Ryan Brown Flips Out
By Gregory Miller
While the star of Bravo's Flipping Out is obviously obsessive-compulsive house-flipper Jeff Lewis, it's design guru Ryan Brown that wins over the gay audience with his calm demeanor, killer looks, and storybook perfect alternative family. We caught up with the notoriously even-keeled Brown just before the season finale of Flipping Out to chat about his new business ventures, collagen, and how he puts up with the king of mean.
Out: Quick, what's on your iPod right now?
Ryan Brown: What's on my iPod? Oh my gosh. I actually don't really listen to a lot of music. I listen to Wayne Dyer. Do you know who that is?
Nope, no clue.
He's like a spiritual health and wellness guy. So I listen to him, and let's see here, I'm actually opening it right now. Dude, this is so boring, it's unreal. I have lama chants, which is like Tibetan Buddhist chanting. I have some Kundalini yoga music on here. You know what, then a little further down I do actually have a playlist called 'Parties' that has all the gay favorites. But for the most part I'm more into my spiritual kind of stuff than I am with any of the music. Probably not the answer you were expecting.
Not at all. So tell us, how on earth did you date Jeff Lewis?
We were actually introduced by a mutual friend of ours. Yeah, I mean, it seemed to work at the time. I actually ended up moving, when I met Jeff, to Spain, and I lived there for a little while. He actually really courted me the whole time I was there. So when I came back, that's when we ended up getting together.
Was it hard dealing with him and his infamous OCD?
Well, we were actually only together about a year and half, which, you know, flies by. Our break-up was kind of tumultuous, I guess, like a lot of people's. But then we started working together pretty much immediately right after. I guess our relationship just morphed from one to another. So obviously we're still in each other's lives -- just in a different capacity, I guess.
Give it to me straight, Ryan. Did you steal all of Jeff's clients and try to sabotage his business?
Absolutely not, absolutely not. It's another one of Jeff's kind of' well, like, this week he was on the witch hunt for Jenny -- how Jenny doesn't do anything for him, and that sort of thing. Jeff has a tendency to lash out at the people closest to him. So no, I didn't do any of that. In fact what I really did was quite the opposite. I built a website for him. He's since modified it, but I built a website for him, and then I got a ton of inquiries sent his way. My website was already established and my business [was too]. My interior design business is 10 years old. I'm much more established in that realm than Jeff is. So when things started to change -- essentially when the market took a turn, I was already prepared for that because my business was in place, whereas Jeff had to quickly start up his new design business. No, but we've never been anything but forthright with people when they contact our office. Anybody who ever called here and wanted to get a hold of Jeff always did.
I was wondering if when I called someone would answer your phone and say, 'Hi, this is Jeff Lewis's office!'
You know, it's kind of funny. I've said it before, how exactly do you steal business from a celebrity? If you wanted to reach Ellen or Oprah or something like that, don't you think you'd know who you were talking to on the phone?
Have you guys been able to move past it now?
We're working on it. On the season, it's been hurtful for me to see that Jeff took that whole thing so far. I didn't really realize how much he -- I don't know, I was going to say how much he believed it -- how much energy he gave all that. We've been such good friends, and we've been so good to each other for so long that when we were filming I didn't really realize that that was that big of a deal. Because other than the one confrontation that we had, he didn't really bring it up to me. So it was very hurtful and surprising for me to see that he was talking about it with Jenny and with his father and just about everyone else, rather than just discussing it with me. And his choosing to believe perfect strangers and his assumptions over me, his friend of 10 years. So it's been tough.