'Fashion Police' Newcomer NeNe Leakes Calls Out a 'Hot Mess' When She Sees One

NeNe Leakes made her big return to Real Housewives of Atlanta to major fan applause, but we're equally as excited about her new gig as a permanent fixture on E!'s Fashion Police.

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Frankly, we thought NeNe should have been a regular on the red carpet roundup show before, but all that really matters is she has the full-time job now, right? If we're not going to see the actress regularly on RHOA, we really need to hear her amazing one-liners and signature NeNe-isms on Fashion Police.

More from The Stir: NeNe Leakes Was Excited -- & Scared! -- to Return to RHOA

The Stir caught up with NeNe at the NBC-Universal All-Star Cocktail Party during the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, and she was just as candid about her new gig as you'd expect:

The Stir: How do you feel about Fashion Police?

Nene Leakes: I love fashion, obviously. I'm a fashion designer. I've always been a lover of fashion. I feel like I have a great eye. I always know what looks good. I'm really excited about it. I've been on and off the show since 2013. I worked with Joan Rivers when she was there. So I've worked with everybody there and I'm really excited they've brought me on permanently.

Is there anyone you feel like you're a little partial to on the red carpet? Is there anyone who gets a pass?

I'm really not that girl. I think when they were first thinking about hiring me on Fashion Police they thought I would be partial to some people, but I'm not partial at all. I'm really not. I love them and I don't want to rip anyone apart or hurt anyone's feelings, so I usually say things like, "Girl, you know how I feel about you. I love you, but your outfit is a hot mess." I always go ahead and tell it like it is. I want to be really truthful about it and I want to also say what I think the fans are really seeing, because it makes no sense if it's one of my friends or one of my home girls from Atlanta walking down the red carpet -- Ciara, or somebody who's generally always fabulous -- [and] they may make a mistake and I'm going to give them a pass. I just can't. So I go ahead and tell the truth. If I really don't love it I say I really don't love it.

I think when you preface it with something nice it cushions the blow.

I never give them a pass, girl. I go ahead and tell it like it is. I do kind of give a pass to the older women, like the really older women. Like Jane Fonda, some people really didn't love what she wore to the Golden Globes but I always want to give them a pass because I feel like they deserve to put on whatever they want at this age. They walk on out there and want to wear ballerina flats -- it's okay. I feel like I'm going to be that lady when I get into my high 70s. I'm going to wear whatever the hell I want to wear. I'll wear everything I have in my closet at one time.

Because you've earned it!

Because I don’t know how much longer I'm going to be here!

What did you learn from Joan Rivers that you apply to the job?

Joan gave me a lot of great advice. She gave me advice about my career and everything. So one thing I can say when Joan was on Fashion Police I felt like she kept it really, really real. She told everybody what she really felt. She ripped them apart when she wanted to. I feel like I'm that girl. I feel like I'm a little black Joan. Like, seriously, I could rip you apart if I want to and go about my life because it's not that serious, girl. We can tell you we don't like this skirt because we have an opinion. We can have an opinion. We're not trying to hurt you, we're just saying we don't like the skirt. But we love fashion. We want you to continue to dress up and walk down the red carpet. We want to see you. We love you. And the only way to learn how to dress in fashion is to make mistakes. I make mistakes all of the time. Sometimes I change clothes three or four times and then I walk out in the wrong damn thing. And then when I get where I'm going, I’ll look and think, "Why did I wear that? I should have worn something else!" I do that to myself all of the time because you're trying stuff. You're trying to see what works, you know what I mean? That's the only way to know fashion is to try things.

You have that personality, though, where I feel like people expect the truth, so what you say might not hurt their feelings.

My girlfriends say I get a pass -- "You're the only person I know who can say this kind of stuff." I'm only saying it because I love you. I've worn many wrong wigs and many wrong dresses and it's all good. My skin is thick, honey, and it's okay. I really want to see Fashion Police succeed.

 

Image via Paul A Hebert/Press Line/Splash News

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