Being one of The Real Housewives of Orange County is not for the faint of heart. Not many people could survive a season of non-stop bitchy, back-stabbing, reputation-wrecking feuds. But not everyone is Heather Dubrow, the newest castmate to join Alexis Bellino, Tamra Barney, Vicki Gunvalson, and Gretchen Rossi. The actress, wife of renowned plastic surgeon Terry Dubrow, and mom of four sat down with The Stir to dish about the show's biggest fights, who's really on the chopping block, and how she held her own with the cattiest cast on TV.
How did you maintain your sanity throughout the season?
I drink a lot. No, just kidding. I think, for me, being on the show was such an odd experience coming from scripted television. I didn't want to become something I wasn't just because I was in this hurricane. There was definitely a lot of drama around me but I feel like I maintained my sanity, my morals, my family. My goals was to be myself and I achieved it.
What shocked you most about being a Real Housewife?
To be honest with you -- and I hope this doesn't sound rude -- but I was really surprised by how much I liked them. I had never seen the show before I joined the cast. I know a lot of people don’t really believe that, but it's true. I was scared because people would say this one's mean, that one's crazy, but I genuinely liked them.
Lets talk about Bow-Gate. Were you really angry when Sarah Winchester ate the icing bow off your cake at your party?
I was completely shocked. Completely shocked. I would have been horrified if a child had done it and the mother was standing right there. But a grown woman doing something like that -- it was clearly a cry for attention. But so many things shocked me that night. I was surprised by the blow-up between Vicki and Tamra. I did not see that coming. And I had thought Alexis and I were good. We had made up on the girls' trip to Costa Rica, so I was surprised at her attitude towards me.
Any chance you can mend things with Alexis?
I had hoped that we could. I thought we were good before my party. Even afterward, she texted me saying thanks for the party, nice seeing you guys. Then all of a sudden she wasn't speaking to me and I didn't get it. But after the reunion, we had a terrific talk in the parking lot. We apologized to each other for some misconceptions and misunderstandings, for feelings that were hurt for many reasons. We had a really nice moment. Then two days later, she gave some nasty interviews about me to the press. I thought, how many times can she pinch me and run away. I think it's time to close the door. I don’t think she is a bad person, but she is not the kind of friend I want in my life. I just don’t trust her.
Word is she's not coming back next season. Are you surprised by that?
Well, I know a bit about the real circumstances under which she is leaving and it's not how she's portraying it to the press. I will tell you this much, I think she should come back but I’m not really sure it was her choice.
Is it true she was cruel to the crew and difficult to work with?
That’s all true. And I don’t have time for that. I don’t care if you are in an Academy Award winning film, doing reality shows, or community theater -- you are no better than the person carrying your lunch. Fortunately for us, we get a lot of the glory. We are in the magazines and we are going to the events. The crew doesn't get that and they deserve our respect. I just find it unconscionable that she couldn't give that.
Can you give examples of her diva antics?
Just the way she talked to the crew. It was an entitlement issue, that she was better than everyone and that her needs come first. It might as well be a 3-year-old. Anyone who has a toddler understands how she treats the crew. Actually, my toddler is nicer.
There are reports Vicki might not return. Do you want her to come back?
Of course I do. I am very fond of Vicki. I don’t think any official announcements have been made. But here is what I can tell you: I went about what I wanted to do and accomplished what I wanted to do, which was meet everyone fresh. I think I have some very nice friendships. I have a very strong friendship with Tamra, with Gretchen, and with Vicki. I speak to all of them, I text all of them, we have dinners with our significant others, and it's been very nice. As far as Alexis goes, I tried but I am going to put a period on the end of that sentence.
There were certainly a couple of moments. I regret saying that Alexis is dumb. That was really not nice. I think I got caught up in the moment. It’s not something I would usually say about someone. It really wasn't nice. Regardless of whether or not I think that’s true, I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings.
Do you think the ladies made unfair assumptions about you?
Plenty. That’s okay. It's sort of the nature of the beast. When someone comes on, they didn't know me. And they mocked my acting career. They thought I was Miss Fancy Pants and there might be an element of truth to that. But I believe that as they got to know me, they got to know the person that I am.
Any advice for a new cast-member?
Be yourself. Really. If you are trying to be something you are not, the others on the show, your friends, the audience will have their BS meter up. It just doesn't play well. That was Alexis’s problem.
Image via Bravo