“The thing about lesbian jokes is they walk a fine line between being funny and terrifying,” says Whitney Mixter, one of the stars of Showtime’s new reality series ‘The Real L Word.’ In a scene from the premiere episode, Whitney jokes, “What do lesbians bring on a second date? A U-Haul.”
“It’s like we skip Boardwalk and go directly to Monopoly,” she says of the perception that lesbians meet and instantly mate for life.
What we quickly learn about Whitney is that she actually has little interest in going to “Monopoly.” We watch as she juggles three different women: at one point dropping one off at the airport, only to circle around and scoop up another in a different terminal. Not that she’s a player. She’s just a self-professed lover of women. And it’s easy to see why they all fall for her. She’s charming. She’s funny. And, she’s not shy. In a teaser for a future episode, we see her having sex. “I’m very comfortable with my sexuality and sex in general, and I think it’s a healthy part of life,” she says. “When I signed up for this show, I was opening up my world to that and that’s part of my world.”
Sunday night, ‘The Real L Word’ premieres on Showtime (10/9c). Much like it’s scripted predecessor, ‘The L Word,’ the series follows the lives of six attractive and ambitious Los Angeles lesbians. Whitney, a special effects make-up artist who is presently “super single,” hopped on the phone to discuss the new series, how she feels about settling down, and what she hopes the world takes away from this show.
How did you become involved in this show?
Honestly, it fell into my lap. I hadn’t really heard about this show or casting. I mean, I had watched ‘The L Word,’ obviously. I was a fan of that but a friend of mine was going to an on-camera audition. She was nervous and was like, ‘Can you come with me? I think it’ll be better chemistry,’ and I was like, ‘Whatever, I’ll go.’ I wasn’t thinking I was going to be auditioning. They auditioned both of us then separated us and then they basically passed us both on but they ended up going with me in the long run so it was an interesting turn of events. So when the opportunity came to me I thought it was an interesting, random experience and I’m always up for those. And if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna put myself in 100% and not hold back. And that’s what I did throughout and you really get to see that.
Learn More About Whitney:
Talk to me about the adjustment period you went through with cameras around all the time.
Honestly, [the production company] Magical Elves – they don’t lie when they say they’re magical and elflike because you literally forget they’re there. They become such a part of your surroundings, they just blend in. The first maybe two or three days, you’re just aware of the cameras and that changes things about yourself or your actions. I mean, I didn’t, but after that it’s like you seriously forget they’re there. You consider them the same as the couch you’re sitting on and you go about your business. And I think that the thing I appreciate about the show and the project as a whole is that I think they’re really committed to telling our stories in an accurate way and sticking to the truth of the matter. I think they know the importance of showing the different levels of the different women that they have cast.
Do you have any concerns about your family’s reaction to you in the show?
I am pretty much an open book. I do my own thing: this is what I do, this is who I am, and I come from a very loving family. I must say there are certain actions during this season that I wouldn’t want them to see. But I don’t regret anything. It’s not that I’m embarrassed or ashamed, it’s just the simple fact they’re your parents – I mean, I wouldn’t want to see them having sex.
What do you think it is about yourself that makes so many ladies fall in love with you?
I don’t know what it is but let’s find out so I can eliminate it. [Laughs] I think sometimes people want what they can’t have. I know I do sometimes! It’s probably my unavailability.
Preview the first episode of ‘The Real L Word’:
What do you think about settling down and starting a family? Interested?
Definitely. I absolutely love kids, and I definitely want to have kids. I don’t think I’ll ever say ‘settle down,’ but I know that I can meet someone where we don’t need to ‘settle down’ together. I want a partner who is my lover, and friend, and best friend. We both just want to spend time with one another, and still be comfortable and confident enough to be able to have fun, and things like that. I think this experience really has kind of more than ever prepared me to be in a relationship.
I really knew I was and everything that comes with it, so I really made sure that I put everything out in the open with these girls, and I was very honest – for the first time, super, super honest with myself about the fact that wow, I’m not looking for a relationship. And I think talking that out, and discussing my feelings — it made me I step back, and clear my slate. I did everything I needed to do some things by myself and now I think I’m at a point when I can actually start looking for a relationship.
What do you hope people take away from this show?
I hope that people in America – or anywhere – see this and don’t just see us as lesbians. I hope people can identify with us as characters like you and me. I hope people say, ‘This is a show about 6 women who happen to be lesbians, yes, but they’re dynamic and can achieve things.’ And I’m hoping it will help pave the way for people who are trying to come out, and feel comfortable with themselves.
What’s your take on the idea of becoming a ‘reality TV star?’
It’s funny, because I don’t see myself that way, it’s really weird, I’ll drive down Sunset [Boulevard] and I see the billboards and I’m like, ‘Oh, look at those girls! That must’ve been fun!’ [Laughs] And then I’ll be like, ‘Oh that’s me.’ I don’t think it’s really hit me yet.