NeNe Leakes has a personality that is larger than life–she said it best herself, “When I walk into a room, I own it!” NeNe has created a brand around herself by living those wise and confident words, that I personally think every woman should make her mantra.
From “Real Housewives of Atlanta,“ to “Glee,” to “The New Normal,” NeNe’s transformed from reality show starlet to working actress. This is the type of career progression many reality show cast members hope for, but never reach. So, how does NeNe do it? She listens to her gut and works her fingers to the bone. I love everything about NeNe. She’s honest no matter the consequence, lively and she puts the “real” in reality.
NeNe rang the HB offices yesterday and in between a few “honey-childs” and that infamous NeNe cackle, she opened up to us about how she doesn’t think any of her cast off cast mates from “RHOA” are good people, her first world problems, her new clothing line and more! Trust me, you’re going to want to read this!
HelloBeautiful: How does it feel to be a part of “The New Normal?”
NeNe Leakes: I feel super blessed to be able to do the things I’ve dreamed about.
HelloBeautiful: Seeing as how you’re “very rich,” what do you consider your “New Normal?”
NeNe Leakes: I want to say that being “very rich” is what is rich to you. If $50 makes you feel rich, then that’s fine. [laughs] I am so rich in so many ways–in life, spirit, health and because I can work honey! I am super rich right now. I feel great about that. I work all the time, so I don’t get a chance to spend my money, ok. They took me to Bergdorf’s the other day and we walked through and I was too tired to even go into the dressing room to try on anything. I love shopping though, it’s very therapeutic for me. I love clothes, shoes and being fabulous. My “New Normal” is that I live in L.A. now instead of Atlanta. That’s a huge thing. I’m flying east to west coast to be a part of “Real Housewives Of Atlanta” and “The New Normal.” so those are my “new normals.” I’m almost a flight attendant. [laughs] I fly every single day.
HelloBeautiful: So, you’re still a part of the cast of “RHOA?”
NeNe Leakes: I will continue to be a “housewife” for as long as they will have me and my schedule will allow.
HelloBeautiful: On the show, we got to see you develop friendships with Kim, Kandi, Cynthia & Marlo. Who are your girls now that you’re the only “original” left?
NeNe Leakes: I still hang out with Cynthia. She and I are really close off-screen. I’m good with all the girls on “RHOA” this season. I am the last original housewife standing. I think good things happen to good people.
HelloBeautiful: How do you feel about being the last “original?”
NeNe Leakes: I feel like good things happen to good people. [laughs] That’s why I’m the last one standing and if the viewers don’t get it yet, they will soon get it. Those girls didn’t just leave on their own.
HelloBeautiful: I’m reading between the lines on that one…
NeNe Leakes: Yes, please do! [laughs]
HelloBeautiful: How do you feel you’ve grown since we first met you on “RHOA?”
NeNe Leakes: Oh I’ve grown so much! It’s amazing how much I continue to grow and learn in life. I’ve always been the kind of person that learned from my experiences. I’m an author and I wrote a book called, “Never Make The Same Mistake Twice.” I’m really that girl. When I make a mistake, I can move on from it and I never try to make it again. I’ve grown so much over the years, I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I can sit here and tell you today that I am a grown woman.
HelloBeautiful: Have you ever made the same mistake twice?
NeNe Leakes: I certainly have when I was younger. As I grew, I learned to not to do that and I think I’ve been successful.
HelloBeautiful: You’ve created a brand for yourself. What advice would you give to anyone trying to brand themselves.
NeNe Leakes: I pick and choose the people I work with. I pick and choose products I attach my name to. I need to feel good about anything that I’m doing. I need to feel it in my gut. I’m the kind of person that goes with my gut feeling to make the right moves. And if I don’t feel it, I don’t do it. I think that’s contributed to a lot of my success. I think a lot of housewives make appearances and are willing to do any and everything and I’m not willing to do that. I think a lot of the girls were on the show strictly for fame and I was on there to make money.
HelloBeautiful: What do you have coming up and what are you working on?
NeNe Leakes: I’m working on a line of clothing. It’s a loungewear line. It’s kind of from the bed to the bus stop type of clothing. I have a line of shoes I’m working on right now. I have a shoe that is currently out on ShoeDazzle.com called “Linnethia.” It’s $39.99 and I don’t make a dollar off that shoe. All the proceeds go to Saving Our Daughters. You know I’m an advocate of women in domestic abuse, so everyone go out and support “Linnethia” on ShoeDazzle.com for Saving Our Daughters.
HelloBeautiful: What’s something people don’t know about the real NeNe Leakes that you want them to know?
NeNe Leakes: I always feel like as long as my closest family and friends know who I am, then I’m fine. I can tell you there’s a lot of misconceptions from people who meet me for the first time. They think it’s going to be a lot of diva antics, I don’t know! I was never a diva on “RHOA,” but I guess that’s how they see it. Now, I would read people–that is a true statement. I meet people who think something different when they meet me and after we finish talking. I’m just really cool. That’s why I’m the last one standing, because I’m cool.
HelloBeautiful: So because you’re cool, what about doing a Nene spinoff of “RHOA?”
NeNe Leakes: They offered me a spinoff long before they offered Kim one. I’ve always said no and they continue to ask to this day. I still say no. Like I said before, I go with my gut. I haven’t had the gut feeling that I want to do a spinoff. It’s a lot of work doing a spinoff. You have to cast a lot of the people yourself, be entertaining and I just did not want that. I wanted to be an actress and I have achieved that. I want my own talk show someday or be on a panel. I feel like the cameras are in my life enough as a “housewife,” so just the NeNe show, I don’t know about that.
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