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June 8, 2021 52 mins

On 30 years on-air and the secret weapon of being underestimated.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:13):
So I am recently engaged. I did not announce my engagement.
It did not feel appropriate to announce my engagement. I
went through a nine year divorce to me nine years
to get divorced. It was an unpleasant situation. It was
completely analyzed and I sected by the media. It is

(00:35):
their job, it is their right. I couldn't get off
the ride. I wanted everyone to stop talking about it,
but because it didn't end, it would keep resurfacing. And
it was just pretty much a nightmare. I mean everything
about it. The actuality of it was a nightmare. But
then living in the media was a nightmare. And in
many ways I brought this on to myself. I am
a public person. I asked to be a public person.

(00:57):
I worked to be a public person. I use the
media and being a public person to my advantage when
I want to promote something, sell something, launch something, do something,
do relief work, and help people. The media is an
incredible tool when used wisely. It is an incredible beast

(01:20):
when used for its sheer force and power. I mean,
people are elected president as a result of the media.
People become billionaires as a result of the media. I mean, undeniably,
Donald Trump was the president because of the media, because
of the reality show he was producing in his campaign. Undeniably,
the Kardashians or billionaires because of the media. Undeniably. The media,

(01:46):
which television is a form of media, promoted my cocktail
and landed me on the cover of Forbes magazine and
Entrepreneur magazine and with my own show and all the
amazing things that have happened to me. So the media
is the ocean. When you ride the wave and there
are many waves coming in good you catch that wave,
it feels so good, more coming, etcetera. But I always

(02:07):
know when I'm in the ocean that there will be
a set coming that will pummel you, that you will
get pulled under. You will feel like you can't get
to the surface, you will lose your breath, you will
not be able to breathe. It will feel really bad
and you will feel helpless and you will struggle. And
that's what the media is like to You can't just
take the rose and take the petals and not the thorns.
So in my career, I've known that things can't go great,

(02:29):
and I always think and duringda and I talk about
the wolves at the end of the bed when it's
getting too good, I always feel like the wolves are
at the end of the bed. Something's going to happen.
I'm not willing it to happen, but it always just
feels like anything too good to be true is So
you have to calm down. You can't drink your own
cool aid. You have to go away. You have to
get quiet. You can't always be shoving your own success

(02:50):
and everything you're doing up everyone's ass. You have to
go quiet. So relationships are an interesting business when it
comes to the media. Here's how it goes. Boy meet girl,
or girl meets girl, or boy meets boy and is
so excited about it, so excited that she needs to
tell everybody about it. She needs to show pictures Corney
Kardashian and and her her boyfriend. Now you can't help it.

(03:12):
You're in such love. You need to post every thumb sucking,
every ink, tatting, every present, every flower, everything going on.
It's intoxicating. It's also let me show everybody else how
great my life is the entire basis of social media.
So I'm so happy, I'm so lucky. We're having so
much sex. It's so romantic. They love me so much.

(03:33):
Look how great my life is, and it's not that
unlike the filtering of the faces and the showing the
money and all of the stuff that we have, because
it makes other people feel bad. So in my life
I have had public relationships and people have thought that
I have been in a fairy tale. And I even
had a show called Bethany Getting Married and Bethany ever After.

(03:55):
And when things were going good, everybody really, you know,
it was on board and they thought I had found
my fairy tale and they root for me, and you know,
I've had a hard childhood, so this is her happy
ending and it's really nice and it's really supportive. And
that's not only the media. That's also people fans. They're
connecting to it. They want to know the details. They've

(04:17):
listened to you drone on about your Margarita's, they've watched
you on your show, they've supported you, don't They deserve
to know what's going on in your love life. And
I understand all of that. So you tell them and
everything's good. Then the problem is a lot of celebrities
don't tell them when it gets bad, so you just
hide it. One day, we're all blindsided because they've gotten divorced.

(04:40):
It's obviously their own business. They don't have to tell
us everything. But we were invested. We bought into this.
The media showed the pictures of the roses and how
great the relationship is and the wedding and the planning
of the wedding and the ring and all of that.
So it's like, now we're all invested, and then once
it doesn't work out, the media wants to know everything

(05:01):
and wants to spill all the tea and all the
problems that were happening. There's a whole cycle, and it's
very unsettling, and I've been through it, and I know
many people who have issues in their relationships, but the
media is not showing it, and these people are scared
of everyone to know the real truth. So the whole

(05:22):
thing I'm talking about is that I got engaged and
I didn't announce it because announcing it is like showing
the ring and showing how dressed up you were and
showing all the romance and what the person did. And
I know that people want to be part of that,
and I know that that's like, so you want to
know what's the ring like and what happened and how
did how did he do it? But I think it

(05:45):
also makes people feel bad about themselves. Sometimes I feel
like it makes people feel like, why not me? I mean,
I know I was alone and I was in a
challenging relationship during the royal wedding of Megan and Harry,
and I remember that morning like feeling like she was
in a fairy tale and it just all looks so
pure and so happy and so young, not because it
was royal, just because they were getting married and we

(06:05):
were just watching that purity. And I remember going through
major challenges in a relationship that I was in and
feeling sort of bad about it. Also, it's private, and
while people have invested in me and you want to
share your private information, the media wants everyone to share
everything in their relationship and then make it such a
high and how unbelievable this all is. But when things

(06:28):
don't go great or something goes wrong, the same media
trashes it two bits. So it's like they invite you
into this enticing den of showing all the details and
how amazing it is and what a fantasy and fairy
tale it is, but then are the first ones to
want to show how dreadful it is and how bad

(06:48):
it is and what all your real secrets are. So
I find it all to be a little bit unsettling,
a little bit scary. I have chosen overall in my
life to try to be as private as possible while
being a public person, because one of the misconceptions about
me is that I am not private because I've been
on reality TV. I am intensely private, fiercely private. It's

(07:12):
why I have such a small staff, That's why I
have such a small infrastructure. I really do not trust
many people. I just do not. It's a mistake that
you may trust too many people. So that's sort of
the double edged sword of the media and relationships and
putting it all out there. But people are addicted to
the ride. They love the high, and if the high

(07:33):
outweighs the low, then go for it. Mention it all.
What do you all think when people are very public
about how incredible they're romantic, beautiful, lavish, sexual, perfect relationships are.
Does it make you feel a hopeful does it make

(07:54):
you feel be invested because you deserve to know all
the details, or does it make you feel see a
little bad because why isn't it happening to you? Or
is it d a combination of all and after you
watch this fairy tale being built and explained to you
and shown to you, when the fairy tale crashes and burns,

(08:19):
does that all make you feel badly for the people
be entitled to be part of it or see a
little better because it was shown as too perfect, And
it makes you feel a little better that it's not
all it was cracked up to be because it was
so flaunted. My guest today is my good friend Kelly

(08:51):
rippa actress, dancer, talk show host, and television producer. She
is a silent dissaster. She is a powerhouse. She started
out on a soap opera, All My Children. She has
been the co host of the morning show Live with
Kelly and Ryan in various formats since two thousand one,

(09:12):
and today we talked about how being underestimated can actually
benefit you, the value of making ballsy decisions, why time
is definitely more important than money, and the importance of
instilling a strong work ethic in your kids. Her energy
is so infectious and I think you're really going to
love my conversation with her. This is the longest I

(09:33):
speak to anyone on this podcast, and it could have
gone on forever, So that's always a great sign. She
just was revealing, and it's very different than when she's
doing a talk show where it's sort of like, we
gotta talk about this and then we gotta do this. Hi, Hi,

(09:54):
how are you? I'm great? How are you doing? Who's
your dog? Is? Lena? I? Every time we do an
adoption segment on our show, I wind up with a dog.
How my old hound is somewhere around here, which is
obsessed with you. She's like laying and you're like, you're
like gave birth to her. She is very different than

(10:14):
my other adopted dog. She is on me at all times,
and the other one is has never been like that. Ever,
that will be nice when youre an empty nest. By
the way, this dog is the greatest. This dog came
from a hoarder house, you know, where they were hoarding animals.
Dolman adopted the brother to this dog, but I got

(10:34):
the best one. That's so beautiful. So can you tell
me about your relationship in your house, like your siblings
and your parents and what the dynamic if you could
describe it. It was a really interesting household growing up.
Initially we lived with my grandparents, My parents my sister
and me and my great grandmother all in one house.

(10:55):
The house that my grandfather built in Jersey. Yeah, in
New Jerry in South Jersey, near Philadelphia, and he was
a realtor. My grandmother was um a businesswoman. She graduated
high school when she was fifteen years old. She went
to college. Wow, back in a day when women did
not do that. She was really a brilliant woman and artist.

(11:20):
There's a lot of artists in my family. I'm not
one of them. I'm the one that did not get
that gene. Everybody else is either a sculptor, a painter,
graphic artist. I'm not. I'm none of that. I have
no skills. My great grandmother passed away first, but then
in rapid succession, I lost all of my grandparents, like

(11:41):
back to back to back to back. My grandmother. Yeah,
it was really, it was actually quite it's quite sad,
and it's been very gratifying knock on wood that to
watch my children's relationship with their grandparents, because they still
have all of their grandparents, thank god, and I never
had like that to me was just like a theoretical

(12:05):
It was theoretical that you had grandparents and that you
grew up with grandparents, even though we lived in the
same house. They were by the time I was eight,
they were all gone. So there's a void. Yeah, boyd
I didn't even understand the power of grandparents. And your
kids lives like my kids lives. They are confidants and

(12:26):
their grandparents are you know, they're like the cool parents,
no responsibility, no real responsibility, all good and no negative parents.
But for many years, this is what's really interesting. I
think that the dynamic between my parents and me and
my in laws and me are so different that for

(12:49):
years my kids thought that Mark's parents were my parents.
Oh my god. Really, yes, so you're all that close.
The whole family is that close. It's all interconnected. Yeah,
we're very interconnected. But it's a very interesting if you
listen to my kids back when they were little. Now
they understand things, but when they were young, they really

(13:13):
thought that Mark's parents were my parents, and that somehow
Mark's parents were also his parents. But they could not
they could not understand who my parents were. They thought
that my parents were their cousins parents. Like they weren't
connecting it. It was like they were alien, alien parents.
They just didn't connect to this group. Yes, they did not,

(13:33):
and I realized. I think it's because there is a
dynamic in our household. My mother and I are very close,
but in a lot of ways, I've been like the
grown up. My mom is the fun young parents. My
kids like still don't even associate her with being a
grandparent most people. She just seems very young. She's got

(13:56):
a very young spirit. She always seemed young, whereas my
father and I are very much like we were born eighties.
So now that my dad is eighty two, he seems
like age appropriate. When he was forty, he seemed like
he was eighty and got it. I think I'm that way.
I have that she who instilled the success the work ethic.

(14:18):
I mean, but you have to have some sort of
person that you look to for this guidance or you don't.
I mean I didn't, But I'm just wondering, was there
somebody in your house and nobody was at motivated by
money or success or work ethic or accomplishments. So my
dad was a bus driver for New Jersey Transit for
thirty years, then he became president of the labor union.

(14:38):
Then he retired for two weeks and then went into
public service. So now he's a county clerk. He was
a county freeholder before then of Camden County. And so
middle class. Your house was, yeah, middle middle class. And
Marie Mark also so Mark's parents are you know he Mark?

(15:00):
There an immigrant family. Mark moved here when he was
in grade school from from Italy to America. His father's Mexican,
his mother is Italian, and his father became an American
citizen through the Navy, and then he became a civil
servant working for the government. He was in Special Operations Command.

(15:23):
There's no there are no actors. There are no like
performers are parents. I think we're both thought that maybe
there was something wrong with us. You know, when I
moved to New York and was like, I'm going to
move to New York and I'm going to see if
I can get a job. You know, I didn't think
I would get a job acting, but I thought I
would get a job somehow in production. And again I

(15:45):
had no idea really how this would happen for me.
I was working for a talent manager. I was really
more or less delivering headshots of actual actors, which is
how things happened for me. Well, did you think you
had it though, did you inside think I have something?
There's something that drew you to the light and thought

(16:07):
that I have something, And one foot had to walk
in front of another, and otherwise you would have just
taken a normal job because you would have known you
would have upward mobility. It's a very difficult road you
were on. I think I took every opportunity. I did
not discriminate. So most actors would not take a job
working at the toy fair, but I did because I
was like, this is great money and this will buy

(16:30):
me enough time. Because my parents were like, look, you
can have a summer, but then you're gonna have to
like enrolling community college or work for New Jersey trans
So so you didn't go to college. Oh you said,
I'm leaving. That's also very you know, that's very intentional.
What was your relationship to money? Kelly and I, for
everybody listening, know each other. We've definitely known each other

(16:50):
for years, and we have this sort of secret pen
pal relationship that's late at night sometimes and it just
will go into these long texts. We're going to take
it to the next level. This is the year we
take it. I agree. I feel like I have so
much to say to you, Like I want to say
things to you I don't know, like I know things
to be true, and then I read them and then
I'm like, maybe it's not true because I don't believe

(17:11):
anything I read anymore. But I just want to congratulate
you because I'm so happy for well, thank you even
and you knew. I told you immediately, I know, But
then when I read it, I assumed that it wasn't Well,
I was like, it's it's in a tabloid, so it's
not true. So even though I know it's true, maybe
it's not true. Well, so when I say these things

(17:33):
about like if I ask Kelly, but I believe it
she has a little bit of money noise because I
recognize it, and noise is a good thing that Kelly
could totally understand. But she's very honest about noise. So
we know each other just from our own little world life.
So yeah, from life. So my question to you is
I feel that you have some money noise about either
because you come from that humble beginning and you've made
it and it's weird to have a good relationship with

(17:55):
money because it's it going away or what am I
supposed to be doing so, and you work so hard
and you continue to work hard. Will also get into
but what was and became and is your relationship with money.
So money for me was always like top of mind.
I watched my parents work very, very very hard to
have not very much of it. Both of my parents

(18:15):
are extraordinarily generous, and they literally would give you their
last dollar and the shirt off of their backs. And
that's how they have always been. They are altruistic, they
are philanthropic, and they put themselves last. But having said that,
I was very acutely aware that I was going to

(18:35):
need to get something cracking in my life. That there
was no trust fund and there were no cushions saying
that was not a thing like there was no like, oh,
you graduated high school, here's the money we've been saving.
By the way, parents, it's good for you to know,
because it's hard for people to raise kids when they
have money. And so that's some of the benefit of

(18:57):
raising kids when you don't have because it stealing. This
is harder when you have not that No one's crying
for us. I'm just saying that you and I have
that in common, not having that safety and it makes
you work that much. Our market and I were raised
the same way. We always had jobs. We always had jobs.
Say so, our kids have always had jobs. And having

(19:18):
said that, I'm not going to name names, but some
of my kids are more willing to have jobs. And
some of my kids have acted as though they've been
punished for something instead of understanding that learning to do
things for yourself is the way to go and not
sitting around waiting hopefully to cash in. You know, hopefully

(19:40):
my parents leave me something. That's really not the way
to work, right, It's not how our lives got me.
It's very hard to instill that because they still know
that they're not going to starve, and we did not
know that, you know what I mean. It's been scary
for me, and it's been scary for you. So I
get that. So do you ever feel that the emperor

(20:10):
has no clothes? Do you feel that you deserve to
be where you are, that you've worked hard, that you
have had some luck. And I want to discuss luck
and work and what you believe, but do you feel
that you really deserve this? Like you've earned this and
this is from was yours because you made it yours.
I have earned everything I have. Nobody handed me anything,
and I fought really hard for everything I had, even

(20:31):
like the little things, even the basic things that most
people just get. Doesn't that feel great though? It does? No, No,
it does. You find out what you're made of, you know,
when you get into the public space. And one of
the reasons I think acting was easier was because when
you get to play a character, if people don't like you,
they don't like the character, you know, But when you're

(20:52):
yourself and people don't like you, they don't like you.
And a lot of times they don't like you for
reasons that may feel squishy or uncomfortable for them, because
it's like I don't make choices, and I don't do
things based on solely what's good for me. I do
things based on what I think is good for like

(21:13):
every woman, I work with what's good for my daughter,
what's good for her daughter in the future, like what's
good for the group. Because a lot of times there's
a difference still in this day and age, the way
women and men are judged, treated, compensated, and the battles

(21:35):
that we have to fight. You know, what are we
fighting for? And you think about that a lot. I
know that you do. And what's crazy and maybe to
my detriment, I, for some reason, have never thought that
much about that. I grew up at the race track,
which is all men, and I was a hot walker,
and I entered into the liquor business. Never once, and
I swear on everything, thinking about the fact that was
a male business. I never thought about it. That has

(21:57):
never occurred to me. And I don't know if I
am a man and people say that. I mean, I
had somebody say to me, you're basically a man. I
don't know what that means. I mean, that's probably not
the most feminist thing to say, but no, I think
it's because we have balls. We have balls, we make
balls the decisions. We put our balls on the table.
But I don't know if you're allowed to say that

(22:17):
you put your tips on the table now, I mean,
we're not allowed to say anything. But yeah, I don't
have any tips to lay down my balls. I laid
it down, and it's not always popular when I laid
me down, but they've got it. Sometimes they have to
go down on the table and it can be very
I always say, like, I married the only man I
know that could possibly be married to me. Oh, I

(22:39):
can imagine now, Like, as I'm even speaking to you,
I'm realizing how strong you are. Like do you feel
that people underestimate you because you're cute and perky, and
then all of a sudden they're like, whoa this fucking bitch?
Could you know can hold her own? Do you think
that happens and you've been underestimated. It's been a great
benefit to me that I've always been underestimated. People have
never seen me coming. And that's part of is deliberate.

(23:01):
Part of it is like, that's okay. You can say
and think and do what you want, and I'll be
over here making actually very thoughtful, calculated decisions. And on
the other hand, so much of my career has been
a complete accident. But when it comes to an accident
and turning an accident into a deliberate course of action,

(23:23):
those are two happy A happy accident even, and then
maximizing on it, and then saying, this opportunity only comes
along once in a lifetime. I don't know that this
will ever happen for me again. I'm gonna work my
hardest to carve out to get I always say, to
get something cooking for myself. I'm gonna get something cooking.

(23:45):
And my daughter always hates when I say that. She's like,
why are you asking me? Because I always say did
you get anything cooking today? And she's like, you sound
like you're from the eighteen hundreds because she does not
understand that I'm actually from the nineteen hundreds. She died
to her. It's like she does not understand, like, get
something cooking, get it, get it cooking. That's always get

(24:05):
some pieces on the board. But Suzanne Summers was like that,
she was underestimated, she was seen as the ditzy blonde,
and she liked that they didn't see her coming. I
don't think that that's the case with me, So maybe
that's one of my problems. But given that, and you're on,
you know, you're in a conservative space in many ways.
I mean, you're on you know ABC, you have to
follow certain rules, you have to play the game, and

(24:28):
there is a corporate element to that. I don't know
if i'd be good at that. And do you think
that you're polarizing? I think so. I mean I don't
think you can work in any field and entertainment and
not be polarizing. I mean, It's one thing I learned
right away. And again, I'm taking the acting off the
table because I started out as an actor, right that's

(24:51):
off the table. I'm talking about being yourself, which very
few people actually are. I am myself. You may not
like it, it may not be for you, but here's
the good news. It's always the same. It's not like, oh,
lights on, here we go. You're gonna get what you're

(25:11):
gonna get, whether you bump into me at a restaurant
or whether you're watching me on the show. Do I
say everything I'm thinking? No, of course I don't, because,
like you said, I'm walking a fine line. It's a
corporate space. There are certain rules I have to follow.
But on the opposite side of the spectrum, I will
say that all of the people I've worked with and

(25:31):
have worked with, I've been working for the same company
for thirty years. So I want to but I've never
left ABC. I worked at ABC before Disney bought ABC.
It was since I learned my A at ABC. And
so you know, the relationships I've had, I've had for
a very long time. Three decades is a long time

(25:53):
in any Job's admirable and well, I don't know, I
don't know if it's admirable or if it's just a
sign of me just being extraordinarily good at walking a
corporate line. That's admirable, That is very admirable. I have
to say, it's just and to maintain relationships for decades

(26:14):
is that as admirable I have. There's no way, There's
no other way around it. Have you ever been afraid
that you didn't have job security every day? No? Really,
you've really been that, and you still feel like that.
You know you've been so I didn't even realize it
was so long, and you're definitely still at the top
of your career. So how do you know when to
hold a moment to fold them? How do you how

(26:35):
do you think about that? I've been saying that it's
time to fold it for at least twenty years, Like
for twenty years. I'm like, I can't do it anymore.
I can't do it. I'm too old for this crap.
I can't do it. I need to find another career.
I need to get off camera. I've been saying that.
I mean, as you know, I've been saying that forever,
like forever. Being in front of the camera is not

(26:57):
something I've ever enjoyed. I'm not very comfortable that. I
always say, like I could do my job for two
hundred years if it didn't happen on camera. I don't know,
are you self conscious about the way you look or
it's not that, it's that you don't want the attention
on you all of that. I don't like the attention.

(27:20):
I don't like I don't go to parties. I don't
go to Hollywood have beends. I don't do any of
that stuff. Like you and I have had this discussion.
I would rather buy the blows and have to ask
to borrow something, borrow any By the way, my entire show,
the big shot is my own wardrobe. I want to
buy it. I don't want to give it back. I
don't like to borrow. I don't want to owe anybody.

(27:42):
But more importantly, I want it. If I want it,
it's mine. I'll buy it. I wanted, I write, I
don't think painful like no. But it's like there are
times where you know, for my show, say we've had
to borrow things, like it's part of the deal, right,
And I'm always like, no, no, no no, I'll buy it.
I'll buy it later because where you're just like no,
but I like that. Now we're in a relationship me

(28:04):
and this item. Yeah, I know, it's very funny, the
same thing with you as events and things like that.
But I used to do all that stuff because I
wanted to be something and get somewhere and be successful.
But then you get there and you realize that the
people in front of the camera don't have the power
and the control because you're basically like a person who
has to do the massage every day to make that living,
and then you have to do the next massage. The

(28:24):
person who hires twenty people to do the massages for
them and while they're sitting home meeting bond bonds, that's
the person who's really in control. Dang, dang, exactly, you
know you're still We're still the puppet. You're still you
know you're not the I mean, listen, you have a
lot of power and control, as have I in my
little microcosm, and no one's complaining. But I'm saying for
people to listen, the person who has to be there,

(28:45):
you have to get up and do it and put
the makeup on and be the puppet sometimes and say
the thing and the integration and do your job. It's
a job. It's a job. It's a job like every
other job. I mean, it's definitely a better paying job.
But having said that, for women, it is a much
harder road to get that big payday. It was not

(29:05):
something like, oh, I got a job and they paid
me a ton of money. It was like, I got
a job thirty years ago, and little by little, incrementally
I worked harder and harder and longer hours. And then
I sort of left the acting space. For a while,
I was doing both and it just it proved like

(29:26):
too difficult to raise my children. I didn't have these
kids to like have them raised by other people. I
wanted to be present in their lives. And so, you know,
little by little I was able to shift over into
just doing the talk show. But you created value and
for people at home, you gotta know when you are

(29:46):
valuable and when you're not. And many people want to
go in and ask for a raise at the wrong time.
And I've been on Housewives from making seven thousand fifty
dollars the first year, two seasons where I know that
they need me. Those seasons you got to know the temperature,
the and those are the times that I've asked for raises,
and then when I have another show coming or there's
so many people coming in, or there are many housewive shows,

(30:07):
I sit tight. You gotta went to hold and went
to fold them. You cannot pick every battle, and you
gotta sit back and wait your turn and create value.
And it's Kelly has created value. You don't always, you know,
raise your hand every day for something I do not know.
I'm the opposite of that. I mean, the biggest pay
days I've gotten were there were two times in my
life I was leaving the show and it wasn't like

(30:27):
a muscle thing. I wasn't flexing. It was like, I'm
leaving the show at the end of my contract just
because at the time I was like, I think fifteen
years is enough, frankly, and then something happened. People weren't thinking.
People at the corporate level, we're not actually remembering certain conversations,
certain timelines, and literally had no choice but to pay

(30:52):
me what I was worth because they had screwed. They
screwed up. That's not only leverage, but it's also you
never given ultimatum because I've seen this too in negotiating,
and this doesn't have to be obviously about TV that's
not relatable to people listening. But you never given ultimatum.
And I've seen it happened too. I've seen it happen
on Housewives. Whenever I've been leaving. I've been leaving and

(31:13):
then I've actually left twice like it's not a bluff,
not bluff and other times, and you always have to
be willing to back it up because you never anything
can happen in a courtroom. Okay, but I've seen women
who don't start filming and they think they have this
value because it's an internal perceived value. They don't start filming,
and then the show started without them because Bravo has
always been stronger and was willing to call call their bluff.

(31:35):
And then they have to crawl back and get paid
much less than they would have anyway because now they
have no power. And then two seasons later, Bravo is
still going to remember that that person needed this job,
and they'll always remember that. So the way you are
in your real estate negotiations, if you're buying a house,
and anything you do, people know, and you've got to
get a reputation that you mean what you say, and
you say what you. That is a very good point

(31:56):
you make, and I have to say that that applies
to every business and people don't realize that that is.
That's the thing, like you cannot just wander around threatening people.
It means nothing. You cannot just constantly be asking for
something if there's no value there. Again, it's not that

(32:17):
you and I are so unique. It's just that we
know to strike when our iron is extremely hot, and
we know not to double triple dip from the same
thing all the time. It's like, this is that their marketing.
You play chess, You're not playing checkers. You're sitting thinking
about four moves. Now. You may have to make a
different move because someone pulls a move on you, but

(32:38):
you're thinking somehow you have some roadmap. If you have
to run out of gas, you get gas somewhere else,
but you think that you have the roadmap on your head.
It's the thing I have been very you know, you
have had to work in a space where people are
it's so funny because you're you're so yourself. But I
always feel like you in a lot of ways have

(32:58):
been working over the years with certain people that are
anything but themselves. It's like it's like you've been working
with Like you're like, wait, why are you act? Wit?
It's not a scene. This is life. This is life
right now, right. And there have been times where I'm
like that, like wait, why are you doing that? Why
are you We're not acting, this is not a scene.

(33:18):
What's happening right, What is happening right now? And so
that's the thing is that it's really knowing the fair
market value of yourself. I have never gone into a
negotiation and asked for anything that was not the fair
market value of me. And sometimes I have gone in

(33:40):
and asked for things that are not money. Same you know,
I've negotiated her time. Amazing that there are things that
are to me more valuable. Now, what a great I'm
so glad you said that. That's such a good you
just that's a chapter on one in my book, Bethhany.
It's not about the money. It's not always about the
mone One time I wanted to know that I could

(34:02):
carve out a future business competition show. I wanted to
know that I could ever do Shark Tank when I
was going back to Bravo. So doing Shark Tank was
good street cred for me, and I had the mind
thought that one day they'll ask me to do that.
I don't like to be shackled and locked So I
left the very big, high seven figure contract recently with
my partners at MGM and Mark Burnett because I had

(34:23):
a good relationship with them. But I didn't want to
be locked up. I didn't want to be have no
freedom in my podcast. I didn't want to not be
able to do something to date other people business wise,
and I was taking a shot. I don't know that
I'll make that money back, but I didn't want to
feel shackled. So that's not about money. I left money.
I've left money to make things happen in the future.
I left the housewives with no safety net monetarily that
would be equal. So you're talking about time with your kids,

(34:45):
time with your family, car vouts, you're talking about your life, right, correct? Yeah?
I mean that to me was the thing. It was
that you know, and again, I hate to make this
like a woman man thing, but it's something that women
are often asked to like sort of like, well, you
can have this money or you can have the time off.
You cannot have both. It's like I'll take the time

(35:08):
off every time, but I've never seen that leveraged for
a man that way. I've never I mean, I've worked
with my husband, so I have, like, i have experience
with what I'm talking about, and I've seen how things
that are handed to him, say, I have to fight
for one or the other. Interesting and time, by the
way I talk about time a lup, how valuable? Were

(35:30):
the same age? Were literally the same age as that?
And when the times start to be so important to
you when you work on a soap opera, which is
how I started out, where I met my husband, where
I had my first you know, two kids. I was
working fourteen hours a day on a good day, and
you realize that if I don't bring my kids to

(35:51):
this dank studio, I'm not going to see my kids
today awake. That's not the life I had envisioned for myself.
I'm a hard worker, but at a certain point, I
don't want to give up everything just to work all
the time. It's moving so fast, it's hard to stop
the rocket ship it's soaring, but your kids are not

(36:12):
going to stop time. So it's that's a very challenging thing. Okay,
So what you know, it feels like you work so hard,
and you execute your goals. And sometimes I think like
you're just very happy with where you are in your life.
I don't think you sort of set these crazy things
that you don't have, that you don't have that care.
And I mean this in a good way. I don't

(36:33):
really have it either. People think I have all these
big goals. I'm gonna be a billionaire. I'm hungry. I
just execute my goals. Do you have that? Do you
have goals that you haven't achieved? General things like I
want to do that, I want to be do on that,
I want to talk on a show where I don't
I can be as free as I want, curse or
do any kind of goals like that that you haven't
really achieved. You know, I really do want to continue.

(36:54):
I've been writing a lot. I'm more in the writing
in the scripted series space like that is my ultimate dream.
That's what I've always dreamed about. I think that I
have this. Part of it is because what I do
is very light and effort best and and I am.
I mean, you've read my text messages. I don't have

(37:14):
very organized thought process. No, but you're very passionate about issues,
So that's you're very passionate about issues more than I am.
You're very passionate about women's issues about politically, You're passionate
about what you care about. And sometimes you might have
having a popular opinion and you can't always express it
in your form. Well that is that is true. I
mean a lot of times my opinion isn't popular, but

(37:36):
I stand by it and I'm steadfast, and nobody, nobody
can ever say, oh, I did not see that coming,
because I am an open book, and if you don't
read me fast enough, I will help you. I'll turn
the pages for you. I'll highlight things that you should
be mindful of. You know. But I don't love being
on camera. It's never been sort of something that fed

(37:58):
me in any sort of like egotistical way. I find
my own voice grading, and so I apologize to your
listeners if they're like, this is like nails on the chalkboard,
I apologize for that. I feel you. I've had to
listen to myself. I don't think your voice is grading
at all. I really don't. I have a very shrill
voice that people here in the supermarket when they can't

(38:19):
even see my face. That's what Paul says, He's like,
they can hear you. They know it's you because your
fucking voice. That's good though, that means that people know
your voice. People people hear me, and children just come running.
But I just sound like everybody's irritating mom. They're like,
some mom is calling me. But you described writing, which
is creative, and your career started in creativity, so you

(38:40):
have more desire creatively than you do business wise, Like
brand wise and business wise, I understand brands. I understand branding.
I know the power of that, and I get it.
But I'm not the organized like you have to have
a hyper organized brain for that. That's what I'm saying,
Like you have. You are an expert in time management.

(39:04):
I need a person. I always say, like, I need
an adult manny at all times to drag me through
my day or I am lost in time and space
and you are a machine that way, right, whereas I
am more in the My head is always in a
script I'm writing somewhere. Oh that's amazing, Okay, yeah, No,

(39:27):
mine is in logistics and execution and idea and checking boxes.
I'm like, it's like the beautiful mind, the wall of
the beautiful mind. If you and I lived in one body.
We would be the president of the United States beyond
and potentially of the world if they had a president
of the We really have yin and yang. This isn't

(39:49):
the longest I've done, but this is the most I've wanted.
Like I've been like trying to catch it because I
want to have more. But I've finally gone it down
to just this. So your business partners with your life
partner in ways. You have projects together, which to me
sounds tricky and scary, but but you have a definitely
have a formula that I don't know which one of
you is the peacock in the relationship. I really don't um.

(40:11):
It could be a secret. I'm not sure. Like it
seems like it would be you, but I don't know, um.
And it seems like Mark is very definitely Mark. Okay,
So he's the peacock. Mark is the you and me
in one person because he is an expert in time management.
When I met him, he was good at complex math
in his head okay, And I said to him, I've

(40:35):
never met an actor who is good at math before.
You're the only one I've ever met. And he said
to me, I'm a terrible actor, and I fell in
love with him because I just was like, this guy
is smart, he's funny, he's hot, he knows what's going on.
I've met him, and he has an intimidation factor. He's serious,

(40:57):
he's strategic and like he has a do you she
wouldn't want to funk with him type of thing, which
is can feel. I can feel people because I grew
up in a very abusive household, so I can just
like feel something. But he's the type of person who's
super charmed, like people like him, and he's good looking
and he's got but you could tell like I would
not want to mess with him. I can't explain. It
seems like protective and just like he's not sucking around.

(41:20):
Let me give you a story. We were out to dinner.
It was a large group of friends. Um, I can't
I think it was Bruce Bozzi's birthday. Okay, Lucy Lou
was there, who's a great girl. And I saw a
man walk by and clock her. But that we were
sitting in the window and I see this man clearly
he um sees her and like dials her in. Now,

(41:45):
this was a post nine eleven, like maybe a year
or two after nine eleven. He was carrying a backpack.
And do you remember pre pandemic when backpacks were very alarming.
When we would see people carrying backpacks, we had alarmed
by that. Okay, now we just assume everything is has
face masks and hand sanitizer in it, but back then

(42:07):
it was right. And so this man came into the
restaurant and he took his backpack and sort of dropped
it under the table. So right away it was like, wait,
what's happening. And he sits down next to her, and
he like is trying to make a move on her,
and I don't know where he came from. We both

(42:29):
say it, like both Lucy and myself. Mark was seated
at the other end of the table having his own
separate conversation. But because he is that guy that you
just described, like ninja, he came out of nowhere and
grabbed the guy by the back of his neck and
lifted him and his backpack away from the table and

(42:53):
threw him out the front door of the restaurant. She goes,
he unfurled his back like a cobra. It was like
a cobra, Like he just came out of nowhere and
just that's who he is. It's like, do not do
not with these ladies. I will take you out. He's

(43:15):
on the stick. I call that on the stick. Paul
is very like alert night. That's very attractive in a man.
So how many years have you been married? Years? I
just want to know what is the I hate to
say key to success, but I just want to know
some with You know, here's the thing. I think that
in in a relationship, at least in my relationship, there's

(43:36):
been a lot of we that we both sacrificed a lot.
There have been times where he has not because I've
asked him, but he has passed on opportunities just because
he didn't want to go to China for eight months,
you know what I mean? He was like, I don't
feel good about leaving you and the kids for that long.

(43:59):
Having said that, he's been living in Vancouver for four years.
We used to go back and forth before this past year,
and did that feel like a sacrifice for you because
your career is so grounded and is this sort of
his turn because your career has probably driven and been
the where the fish are in the relationship for all
this time, I must be challenging hasn't your career been

(44:21):
like the grounding, Like this is the one constantly he
has a different career. The one constant was the job
because it allowed us and we made this very deliberate choice.
We made a very very deliberate choice. It was like,
am I going to do this job or not? I
wasn't really sure about it. Honestly, I was not sure
about taking this talk show job. I wasn't sure if

(44:42):
it was going to be for me. I didn't feel
like I fit in there. I didn't feel like it
was a place for me. I didn't feel like I
had a relationship there. But what we did like about
it was that it allowed him freedom in his career
to sort of be choosy, and it allowed me to
raise my kids with a consistent schedule that was planned

(45:07):
five years in advance. Structure, structure, the safety of it all.
And they've gone to one school all of their lives.
You know, it's like they did not have that thing where,
you know, because I was an actor for so long,
all of my girlfriends were actors, and watching them have
to pick up their kids and move to a different

(45:29):
school system or try to get the school to give
their kids like a special place where they would hold
the place in the school so they could disrupt it.
And you had one rootie much and you've kept that
and so that's actually that's interesting. I wouldn't have thought
of that. That's nurtured him. You made it as a
group decision, a team decision, and that's allowed him to
be the peacock that you said that he was and

(45:50):
you got to be. That's interesting. And it's funny because
if you ask each one of us, like he'll say,
I made the sacrifice, right, He'll be like, oh, my
wife made all the sacrifices. She was weathered in New York,
she had the lion's share of the responsibility with the kids,
blah blah blah. And I always say that he's made
all the sacrifices because I know the personal cost that
sometimes being away. I know what it's cost him. He

(46:14):
is a protector. He is that guy that's on this.
So having to go through all the ups and downs
of you being in the spotlight, which is different than
the spotlight he's been. And this is more consistent job
right now, which is different than being in daytime television.
That would make yourself conscious. It makes me self conscious
like oppressed thing. Let's talk about this and like you
try to quiet it all down, but by and large
you've had a consistent you know, you've got a great run,

(46:37):
I mean honestly. And then I do want to ask
this really quickly. So your kids are tell me your
kids and how old are they? So Michael's twenty three
years old. He lives in Brooklyn. He graduated film school
last year and you know he's working as a writer's
assistant right now. And he was on March Show playing
the younger version of March. Did that. It's kind of

(47:00):
amazing because they really do resemble. It's I call it
the family face. All of my kids, thank god, have
the family face. They all look like Mark's family, like
they all are. There's different versions of the same face,
but it's the family face. So he played a very
small role last year doing the same thing, and he

(47:22):
loved it. He's not a trained actor. He didn't go
to drama school. He went to school, you know, to
be on the opposite side of the camera. But he
worked so hard and he's again like we were talking about,
he's on his own and so financially he's very mindful
of exactly how many acting jobs he has to take

(47:43):
so that he gets to be creative on the other
side of the camera. And Lola's nineteen, she goes to
Clive Davis at m y U. She wants to be
a singer songwriter producer. So when all of her girlfriends
wanted seventeen magazine and all of these Tiger Beat and
all of that, she asked me for one magazine. I

(48:05):
sent you a picture of it. At the time. We
were in Tellierid, Colorado, and it was you on the
cover of Forbes magazine. She said to me, Mommy, can
you buy me this magazine? And I said, I said,
you want you want this magazine? She goes, yeah, that's
Bethany and I want that magazine of Bethany on the cover.

(48:25):
And I was like, my kid wants Forbes. When she
like made a decision to go into that, she goes,
there's not enough women in producing records. She's like, there's
not enough women in that industry. And I was like,
that's that Forbes magazine. Goes back to being an eleven
year old kid and seeing that magazine. I love that story.

(48:46):
So then your third job, Michael, Lola and Joaquin is
eighteen years old and he's going to University of Michigan
in the fall, and I'm going to be an empty
nester me Lena and Showey. I want to tell you,
I'm really it's I hate to say this in some
ways because it sounds like kind of studying, but I'm
proud of you. It's an amazing story. You deserve all

(49:08):
of the success that you have. This is the longest
podcast I've done because I could not stop, and I
enjoyed it so much, Like I just I could have
gone on for so long. So I and your time,
as we know it is so valuable. So I appreciate
the side of you and the stories and the humanity.
I want you to know I'm proud of you and
I'm happy for you. You deserve the success and the

(49:28):
amount of work you do for people in underserved communities.
I don't think it can be stated enough. And I
think that it was your early struggles in your life
that has filled you with so much humanity. And I
don't think it gets called out enough. I don't think
it gets shouted out enough. But there are very few
people in your position, and you lead by example. When

(49:50):
there is a crisis. You are the first person on
the scene. You are there and you're doing all of
this other stuff that is your like brain that is
a time management expert. But you have not lost your
humanity and your empathy. I've never cried on this podcast ever.
Once I just was crying. You know that Rihanna song Umbrella.

(50:10):
That's who you are, and you're like, you're good for
the sisterhood. You really are. Well, it's good for women
to hear. Just when listening to everything you've done, and
sometimes I think about what I've done. We accomplished so much.
We're very strong, and I just have to say for
everyone listening that I've run into Kelly years before when
I was nobody and I was broken. I ran and
turned the back of a restaurant and you were so sweet.

(50:33):
And I always remember with the people that were nice
to me before, because that's the whole thing, like, who's
not gonna be nice to you once you're successful. You've
always been a doll, and you're so sweet and such
a good person, and I'm just so happy for you.
Say hello to your family. I'll text you later. You're
amazing and thank you for this, Thank you, appreciate it,
Thank you. Bye. I mean, I just don't like to

(50:58):
choose favorites. That was my favor writ podcast interview. I
never cried before. I have never been exasperated where I'm
just worried that we're forty minutes into it and I
still have the questions that I wanted to ask because
we're just going on and it was so real and
she's so busy and so humble and so grounded and

(51:19):
understand that's who she is where she comes from. She
cares about so many issues. She makes me sometimes feel
like I don't know what's going on because she knows
about everything and she cares about everything, and and this
is true because I text her. But again, this is,
you know, talking to people that I already know. But
I didn't know any of that. I didn't know if
grandmother graduated high school at fifty, and I didn't really

(51:39):
realize that Kelly didn't go to college. I mean, this
is the thing. You just take from all of this
and use it however however you will. If you get
one little nugget about someone's life or their relationship, or
their business, or their attitude or their experiences, or their
humor or their vanity or their lack there of whatever
it is. Just take, take whatever you like and throw
away the rest. Kelly's amazed. I'm so grateful and I'm

(52:01):
so humbled and honored when i have these amazing, successful
people on here that give me the time, that give
you the time, give us the time. So thank you
for listening. Remember to rate, review, and subscribe, and have
a wonderful day. Just Be is hosted and executive produced

(52:24):
by me Bethany Frankel. Just Be as a production of
Be Real Productions and I Heart Radio. Our Managing Producer
is Fiona Smith and our producer is Stephanie Stender. Our
EP is Morgan Leavoy. To catch more moments from the show,
follow us on Instagram and just Be with Bethany
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