February 16, 2012 10:01 AM by Martha Zaborowski
What you see of Jenni Pulos on Bravo TV is what you get in real life. Warm, whimsical, and funny, the Jenni I met in Chicago was comfortingly familiar to the person we see on Flipping Out, the cheerful assistant who knows how to contain Jeff Lewis’ many bad moods while getting everyone around her to laugh and feel at ease. I met with Jenni while she was in town visiting her fiancé, and we talked at length about the new Flipping Out spin-off, Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis how Flipping Out was created, and Andy Cohen and the Real Housewives.
What can you tell us about Interior Therapy?
Jeff, Zoila (Chavez), and I move in with a family for about a week and give them a design makeover a well as therapy we’re completely unqualified to give (laughs). We’re very invested in the families because we’re actually moving in with them, observing them, and diagnosing their living-situation problems. It gets intense.
Well, Jeff does tell a couple they should break up. Oh, and we visit a house infested with rats. It’s different from Flipping Out because Jeff doesn’t get to pick the clients, so he’s faced with situations he probably would never choose to deal with in his business. At the same time, this show really helped Jeff grow as a designer.
How are things between you and Jeff? At the Flipping Out reunion, you said you and Jeff had a rough year.
Things are much better. You know, we got to a point where we forgot what we appreciated about each other…kind of common in any long-term relationship. When we were filming Interior Therapy, we were forced to work together and deal with other people’s lives.
That’s great to hear, especially since you film with him so much. Are you filming Flipping Out?
We started filming in January, and we’ll be filming for about the next 6 months. It’s a crazy-long filming process, one of the longest durations of filming for Bravo; but it’s us working our real jobs with design projects that may take a long time to complete.
You will see me, Jeff, Zoila, Gage, and maybe a new cast member or two.
Flipping Out has been on Bravo for six seasons. How did the show start?
It actually started with me and my then-husband [former assistant to Jeff Lewis, Christopher Elwood]. We were filming a Curb Your Enthusiasm type of mockumentary show about our lives as actors who worked part-time as assistants. We both were working for Jeff at the time, and we begged him to be a part of the show. Jeff wanted nothing to do with it, but he finally gave in and came to our presentation of our show to Bravo. Bravo met Jeff, fell in love with him, and re-concepted our show to be what is now Flipping Out.
It was difficult for me at first to have our show retooled in such a way that our boss was now the star, but now I get it. Everything that happened as a result of that was totally meant to be.
Will we see your fiancé on Interior Therapy or Flipping Out?
You might see Jon [Nassos] on Flipping Out. It’s a busy year. We’re getting married in Chicago in May.
That’s great! How do you like Chicago?
I love Chicago. It’s so beautiful here! The architecture is amazing; the food is so great. I was never a big fan of deep-dish pizza before, but now I love Lou Malnati’s. I also like Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab; 25° on Clark; and Terrace at Trump.
Jon will be moving out with me to the West Coast, so we’re really going to miss Chicago. But we’re thinking of buying a place in Chicago because his family’s there.
You’ve got a lot going on right now with Interior Therapy, Flipping Out, your wedding…but fans of the show know you have many other interests like acting and rapping. What else have you been working on?
I’m starring in a Secret commercial for the Secret Outlast collection! And my children’s rap album is coming out in spring or early summer. We’ve got some great songs with positive messages for children like “Brush Your Teeth” and “No Bullying.”
Check out this one of a kind RTVM rap by Jenni!
You rap the theme song for Andy Cohen’s show, Watch What Happens Live, which I love. Housewives fans like myself feel like we know him well because of Watch What Happens Live, the reunion shows, the video chats he hosts, etc. What’s he like?
Andy is truly a great guy. He has been so supportive of me and Jeff, and he is the hardest-working man I know.
Do you know any of the Real Housewives?
Lisa Vanderpump is a dear friend of mine. I was having a birthday party at a karaoke bar in the Valley recently, and she and Ken came and stayed the whole night! She is not snobby at all and is such a genuine person.
You know, I feel for the Real Housewives. There’s so many of them, and they probably feel like they have to one-up each other for attention.
Bravo is so talented at creating these shows where we end up feeling like we really know the people on them, even though we don’t. So how would you describe yourself? What are your entertainment interests?
Hmm. I’m fearless and patient, and maybe unique? (laughs)
I love movies; I love George Clooney. My role model is Betty White. One of my favorite guilty pleasure shows is The Bachelor. I like all kinds of music—rap, soft rock, Katy Perry, LMFAO, singer and songwriters from the 70s.
Jenni also tells me that “reality TV magnifies who you really are.” That is good news for Jenni because the loveable, kind-hearted character we see on television is just as evident in real life. For more Jenni Pulos, tune in to Bravo on Wednesday, March 14, to watch Jenni on the premiere of Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis.
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Photos courtesy of Bravo
Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Flipping Out, Interior Therapy |
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