Bethenny Frankel talks about new show, her future on 'Real Housewives'
It’s 1 p.m. in New York, and Bethenny Frankel is in her pajamas yapping on the phone about her marriage, being a mom at 39 and just where Kelly Bensimon stands on the crazy scale (Frankel’s diagnosis: “She’s certifiable.”).
Frankel shot to reality star fame with her acerbic wit on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City.” Now she’s juggling diaper changing — she just gave birth to daughter Bryn a few weeks ago — and book editing with a conference call Thursday to promote her spinoff show “Bethenny Getting Married?”
The new docu-series chronicles the daily minutiae of Frankel’s life as she prepares —simultaneously — to become a mother and, well, a housewife when she weds fiancé Jason Hoppy. And she’s doing all that while managing a burgeoning career as a bestselling author and natural foods chef — though Kelly might disagree with that label.
“This [show] just gets more micro, gets really into the details of my life,” Frankel said. “It’s not big blowouts over cocktails or charity events … it’s more dedicated to the struggles I go through: being 39, getting engaged, getting pregnant, doing everything backwards.”
Frankel says viewers will watch as she shops for wedding dresses while six months pregnant, the chaos of having to write two books and the unexpected early arrival of her first baby.
“I think the devil’s in the details,” she said. “I could have a C-section and not be on any pain medication, but you give me too small of a portion at the ice cream store and I may have a nervous breakdown.”
The first episode sees Frankel trying to organize a house-warming party while searching for another assistant to help keep her life in order. There’s even an appearance by Alex and Simon McCord.
Frankel insists that when a “Housewife” does appear it’s not staged or contrived: They appear “only to the extent that that’s what is really going on in my life … I invited Alex to my bridal shower and she came. I invited Ramona [Singer], and she was out of town. ... It's nothing orchestrated.”
So can we expect Jill Zarin to make the schlep over to Frankel’s show?
“Jill is not on my show because Jill’s not in my life.” She added, “This is a time I really want people who are good for me and good for my family, and, like, I want clean energy and everything to be happy, and I want Bryn to have her life to be perfect for as long as she possibly can.”
As for her future on “Housewives,” Frankel hinted her time spent telling Kelly to “go to sleep!” — or offering other memorable one-liners in the midst of all the drama — may be coming to an end.
“It’s not a cliché when I say I don’t believe in staying at a party too long,” she said. “I just don’t know what else to do there. … What is there to say to Jill? There’s nothing to say to Jill. I see Alex and Ramona on my show, which is really, really nice and pleasant. The purpose I have on “The Housewives” is to make comments, not because anyone tells me to but because it’s who I am. If they still need my running commentary, perhaps I would do it. But you’re seeing my life here, so I don’t know what I’d be doing there. … It’s enough, really.”
Not too surprising given the fact that she considers giving birth less painful than observing Kelly’s infamous St. John breakdown.
“The C-section was less painful than being away with Kelly. It was horrendous. Horrendous.”
“Bethenny Getting Married?” premieres June 10 at 10 p.m. And you can catch the finale of “The Real Housewives of New York City” when it airs tonight.
— Yvonne Villarreal
Photo credit: Bravo