Bethenny Frankel says new season of 'Real Housewives of New York City' is 'chaotic, psychotic and tumultuous'
Bored with the stale Tamra-Gretchen feud? Seriously considering gouging out your eyes the next time Alexis coos sweet nothings to her man-child husband? If the bronzed ladies of OC aren’t your style, you're in luck. Season 3 of "The Real Housewives of New York City" premieres tonight. That's right. Your favorite housewives of NYC (and Brooklyn -- can’t forget Alex!) are back! Among them is Bethenny Frankel. I snagged a few moments from her busy schedule last week to talk "Housewives." An original cast mate, Frankel -- known for her acerbic wit, unabashed frankness, and, of course, those Skinnygirl Margaritas -- promises this season will be “most chaotic, psychotic and tumultuous season ever.” Cue those DVRs!
You're a busy bee these days. What's the day been like so far?
I just had a meeting about my skin care line. I just stuffed food in my face … and I’m about to go look for some wedding dresses. I’m in New York. There are a couple of designers that I have relationships with, so I’m still feeling out who I’m going to use.
Fun! What kind of style are you going for?
I’m thinking definitely fitting. Definitely embracing the bump. I’m gonna do whatever I would have done before but just showing the bump. Like, I always wanted a mermaid type of dress … so we’ll see how that works.
Sorry for the tangent … I’m just obsessed with that TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress.” Do you watch that?
Yes. Yes! Oh, my God! That’s the one where they all go to Kleinfeld’s? That store terrifies me because it’s like a factory of wedding dresses. I don’t think I’m going there. That scares me.
So are you ready for the baby’s arrival and the wedding … kind of settling down?
Well, I just finished watching the season opener. And it was, uh …
Yeah. I know. What did you think of it?
There’s no shortage of drama. That encounter you have with Luann [de Lesseps] was amazing.
That scene is great, right? It was exactly what happened. It was totally accurate. What you see — that tension — it was all there. I walked in … yet again, I walked into another bar and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t want a drink at first, but I quickly changed my mind and decided I would definitely need a drink. And, you know, I kind of just told it like it was. I told her what I thought. What I said was what I meant. I meant it.
So is how she comes off on TV really the way she is? This prim and proper act is a little too much for me at times.
I’m not sure. Sometimes when people push something a little too much it’s to overcompensate for something else. You can be proper. Just be proper. But you don’t have to tell everyone else how to act.
Aside from the Luann incident, the relationship — or lack thereof — between you and Jill [Zarin] also comes up in the premiere. How are you guys doing these days?
Um, you know. It’s all in the show. It really is. You’re going to see everything play out. It’s right there in front of you.
We first became friendly … I didn’t have a foundation before the show. Our friendship was basically nurtured on the show, which I think is a challenging thing to do.
Why did you initially decide to take part in the show?
I turned it down at first because I thought it would ruin my career, and then I decided if I just be myself it could be the greatest opportunity in the world. It was a business decision just like everything else I do.
Prior to this, you were on "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," right? What was that like? (Frankel made it to the series finale.)
I was. It was great. It was definitely … it was surreal. It was intense. It was brutal. It was exhausting. It was great.
Back to the "Housewives." Do you watch any of the other editions?
I watch them all.
What do you think of Orange County ladies?
Um … I haven’t been keeping up with that one too much. For some reason, that’s the one I’ve kept up with the least. I haven’t been that engaged. I haven’t found it that engaging. What’s the latest with Alexis [Bellino]?
Forget Alexis. What do you think about her husband, Jim?
He’s a little creepy. It’s hard for me to say anything negative about Alexis because she ordered a Skinnygirl Margarita. But, yeah, her husband is definitely an interesting character. When he talked about the kind of woman he wanted, he never really talked about her; he just talked about a category: “I want something that’s elegant, yet sexy.” Right.
And the NY edition, the husbands have been known to get plenty of screen time. But this season, the OC version went way overboard on the amount of air time the husbands got. What's that about?
Maybe they just feel insecure because their woman are getting all this attention. They both have been in the same relationship for years and then suddenly one person’s life changes drastically. I don’t know. It’s weird.
So you’re obviously a busy woman. All your tweets are about you traveling and signing books … what can we expect from you this year?
Very busy! Just submitted my book “Place of Yes,” which is my third book. “Naturally Fit Pregnancy” is the fourth book I’m writing. I have the skin care line. A fitness video, “Body by Bethenny.” I have my own show ["Bethenny Get's Married"] coming out. I’m very excited. We’re shooting it now.
Talk a little bit about that. I mean, in the first season, we see you unsuccessfully try to move forward in a relationship. By the second season, you were single. Now you're about to get married and have a baby!
It came out of nowhere. I guess when you reach a certain age, thing happen a little quicker than usual. It was all meant to me. For the both of us. We’re in our groove. I’m very happy.
And there are two new housewives this season. We’re not introduced to them in the first episode, but they will be appearing near the beginning of the season. What can you tell us about them? What sort of dynamics should we expect?
Well, they’re new. Whenever there’s new girls … they get eased in. New girls, always in the beginning, are a little below the radar. They don’t want to get in the middle of the drama. I mean, look at the OC ladies. Alexis probably thought she was going to escape free and now all of sudden she’s right in the middle of the drama. It just always ends up happening. Sonja [Morgan] is really fun and flirty. She's just really perfect for television. Jennifer Gilbert, I don’t really know her that well. She’s a nice woman, but it’s not like we had that much interaction.
So there’s was no drama like the way there was between you and Kelly [Bensimon]?
With them? You have to watch. There were definitely many, many rifts. They were way crazier than the ones I had with Kelly. You have to watch.
So are you and Kelly on good terms ?
Um … you’ll see.
And how would you say the relationships have changed since the first season?
Everyone’s true colors eventually have to come out. You can’t hide behind what you try to create, or what you try to be. It will all come out.
Photo: Bethenny Frankel. Credit: Bravo