Lea Black Opens Up About 'The Real Housewives of Miami'
I was curious as to how Black is able to maintain her cool-as-a-cucumber mentality while taping a series famous for unraveling its stars, so we had a proper chat.
First off, why did Black - who had established herself well before the franchise started - sign on for the series?
"When they were initially casting Miami, 20 people threw my hat into the ring, and the producers kept calling me," Black said.
"It wasn't really for me I hadn't watched the Housewives. Finally, the producers asked if I would take a meeting, and I said OK. When they came over, I started telling them I knew all these fabulous people who might want to do it.
After listing off some names, the producers asked Black if they could tape a group at her home.
"I must have dragged ten of my friends in, and production set the cameras up in my ballroom."
The taping turned out to be a flop.
"My girlfriends disappointed me!" Black said. "They just sat there like scaredy cats: 'Yes. No. Maybe.' So I began interviewing them, cracking up to make them crazy. The producers saw this and told me, 'You have to do the show!'
"The night before [taping began] I basically said, 'I'm not going to do the show.' I chickened out. The producers at the time said, "Well, if you don't do the show, another one of the girls isn't going to do it because she doesn't have any connection to any other girl on the show.
"That was one of the main reasons [I agreed] to do Real Housewives, because she really needed it.
"I also thought, 'I can promote my charity. I do have some products, and maybe with any luck, they'll start selling!'"
I asked Black about the other women on the show, especially those who weren't really in Black's circle of friends.
"In the beginning [of filming] you think that they'll learn from their mistakes, get over things and move on," she said.
"Then, as time goes on, you think to yourself, "Uh no. I think they're stuck there'. So, I have to give them a reality check, and I stand my ground."
So, I asked, has filming the franchise lost it's luster?
"It's stressful is when people go too far, lie too much, and can't let something go," Black said. "That's when it becomes no fun anymore."
Ok, now to the important stuff. When is Black's juicy novel?
"The final edits are done and I'm waiting to find out," Black said. "It's a fun, easy read that's a Jackie Colins-esque take on Miami socialites.
"I had more fun writing the book than I had doing this show, that's for sure!"
The Real Housewives of Miami airs tonight at 10/9 c on Bravo.