EXCLUSIVE: Jax Taylor Talks Drama, ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ and His New Clothing Line Collaboration with XCALIBUR
If you’ve never heard of Jax Taylor 1. You’re probably watching the wrong reality TV shows…and 2. You’re in luck, because you’re about to find out a whole lot about him!
The 29 year old stars in the reality TV show, Vanderpump Rules (currently airing its third season), alongside a group of his personal friends and co-workers while bar tending at the SUR Bar and Lounge as well as living out his day-to-day life in the city of angels.
If you do watch Vanderpump Rules however, you probably know all of this and more.
While Jax may not always be the audience favorite on the show, he is by far most attractive to all the ladies, and debatably the most entertaining to watch. Perhaps this is because he recently began dating 2 girls at the same time in Season 3?
Either way, love him or hate him, there’s no doubt that Jax always brings something to the table that viewers everywhere are eating up.
Celebuzz had the chance to chat with Jax about his presence on the show, what we should expect in Season 3 of Vanderpump Rules, as well as the details to his collaboration with XCALIBUR on a brand new clothing line.
Read below for the full interview!
Celebuzz: First of all, how did you first get involved in reality television? I’ve read that you were a model to begin with…can you talk a little bit about when you first made the transition into the entertainment industry?
Jax Taylor: Yes. Well, I started modeling and I’ve been doing that for the past 10 years. I moved to California, started dating Stassi, who was working at SUR, and then I started working there about two weeks prior to this whole idea of a reality show for the restaurant came about and I met with Lisa. She asked me to help her out at the bar a little bit and I agreed to do that and shortly after the idea of a reality TV Show came about and I really wasn’t keen on it at first, but Stassi kind of talked me into it and yeah, that was that. There is definitely a lot of drama at SUR, it’s a restaurant full of pretty people and our particular group of friends has always known each other. We’ve moved all around the world together. We’re all Californians now but we’ve been friends for ten years so we lived in New York together, we lived in Miami together, and Europe together, so we have a big past. So all the things that you see going on during the show are things we have been dealing with and going through together for years.
CB: Well that makes sense, and definitely must have been more comfortable for someone with no experience in reality TV to come into a show with friends and what it seems like is almost a family.
JT: Well yeah, and I really didn’t know any other way. I’ve never been filmed on anything else before so it was definitely easier for me.
CB: Right. That must have been the perfect way to transition then. Did you ever expect that one day you would be on a reality TV show?
JT: Not at all. I really never expected it to happen.
CB: Did you watch reality TV before you ended up starring in your own show? What were your thoughts on that, at the time?
JT: Yeah, I did watch a little bit. I was living with Stassi at the time, and when we lived together she was really into it and shows like The Real Housewives, so yeah, I definitely watched it but didn’t think too much about it.
CB: Got it. So, now that you are on your own show do you pay a lot of attention to what people write about you or say about your presence on the show? If so, what’s the craziest thing you have ever heard about yourself?
JT: God, there’s been a lot! There’s been so many crazy things said, I don’t even know what the craziest would be. People pass judgment and if they think they know me based off of something they watch on a TV show, then that’s fine. I mean, I think a lot of people like to hide behind the Internet and social media, all that stuff. Social media provides a platform for people to hide, in that, they can say whatever they want and they know that no one will find out who they are. Although, the same person that will write negative stuff about me is usually the same person that runs across the street to ask me for a picture. So, those people that write negative things, they are just people that want to be heard.
CB: That’s true, and that is also something that you definitely have to get used to once you get involved in the entertainment industry, right?
JT: Yeah. I mean, I always go by this quote that goes: “when’s the last time you saw a hater doing better than you?” and so, to each his own. I don’t really let a lot of it bother me too much. I try to laugh about it. You’ll hear things here and there and think, ‘Oh god, I’ve never heard that before!’ but at the end of the day, I could really care less. I don’t lose sleep over it. These people don’t know me. For everyone watching the show, it’s an hour-long segment that was shot in the span of six months. You’re catching maybe the end of a conversation that was going on for about a week long on a topic that had been brewing for a long time and you’re seeing just the tail end of it, or maybe the middle of it. So when people watch the show, they aren’t really getting the full story, or fight – you only get the juicy part.
CB: Absolutely. I think a lot of people really seem to miss that fact to reality TV, they don’t even realize that there is so much more to these shows other than what they end up seeing edited and put on their screens and they take it to heart.
CB: So, on that note, do they script Vanderpump Rules at all? Or can you not tell us stuff like that?
JT: Oh, no, it is absolutely a non-scripted show. To be honest, I wish it were scripted though, because it would be a lot easier.
CB: Yeah, I feel like it must be difficult watching yourself and seeing the things you’ve said and you have no one to blame but yourself.
JT: Well, I don’t really care about watching myself. The thing is, these are our lives. These are really things that happen and you can’t write shit like this. It’s just crazy. We aren’t even filming right now and there is still drama happening between all of us. So it’s an everyday life thing. It’s really sad actually. I can’t really explain it any other way – it’s just an everyday thing, an everyday occurrence with all of us at this restaurant and our group of friends. There is constantly something going on, some issue, or some problem stemming from something – so it gets really annoying but you know it is what it is.
CB: If you could cut out all of this “drama” in your life, would you do it though?
JT: Absolutely. I mean 90% of this comes from the girls.
CB: Ah, yes! Well delving a little deeper into that, I’ve noticed that a lot of websites and editorials have done pieces on you where they discuss how you are “the villain” so to speak of Vanderpump Rules. Do you have anything to say about that?
CB: Nothing at all? I mean, it’s clear to see that there are certain issues that come up on this show regularly and people love to peg one person on the show as the “bad guy”, do you care about being labeled that way? Do you see yourself that way?
JT: If they want to paint me as a villain that’s fine. Again, it comes down to how the show is set up. These people are seeing 5 minutes of a conversation between some of us that we have been having for 3 days, you know? You’re not seeing the whole story, you’re just getting snippets, and people don’t realize that. So yeah, of course I get painted that way because well, it was more interesting to put how the fight started on TV, or just the middle, or just the end – either way, you are only seeing one small part of it so, if I’m the villain because of the way something was edited and then shown on TV, well – there’s nothing I can do about that. It is what it is. I don’t blame the editors or anything like that, I know what I’m saying and doing at all times, but it is an hour-long show. It isn’t a 20-hour long show where you can see every single thing that happens, so there isn’t much I can do about it.
CB: Yeah, that’s very true. The media always loves to write off one person as the bad guy too because it makes it more interesting for the viewers. But, it does seem like you do have a lot of fans as well. People seem to love you but then they love to hate you as well, you know?
JT: The thing is with all of these people disliking me, is I really do not know why. For some reason I was called a liar and this whole thing about me being a liar, I really don’t understand. I cheated on Stassi – which I admitted, to her father and mother –but other than that I really don’t know what I’m lying about. Basically all I did was tell everyone what happened. I came clean with it all, and owned up to everything I did, so if that makes me a liar then I guess I’m a liar. I don’t know. But I feel like if something happens, I will speak up and say that it happened and I’m not really lying if I own up to what others won’t own up to.
CB: Right, and it was pretty widely publicized that after your break-up with Stassi, you had her name tattooed on your arm. What made you decide to get a tattoo of Carmen’s name as well? Do you plan to cover her name too, now that you’ve chosen to stay with Tiffany?
JT: You know, I don’t know if you noticed, but both of my tattoos I had gotten on the inside of my arm. Both Carmen and Stassi’s names were tattooed on the inside of my bicep actually and I was planning on sleeving my arms anyway. A name is the easiest thing to cover up. So it was like sure I’ll do it, but I always knew I would cover it eventually.
CB: What was going through your mind when you got those tattoos, especially the second one?
JT: Well for Carmen, she knew about Stassi’s tattoo and we were joking about it for so long and we were dating and I mean, yeah, I knew I would be covering my arm up so it’s not really a big deal. It was on the inside of my arm, it’s not like I got it tattooed on my forehead or my neck, it was underneath an arm I was going to sleeve anyway and it didn’t make a difference to me. So, she wanted me to do it, I didn’t mean doing it. We were dating, I wanted to show my dedication. It was just a thing that I did, I don’t really need to explain why I did it other than because I wanted to.
CB: Do you think that you’ll get Tiffany’s name tattooed as well, or would you say you’re done with the names?
JT: No, I’m definitely done with the names.
CB: Probably a good call, as you’d most likely get more heat for that if there was a third name tattooed!
JT: Well, if people have that much time on their hands to talk about my tattoos, then more power to them.
CB: So, would you say that you’re the same person on screen as you are off screen?
JT: You know everyone says I seem like a different person when they meet me, which is kind of weird. When people meet me they always say ‘Wow you seem so different, you’re so nice and genuine.’ And I’m thinking like “Gosh I guess I come off very different on TV” and I really don’t watch the show that much. I watched maybe two episodes from last season and that was it. But yeah, I guess maybe I come off a little harsh on the show and as more of a villain but in real life, I feel like I’m a really nice person, and everyone who I meet seems to say that I’m a nice guy. I mean, I love my friends, I would do anything for them, and I’m not that violent of a person, I’m a giver so, I think of myself as a really good person.
CB: Yeah it’s definitely one of those things where a TV show can make you seem like a completely different person with the right editing, but not many people can say that their lives are being filmed 24/7 and that tends to change people’s perspective when they only see what the camera catches. To switch gears a bit, your success and your fame from Vanderpump Rules has recently given you the opportunity to launch your own clothing line of shoes and sweaters in collaboration with XCALIBUR – can you talk about that and give us some more information on the line?
JT: Well yes I am a partner with the clothing line XCALIBUR and the line consists mostly of knit chunky sweaters, very Nantucket, East Coast kind of apparel. We have dress shirts and wing tipped Italian made shoes to sneakers and snapbacks. We are getting into hoodies, glasses and cufflinks – all that stuff will all be coming very soon. Right now we are focusing on being carried by online websites, we are starting to look into getting into apparel stores, and we will be doing some pop up shops in the future as well. The design and clothing industry is extremely difficult, there is so much competition and it’s one of those businesses where 90% of the time it’s failure but I think that with the clothing line already being established and with my partnership pushing and promoting the line it will do very well. It already is doing very well, with the help of the show. My friends are wearing the sweaters and we’ve gotten some of my other celebrity friends to wear the stuff as well and you know, it’s good quality merchandise – you get what you pay for and considering it’s only been less than a year it’s been going very well and I’m very excited about it.
CB: What kind of guy do you see wearing your line?
JT: It’s a very dapper line. You know, guys who are going to a cigar bar, or a whiskey bar or something of that nature. It’s for the guy who is casual but upscale casual.
CB: It terms of age range do you think younger males would enjoy the line as much as older ones?
JT: Yeah! You know I would say guys ranging from ages 25-55 would enjoy the line. We also have women’s as well, and for that line it could target an even younger audience.
CB: You mentioned earlier that the fashion industry is a very difficult one to be successful in, that being said, what do you think will make people want to buy your clothing line over other people’s clothing lines? What’s the main pull?
JT: Well the quality of the product alone is a pull. Everything is Italian made. And again, you get what you pay for so I think that my friends on TV who talk about the products and wear them will help. Also all of my friends have been buying the products and loving them. So I feel like if my friends are paying full price for the products and they love it then that should say it all because generally they ask for free stuff. I also have just been getting a lot of great feedback from everyone in general. Everyone loves the way these products are made, people loves the fit and feel…I know that I am going up against huge, huge names and I don’t expect to be Tommy Hilfiger tomorrow but if I can get to a point where I am comparable to some of these designers that would be wonderful. I really do think the product is amazing well made and our policy is 100% guarantee returns if you aren’t fully satisfied, the products speak for themselves.
CB: Well that’s awesome, and very cool that your friends have been helping you promote by wearing the pieces as well. Do you have any aspirations that go beyond reality television, aside from your obvious interest in the fashion industry?
JT: Yeah, I do but I kind of don’t want to talk about them right now, until everything is set in stone. I have a couple other projects that I’m working on and I am thinking about getting more involved in the TV world, not as an actor though, but I don’t want to say too much about it yet until things are finalized.
CB: Gotcha.And lastly, I know that the 4th episodes of season three is airing Monday, is there anything in specific that you can tell us now that we can expect from you on this season of Vanderpump Rules?
JT: God, it’s all such a blur. The way they shoot these shows, it’s so chopped up. So I have no idea what to tell you to look out for, or what you will see, let alone when you will see it. So, it’s hard for me to know what is going to come out. I will say that a lot is going to happen this season. So far, in the beginning a lot of the heat has been focused on me, which kind of sucks for me, but everyone’s going to be going through their fair share this season. Within the next episode or the next two episodes, you will start seeing some of the other guys on the show going through a lot more than me and the weight will be lifted off me this season. But yeah, not everybody is an angel and I’ll just leave it at that. I think people will finally see that I’m not the only “bad guy” on the show. Some other people will definitely be joining me in the hot seat this season that’s for sure.
You can find Jax’s clothing line collaboration with XCALIBUR online at http://xcaliburshoes.com.