Cynthia Bailey Talks ‘Housewives’ and Marriage Drama
Lights, cameras and attention all come with the territory for model, mother and aspiring entrepreneur Cynthia Bailey, but the newest addition to Bravo’s breakout series Real Housewives of Atlanta is still adjusting to the whirlwind of newfound stardom she is encountering. The Alabama-native recently sat down with Celebuzz to sound off on her Housewives cast mates, her love life, her future business ventures and learning how to sign autographs again.
Why did you choose to participate in RHOA?
I moved to Atlanta 3 years ago and it’s just one of those things that kept coming up. It came up and an interview turned into another interview to a screen test to sitting in front of you. It wasn’t a plan and initially I didn’t really think I would make good reality TV because I’m not super confrontational. I’m not a big drama queen, though I have drama. I actually managed to surprise my own self. I got right in there and held my own pretty well. The show is so successful , it’s actually the number one Housewives show on Bravo. Everyone watches it. I think we are on episode six, and all I can say is that we are just getting started! We have about 15 more episodes to go and we haven’t even scratched the surface. It’s going to be a fantastic season.
Did you know any of the Housewives before shooting?
The only person I had met before was NeNe. I met her through a mutual friend and I was very intimidated by her at first. I couldn’t have imagined that we would have connected on the show before we met. When we did meet, we didn’t really hit it off. Basically we had drinks and she talked the whole time. I initially thought that I would connect with Kandi. I was like, ‘She’s so down to earth like me. We’re going to be best friends and take Noelle and Riley for play dates.’ Well, that didn’t happen. It ended up being NeNe. We are a really good balance, because I am her calm. I’m her rationale. We complement each other.
Describe the overall experience of shooting the reality show.
It’s really difficult to shoot the show. Being on the show is such a big thing for me. I would sit on my living room couch like everyone else and be like ‘if I was on the show, I would’ve said this and that. I would’ve checked her. It looks so easy, but it’s not. It really was a huge adjustment for my life. So far it has been amazing and I am really excited that I have had this experience.
As a model, many people expect you to be used to the press and cameras everywhere? Was it different having a video camera following you around?
I wasn’t even on the first episode. I was barely on the second episode. It’s not like I am Naomi Campbell. I mean, this is crazy. We were at the McDonald’s drive-thru yesterday and the girl was like ‘Oh my God! Is that you guys? I just saw you on TV last night.’ By the time we made it to the window, everyone had their camera phones out. I think everybody on the planet watches RHOA. Kids watch it. Men watch it too. I am not really used to it. I was in H&M and these guys were whispering and I was trying to find a hat to buy. I was like, what are they talking about? Is somebody in here? ‘Miss Bailey, can we get your autograph.’ It was the first time that I signed an autograph as a Housewife. I was like WOW! What do you say? Have a great day?…nice to meet you? I don’t know. I’m getting used to it. I’m almost paranoid walking down the street now thinking, are people looking at me? And even if they are not, I think they are.
Do you watch any of the other Housewives in the franchise?
I watch New York because I used to live here. I love Bethany. I think she’s funny. She just reminds me of New York. I just started watching the Beverly Hills girls and they are really rich! We don’t own basketball teams. We’re excited to get Birkin bags. They have them in every color. If I could hang out with anyone, it would be the older one with the really cute dog. They’re so over the top and fabulous!
Have you been surprised by any of the celebrity followers of the show?
Last night when I was at the Glamour event, my friend was introducing me to Gayle King. She was like ‘Oh, I know who you are. I just saw you on TV last week.’ I thought, does Oprah know me too? I didn’t ask her, but I was like maybe Oprah and Gayle get together and watch it. I was really surprised.
In the wake of recent speculation surrounding your relationship with and marriage to Peter, do you want to set the record straight?
We did get married. You have to watch the show to see the whole process. It took a village to make it happen, but I finally found myself in front of him saying ‘I do.’ It’s a lot of drama with that. Our story really heats up.
Did taping the show affect your relationship with Peter at all?
There were good days and bad days. Some days you just don’t want to get up and shoot a TV show. Some days I think, ‘Hey, where are the cameras. I miss those guys.’ If he didn’t feel like shooting, we still had to shoot. We kept it real. I felt a lot of the things we did in our personal life and business stuff that started happening, where other cast members may have tried to sugarcoat some stuff, we just put it out there. I thought it was important that we just gave you guys who we were.
How do you feel about Atlanta not being as wild and crazy as the other Housewives?
I think Atlanta is a lot more entertaining to watch, because the cast is night and day. I don’t know how we would ever really come together, if we were not on a reality show. What you really see is what you get. Sheree is really how she is. NeNe is really NeNe. I am really me. I think one of the other cool things about Atlanta, is that our cast is mostly African American. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the success of it. It’s something that sets us apart from the other franchises.
Following the immense success of the show, what’s next for you?
I am going to eventually do an accessories line. I’m going to start with head scarves. Some of the proceeds are going to a cancer foundation of my choice. I haven’t decided which one yet. I’m also going to do a mom-daughter collaboration of a children’s cookbook. My daughter has a nut allergy that is very common among kids now. More than that, she’s a picky eater, so it’s going to be a picky eater cookbook and very kid-friendly with illustrations. It’s one of the things we are doing together. I am going to get things going before the end of the year.