs although I do miss that.' Normally, I would've been so stressed out and mad because I'm so afraid that it makes the show look bad but I did say that because I was trying to be funny. I'm going to own that and that's who I am. I can't try to be somebody else. I don't care about that stuff anymore, as long as it's true."
How she got on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: “When I came off The Bachelorette, Ed and I had a big discussion that neither one of us was going to stay in television and focus on our relationship, ironically enough. ABC had a few ideas for us to stay with them. One was a reality show about our life, which we didn't want to do because we started off on shaky ground. Right off the gates, there were stories about him cheating on me. I didn't think we could handle a reality show. I said, ‘The only way I'd continue to do anything on TV is if it was something I'm passionate about.’ I was driving one day and ABC called and asked if I wanted to go on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I called Ed and he said I had to do it. I was trying to be so calm. I got off the phone and pulled over in my car and dancing on the side of the highway. It was literally a perfect fit for me. I feel so blessed. I can't think of a better job!”
Read the full interview for a lot more from Jillian.