“The crown is heavy, darlings, so just leave it where it belongs.”
So went the tagline for Lisa Vanderpump on season 7 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (she bid the show adieu after season 9). And who are we to disagree? From a lavish restaurant empire (which grew in 2019 with Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Las Vegas) that has earned her a net worth only bested by the Kardashians in entrepreneurial reality talent to her numerous charity endeavours – including Vanderpump Dogs, the pet adoption centre she opened in 2017 – Lisa, 59, may just be the “Queen of Beverly Hills.”
Chart-topper Rihanna has even gushed to Vogue about the business mogul, admitting she is total "goals." Enjoying the fact that she's "chic but still funny, Rihanna said of Lisa: "She likes to be at home with her husband and then goes and handles her business. Maybe there's a couple of thousand Birkins in her closet, but she's still focused."
With her saucy spinoff Vanderpump Rules, which follows the dramatic lives of her restaurant staff, currently in its eighth season (on Hayu and Slice), we caught up with the loving wife and mother of two to chat about the show and living life in front of the cameras. Here she is in her own words...
What’s in a name
"Vanderpump is a Dutch name – a bit strange-sounding. It’s my maiden name. I got married at 21, and everyone back then changed their last names. But I said, 'I am not giving up Vanderpump!' So I was always Lisa Vanderpump."
Ruling the coop
"When we pitched Vanderpump Rules initially… there was definitely an upstairs-downstairs element to the concept. Someone – I think it was one executive at Bravo – said it was going to be too much of a show about Hollywood wannabes, bu everyone who is a waiter in Hollywood is a wannabe. That is why it is interesting. Plus, we had this organic group of friends, an authentic circle, who were so intermingled. It is a comedy, but it is also dramatic."
"I met my husband, Ken [Todd], in a nightclub and got engaged after six weeks of knowing him. Would I recommend that to young people now? Probably not. It was the strangest thing. He was wrong for me in every sense – 16 years older, playboy, in the nightclubs. But he asked me for my number and that was that. He is older, but he has always met me halfway, has never put me down, always asks my opinions on things. And, of course, things change – I have changed throughout the years and have become more confident – but I have always felt him beside me."
Living with loss
"Losing my brother to suicide [last year] was difficult. He was my only sibling. I really floundered with that. And then I lost my mother not long after that. We all have to deal with loss in our life."
"When I was asked to do Housewives, reality TV was quite different. We mainly knew it from shows like The Osbournes. I initially told them no, as I did not think I had enough conflict in my life and wasn't sure if it would be interesting. But little did I know... [laughs]"
This piece was adapted from a piece that initially ran earlier this year in HELLO! Canada magazine issue 701.