In September 2012, Barack Obama was just weeks away from beating his GOP rival Mitt Romney to win his historic second term as America’s first black president. The United States seemed a place of endless possibilities and hopes, plus a series of deadly trials, complications and contradictions.
Perhaps nowhere was it more evident than in reality TV, where Bravo’s “Don’t Be Tardy” and E! they were programs that people watched inexplicably.
Meanwhile, on VH1, Sheree Zampino was about to get her first taste of reality TV fame in “Hollywood Exes”, essentially a more ingrained version of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” which debuted two years after “Housewives”. “Exes” starred Zampino – the ex to actor Will Smith and NFL player turned pastor Terrell Fletcher – and the ex-wives of other notable Los Angeles celebrities, including Nicole Murphy, Andrea Kelly, Mayte Garcia and Jessica Canseco. (the respective exes of legendary comedian Eddie Murphy, the now disgraced and jailed R&B star R. Kelly, the late musical genius Prince and Major League Baseball star Jose Canseco).
And I was involved. Mainly. (And not just because Zampino, at the time, was married to a classmate from St. Louisan who went to school with my older sister.)
He was charming while being recognizable. Who hasn’t been hurt or abandoned by an ex, like Andrea Kelly, or somehow attacked by an iconic old love, like Mayte Garcia? But then there was Nicole Murphy, who had come from the other side and got out first. She spent most of her screen time in the company of her gorgeous model-ready daughters and buying things with then-boyfriend Michael Strahan’s black card.
And Zampino, who studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, was fashionable there, supporting his friends with hilarious side glances and comments as he faces his own drama within his soon faltering marriage.
“Even if we don’t talk every day, it’s like one of those things where, when we hook up, it’s like picking up where we left off,” says Zampino of his fellow “Hollywood Exes” castmates. “There’s a real sisterhood, a real bond there that I think is like, you know … it’s a life.”
The VH1 series lasted three seasons and prepared Zampino for the exaggerated, sometimes ruthless world of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” series. She joined “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” this season as friends with the show’s first black cast member, fan-favorite Garcelle Beauvais.
“What has given me some confidence and confidence is because I did ‘Hollywood [Exes]’”, Said Zampino. “I knew this was on another level. I just didn’t realize how. But I entered simply by being present. “
“I’m a fan, so I’ve been watching it for years and you have your opinions and all,” she continued. “And I understand it with reality [TV], you don’t see everything. They have a story they are trying to tell about the backend, the production. So I said, I want to go in and be honest and have a “in the moment” experience with these women, like a real time experience. And I think it worked for me. It gave me a lot of peace and I was pleasantly surprised. “
We are a long way from 2012 and the Obama administration’s days of “hope and change”. In our dystopian, disease riddled present, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” also took a dark turn, this time with cast member Erika (Girardi) Jayne becoming the reality TV villain for the plight of “widows.” and orphans “that her ex-husband and his law would have firmly defrauded.
But Zampino is enjoying his time on the show. And he even has – gasp! – She enjoyed some of his time with the evil Girardi.
“Some of the women I didn’t think I would like, in terms of characters, what they were giving and what my opinions were based on what I saw as a fan, I was pleasantly surprised. As with Erika, I actually thought it was fun. I had fun with her. I saw her reality and I’m from New York, ”said Zampino. “So I love people who are real and you know exactly where you are.”
So a surprise for her? Lisa Rinna, soap opera star and wife of actor Harry Hamlin.
“I saw a very nourishing side to her that I didn’t really know from that side,” said Zampino. “Yes. Pleasantly surprised.”
As a fan of “Housewives” (I mostly use “Real Housewives of Potomac” GIFs on Twitter because Karen Huger, Ashley Darby and Candiace Dillard Bassett are the GIFs they keep giving), I had a lot of questions for Zampino, mostly about her thoughts on fashion. Who brings it daily between wives? And who could use his FIT trained aid more?
(Psst. It’s fashionable and “reasonably” shady Gizelle Bryant from Potomac, right? She meant Gizelle.)
“You’re so messy with this question, and someone immediately comes to mind,” said Zampino. “I don’t want to say it.”
“Is it Gizelle?” I said, obviously being messy.
“I don’t want it, I don’t want to say it,” he said.
“I forgive you. But in my heart she is Gizelle,” I said. “I can say it as someone who loves her.”
“Keep yourself nice,” said Zampino, frustrated still without naming names. “I can not say it. Can’t say you’re wrong. I can’t say, but I can’t say you’re wrong. “
And who are the hottest housewives in Beverly Hills? Zampino loved Rinna and label addict Dorit Kemsley very much.
“Who I’m really enjoying his style is Rinna. Ah, Rinna, I dig. I appreciate her style because I know my boobs are too big to wear some of the things she wears, but I love a woman who wears clothes, “Zampino said.” I love that kind of androgynous chic. her clothes and she’s bold with her color choices. Yes, I like her vibe. I do. I like her style. And of course, Dorit. Dorit has an incredible style. Dorit goes to Louis Vuitton and says: “I’ll take it all.” Then he’ll wear it all at the same time. “
So who does Zampino think is the most recognizable and who has he combined with the best outside of Beauvais? He named newbies Crystal Kung Minkoff and Diana Jenkins, who have already become controversial among fans in her first season on the show.
“The crystal is simply sweet,” said Zampino. “I think she is a sweet girl. She is a lot more fun than how she is portrayed than what you see. I think she is a funny girl. And sweet. And Diana is – first of all, I love the way Diana rolls, okay? She is doing everything Everything top, top, top, top of the range! And it’s real. It’s just unrepentant here. “
“I like knowing where I am with people,” he continued. “You don’t have to like me, but don’t tell me you do, and then behind my back – you know what I mean? I like knowing where I am. So it’s refreshing in this city, in Los Angeles, when you meet someone who says, “This is me, take it or leave it.” I like.”
When it comes to who is “darker” on the show, Zampino checked the name of the adorable goofy Sutton Stracke, who I found out to be a charming southerner with chronic foot and mouth disease.
the most real.His girlfriend, Garcelle Beauvais. the funniest Zampino was nominated. So rich that you are out of touch with reality? For Zampino, it’s Jenkins.
“Maybe it’s Diana, because remember, she didn’t know something fundamental,” he said. “I can’t remember, but we’re like, ‘How do you not know?’ It was an outlet. I think someone mentioned a rant or something.
“Oh, the outlets,” I said. “That was Crystal. He was talking: ‘Have you ever been to the outlet?’ “
But as for who is the “less” rich in a show about very rich women, Zampino, once again, has chosen herself. She said that Beauvais is the one she would trust the most with a secret, and the one she would trust the least is … Kyle Richards, who is often jokingly described online as an uncredited producer on the show.
“Kyle will like it, he will say it!” said Zampino.
“She’s like a producer, basically, at this point,” I said.
“Exactly. She is exhausted. She is completely in … all in, all in!” Zampino joked.
Baddest on “RHOBH”? Even if Zampino clearly likes Girardi, he had to say so.
“The hottest I’ve ever seen on the show was Erika,” he said. “Erika is bringing that warmth, so let’s say Erika.”
“Erika is the only one besides you and Garcelle in ‘Beverly Hills’ that I think could survive'[Real Housewives of] Atlanta, ‘because those women are bad, ”I said.
“Let me tell you something, you couldn’t pay me enough [to be on ‘Atlanta’]”Joked Zampino. “You couldn’t pay me enough. You couldn’t give me, you could give five diamonds.” We give you 10 diamonds! “No ma’am! No sir no sir!”
Speaking of diamonds, does Zampino want to be a full-time cast member on “RHOBH”? From the pages of HuffPost to the ears of the god “Real Housewives” – that would be the executive producer and presenter of “Watch What Happens Live” Andy Cohen – Zampino is down.
“I’d like them to offer me a diamond,” he said.
Come on, Bravo. Make Zampino another jewel among a cluster of diamonds. She has already acted in reality TV. She could definitely do it again.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that “Hollywood Exes” premiered two years before “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”.