Jenni is about to give birth, Zoila has power and will Jeff be able to reign in the craziness?
If you thought last season of Bravo’s docu-series “Flipping Out” was a little heavier on the drama, then you’ll be glad to know that season seven, which kicks off Wednesday on Bravo, is pretty much the opposite.
As Jeff Lewis told us recently, business is booming but that doesn’t mean things aren’t also in a crazy place with Jenni’s pregnancy, Andrew being, well, Andrew, and more fun with Zoila and the rest of the crew.
Let’s take a peek into what’s to come with the new season of the Bravo reality series.
Between “Flipping Out” and all your other shows, your business has just blown up. Is it a ‘be careful what you wish for’ kind of thing?
JL: No, it’s not a be careful what you wish for. I’m thrilled. I mean I’m very grateful and fortunate but it’s just a matter of how you manage it and that’s been my struggle. I mean for the last couple years I’ve had no shortage of business, but it was just a matter of who can we take on, how much can we take on, what kind of clients do we want, what kind of jobs do we want to work on and we’re lucky that we do have choices. I mean we’ve had a lot of great response, you know, with the shows, especially “Interior Therapy.”
“Interior Therapy” really changed my business because you were getting revealed every single episode…I got double the business, maybe triple the business from “Interior Therapy” than I did “Flipping Out.” And I think it’s because you don’t necessarily see a reveal in “Flipping Out.” When we’re done filming, we’re done filming. If the house isn’t done, it’s like, ‘oh well,’ which is unfortunate but that’s what happens when you’re doing a docu-series where you’re just truly following me for five months and when we turn off the camera, that’s it. Whereas “Interior Therapy” is a little more produced so you make sure in a week that you’ve got this completed product.
I take it Jenni will have the baby in the course of the season and then she’ll probably be away for a little bit. Is that what we’ll see?
JL: Yes. She’s not away too terribly long. I mean, you know, we needed her. At one point, where I came back and I went to her and I said, ‘When are you coming back because we really kind of need you?’ We really felt her absence so it was good when she came back. I want to say she was gone for…I don’t even know if it was two months, but you know, that also has to do with Jenni really wanted to come back too.
And she didn’t take to motherhood so easy. I kept saying to her when she was pregnant, I’m like, ‘Don’t you need to start going to classes or start reading books or knowing what’s happening?’ She was one of the most ill prepared people I have ever seen…now she’s settled into it and I think she’s thriving.
As crazy as things might get with Andrew, have you learned anything from him? Because he definitely brings some life into that office.
JL: I think it takes the patience of a saint and I think Andrew has really taught me patience. He definitely brings a much needed comic relief because Jenni used to be the court jester and she’s kind of grown up and matured and her position has changed and she’s almost like house mother now, so she doesn’t subscribe to all the nonsense that she might have ten years ago. And so I really missed that in the office and he really brings this sense of humor and likeness that I love to be around.
You know, the work day is so stressful as is and Gage is very intense and Vanina’s very intense and I can be very intense…I joke that [Andrew is] here just entertain me. That’s not really the case. I mean he is to some extent but he does a very good job here.
With this new season, how are you and Gage doing? Do we see relationship stuff with you two?
JL: Well, season six was very relationship heavy and I think that season seven is kind of the opposite. You know, we’re in a very good place. I mean, yeah every once in a while we have some bumps but on a whole, we’re in a very good place. I think that when we are in a good place, we focus on the business. It’s almost like when my relationship is not going well, it’s a huge distraction from everything else, but when my relationship is going well, then I focus on the business. When it’s not going well, you know, cocktail hour starts at three.
Do we get some Zoila stories and fun stuff out of her?
JL: Yes, Zoila, of course, is hysterical, but she’s now house manager. She has two housekeepers underneath her and that’s been challenging for her because she’s not used to managing people. And she, you know, she’s a little rough around the edges and, you know, I feel like downstairs is a lot of drama. There’s a lot of backstabbing. There’s a lot of power struggles going on. It’s like, you know, an episode of “Downton Abbey.”
Is she drunk with power? Is that what’s happening?
I don’t want to say drunk but, you know, she is probably a little tipsy.
Anything we need to say about your Twitter feud with American Airlines?
JL: American Airlines, I think that my initial tweets I was angry with them but then it became this really kind of funny, wacky, zany way of entertaining myself over the weekend. And so that’s kind of like lighthearted fun…look, it wasn’t so much about losing the bag. It’s how they reacted to losing the bag and that’s what really made me mad. It was as if I was inconveniencing them, trying to find my bag and that’s the part that made me angry. And what I realized is that clearly everyone else has had the same issue because people just came out and tweeted and tweeted and tweeted and told stories about their experiences and that’s what was really funny.
But I do want to mention that kind of a fun, almost like mind-f**king, that’s what Season Seven is all about. Season Seven is crazy. It’s funny, wacky, it’s like the old “Flipping Out.” And the problem is that we stay true to whatever’s going on in our lives so last year wasn’t a good year. I’ll be honest with you. Gage and I were at each other’s throats. Jenni and I were fighting. Zoila and I were fighting. We were miserable living at West Knoll because we were walking all over each other and that’s what was going on. This season’s different because it reflects a completely different time in our lives.
“Flipping Out” airs Wednesdays at 10pm on Bravo.