Lisa Vanderpump has her new spin-off docu-series Vanderpump rules, a show which Lisa describes as “racy…a little too sexy…and avant-garde.”
While we are familiar with Lisa Vanderpump as we see her on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules shows us a whole new side of Lisa in her element, as a restauranteur.
While it may seem that being a star in two reality TV shows at the same time would be quite daunting, Lisa explained to us that the two shows co-existed quite beautifully because there is no competition between the shows – they are just two different aspects of the savvy business-woman’s life. “[Vanderpump Rules] is not really versus the Real Housewives because I’m on both of them. We shot them at the same time. To be honest, at first I thought it was going to be a lot more work, but it happened pretty organically. I think Bravo saw that so much of my life was my business…and they found the whole thing to be fascinating.” This is understandable when one thinks about the dynamics that can occur in a restaurant. It would have been impossible for the producers of Real Housewives to fit such a complex sub-story into an already drama filled show. This being said, Lisa’s professional life was so fascinating that it had started to bleed into Real Housewives to the extent that, as Lisa explained, “[Bravo] thought it warranted its own show.”
One thing we look forward to seeing on Vanderpump Rules, personality-wise, is how Lisa is different in her professional life from her personal life. Lisa acknowledges that there is a clear distinction between these two facets of her personality. “I think you’ve seen the different aspects of my life and the fact that I have to be tougher and not show as much lenience to my employees as I do my friends. If I didn’t take authority over them they would run amok. That’s what they do in The Real Housewives. Maybe I do need to change my strategy and act like the Housewives work for me. That might suit me better, especially at the reunion. I think most of us are very different with people that work for us and [when] you’re running a business it’s not a playground.” While we see the managerial side of Lisa, there is also a very compassionate side to her and we can see this in the way she relates to her employees. Lisa explains, “I understand a lot of them are kids and they make mistakes. I do feel a certain amount of responsibility and you see that in the show very clearly. So I think I’m virtually the same person, but business is business.”
With the birth of Vanderpump Rules comes a whole slew of characters new to reality TV, of course there is a natural tendency for people to want to step into that limelight. So who can we expect to try to dominate on the set of Vanderpump? Lisa’s take is that because filming is continuous, rather than individuals dominating the show, what we are going to see are which storylines are really shaping the dynamics in the restaurant. “I think they kind of filmed for such a long time and had so much footage, it’s always the loudest story, and I think this is what could be fascinating, with Sur, it’s employees and people can change and rotate. While this may be true, Stassi is naturally going to be a person who is going to be a mainstay in the drama in Vanderpump Rules as a result of her unique personality and her relationship with the Vanderpump family outside of the restaurant. Lisa notes, “to be honest, most of the time I feel that Stassi is a bit of the ring leader in Sur. You’ll see that I do make allowances for her because she works with my daughter on another project and is one of her best friends. So maybe I am a little more lenient with her and I probably shouldn’t be. But I suppose often what goes on at Sur is often a ripple effect of what goes on between Stassi and Jax…you always have somebody that’s more prominent in a restaurant.”
While Vanderpump Rules, is in many showcasing what Lisa expected, there are some difficulties that accompany the new level of illumination under which she sees her restaurants and its wait staff as a result of being one of the show’s producers. According to Lisa, “the difficult thing with this show is that [I am] privy to more than I bargained for…I have witnessed things that I wasn’t too happy about. So I felt like I was suddenly dragging when I would see bits of film that had gone one outside the restaurant that I wouldn’t normally be privy to. So a lot of the time, I would say OK, sit down, right. Let’s get this all out because we’ve got a party here tonight and I want a party atmosphere, I want a party attitude, and I don’t want BS between you and you… I don’t want [someone] slamming a plate down just because she’s upset that somebody hasn’t kind of called her back or something. So it was kind of complicated, I have to say…sometimes I look at them and they do seem a little out of control.”
Given the show’s inevitable popularity and the fact that, unlike other reality TV shows, it is actually possible to become a part of it as a result of working for Lisa, there have been questions regarding what it takes to get hired on at one of the restaurants and possibly become personally intertwined with the drama that unfolds on Vanderpump Rules. While there has been a lot of speculation on this topic, Lisa clarifies that “a lot of people have said that [the staff] are hired because of how they look? To be honest, that would be ridiculous, because nearly every single person that works here is a friend of a friend of a friend. So it’s almost like we’ve never actually had to actively look for staff. It’s always; can my girlfriend come and join us? Can my girlfriend who’s a dancer, can my girlfriend who’s this…But I do think they have to be somewhat gregarious and somewhat, maybe precocious in some respects to work at Sur, because it’s that kind of environment…I don’t know, they’re all different. And if you see, Katie is different to Stassi as to the next one. So they’re all vastly different, and I suppose we just employ them all. It’s normally a friend of a friend, and then they get taken on and see how they match up. But it can be pretty fast paced…it gets busy and it gets a little crazy and it’s not for the faint-hearted. I need servers that step it up.”
Given the rising stardom of Lisa and her wait staff, it begs the question, what about the original housewives? Are they supportive of this spinoff, or was there jealousy? Lisa explains that, for the most part, her cast-mates on Real Housewives have been quite supportive. “Taylor sent me flowers, which I thought was really sweet. Brandi’s been very supportive. And Kyle, yes she’s – I think she tweeted that she loved Vanderpump Rules. I have had a couple of discussions with her…Adrienne’s never mentioned it, never had a discussion with her.” Given the overall cooperative and supportive spirit of the other housewives, it is probably safe to say that we may be seeing some guest appearances on Vanderpump Rules. When Lisa considers why she, out of all her Real Housewives cast-mates was the one chosen for the spinoff, she modestly states: “I think if Kyle had had a restaurant maybe she would have gotten the spin-off. I think Bravo is open and up for anything. If somebody [has a good idea] then they’d be open to it, make the pilot and see how it goes. And with me, certainly, they saw enough of my restaurant in my life to know that it warranted a pilot.” While it is yet to be seen if the other housewives will be getting their own shows anytime soon, it is safe to say that America is excited to see what Lisa and Vanderpump Rules to dish out.