Lisa Rinna admits she was looking for fame when she signed on as a cast member for Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and her mission was most definitely accomplished. Now, in a new interview with The Los Angeles Times, the Bravo star says she has “never been more famous” than she is right now, and she credits it to the long-running reality show.
Rinna says her fame from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills helped her other career endeavors, such as her fashion line for QVC. Still, it almost cost her her marriage. Harry Hamlin, Rinna’s husband of 22 years, told The Times he was not initially supportive of her full-time jump to the Bravo reality show and even threatened divorce.
“I actually told her— because I’ve been married a couple of times before — that I had my divorce lawyer’s number on my phone.”
Harry Hamlin previously joked about his wife’s RHOBH role during an IMDb Asks appearance at the Sundance Film Festival
“I call them desperate housewives around the house,” Hamlin cracked, per People. “She came to me and she said that they had asked her to do it, and I said, ‘If you do it I’m going to call my divorce lawyer. I happen to have a divorce lawyer in my phone. And as long as I don’t have to be on it, you can do it.'”
Hamlin later came around and is sometimes seen in family scenes with his wife and their two daughters, Delilah and Amelia.
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Lisa Rinna is an actress by trade, with a resume that includes roles on Days of our Lives, Melrose Place, and Veronica Mars. And because she’s a performer at heart, Rinna admits that the Lisa Rinna viewers have come to know on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is more of a character than her true self.
“I see her as a character because it’s not all of who I am. I’m watching Lisa on the Real Housewives — or Rinna, as I like to call her. She’s funny. I get a kick out of her actually. When I watch her, I’m like, ‘God, she’s the comic relief.'”
Lisa Rinna joined the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast in 2014 during the show’s fifth season. While she has long admitted she’ll do anything to make a buck—Rinna once quipped that her highest paying job was an ad for adult diapers— she really just wanted to be a “star.” Rinna admitted that, unlike her husband Harry, she never cared if she was a “great actor,” but that she just wanted to be famous and “was going to do whatever I had to to get there.”
While she logged a mix of big and small screen acting credits, Rinna knew she had to change up her game to become a household name. After entering the reality TV genre with gigs on Dancing with the Stars and Celebrity Apprentice, Rinna knew she was now known as a reality star, so she embraced it.
“I couldn’t really get an acting job anymore because I had now become a reality star. And I was like… now what do I do? By the time Housewives came along, I wasn’t afraid of it. I knew it was a direction I had to continue to go on.”
As for Rinna’s future on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Bravo boss Andy Cohen reportedly thinks she’s one one of the “best” additions to the cast. But Rinna’s contract is up ahead of Season 10, so she’s waiting on Bravo to see if she’ll be asked back.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays on Bravo.