10 Qs: Caprice Bourret
By Stacy Lambe
Photo: Getty/NBC Universal
As one of the stars of Bravo’s new reality series, Ladies of London, former model and businesswoman, Caprice Bourret, finds herself back on TV and reintroducing herself to fans that may not remember watching her the first time she did reality.
In 2005 — the same year she was evicted from the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother after 16 days in the house — Bourret appeared on the VH1 series The Surreal Life. During the height of the network’s celebreality days, she was one of seven stars picked to live in a house together and find out what happens when people stop being polite — and start living with Janice Dickinson.
Since she first appeared on those shows, the nature of reality has changed. One example is Bravo’s long-running franchise The Real Housewives, which changed the focus of people living together to following the drama in the “real life” of a group of personalities.
With Ladies of London, the network is taking a break from the "Real Housewives Network" to give fans a taste of London culture — and plenty of real life drama, which includes Bourret’s own unexpected pregnancy.
Now that filming is out of the way and all the drama behind her, Bourett talked to Out about the clashes on the show, lessons learned from being on TV, and life with her craziest housemate.
Out: Let’s start with the VH1 reality series, The Surreal Life, which first introduced you to American audiences. What was that like?
Caprice Bourret: Wow, well that’s a blast from the past! That was crazy because one of the things that happens when you do these reality shows — especially with The Surreal Life, it was different — because we were in a house, we were living together for — I cant even remember for how many days, it was so long ago. But you are dealing with so many different egos and we had Janice Dickinson. I don’t really have to say anything there.
How did you get involved?
I think they just wanted a European and they wanted sort of, I don’t know. I was on TV quite a lot in Europe and I think the executive producer was over in Europe, saw one of my TV shows and said, “OK, lets ask her.”
Did you become close with any of the cast members?
Actually, Pepa and I became best friends. After the show she came to London a few times and we did Gumball Rally together. Yeah, we hung out quite a lot for a few years.
We all know Janice Dickinson held a knife over Omarosa Manigault's head during a photo shoot. Was she acting out the entire time?
I remember we were at this Vegas nightclub for one night and Janice — she had such erratic behavior. Everyone loved her though but she had very erratic behavior. She hadn’t any knickers on and she stood up on a chair — [producers] edited this though because it was so cringy — and she put her vagina over Jose Conseco’s face. With nothing on! I won't say what I saw. [Laughs]
You’ve appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and a number of reality shows in addition to The Surreal Life. How did those experiences prepare you for Ladies of London?
What I took from those shows is that I was quite guarded. And with Ladies of London, you can’t be. And you can’t try to be something that you are not because the camera picks it up and the viewer will tap into it, and it won’t be as compelling. It won’t be as real, and they won’t like you. And they won’t like your storyline. I think what I took from those is just to be as real as you possible — whether they like you or don’t like you, at least you're real.
Did you realize the show would be so focused on the culture clash between the American women and the ladies of London?
Well, they said that they wanted to show the different cultures but they didn’t say that it was going to be the whole damn show! [Laughs] You know what I mean? So, I think different characters kind of played into different things. For me, yeah there is a little bit — there is a difference, but I think there's a difference in personalities more importantly. I think all of the girls, I mean, myself and some of the girls — we couldn’t be more opposite. But I think that’s what makes a really interesting program as well. I don’t think it’s just culturally, it’s personalities too.
On the show, you had an incredibly real experience by getting pregnant during filming.
Yes! I mean you couldn’t have though that one up, trust me! [Laughs] And it just happened right after everything was signed off and everything sort of happened. I mean, I didn’t know if anything was going to take with my gestational carrier, so we put our embryos in it and it took. And for me to get pregnant a month later, after I was told I couldn’t carry? You can't event think that! You just couldn’t. So, it was all a part of the show, and I had to live it on camera. And it wasn’t easy, it was really, really, private and it was really intimate so it isn’t easy.
Were you hesitant about filming the pregnancy or even the delivery?
Oh, 100 percent! In the delivery, you know? Even when the cameras stopped two days before I gave birth. I said, “Enough! This is my time with myself and my family.” What we did do was that before the delivery room and all of that I had a little home camera, so I was able to give [producers] what I wanted to give [them].
The tabloids in the U.K. are notorious for going after celebrities. How have you learned to deal with them?
You can’t lie. And you can’t try to cover up something. If they find out about something, they know if you are lying. And if you continue to, you know if you lie and tell them another story, then you are really in the dustbin. They’ll have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And for me, then I went down a litigious route for a long time and I had nine lawsuits. But then those relationships were shot, so you know, it is a business relationship. And it’s you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, kind of thing. It’s hard. But I've been really lucky for the most part to keep a lot of private things out.
You’re a businesswoman outside of this show [as the founder of By Caprice products, which sells lingerie, underwear and sleepwear]. Were you worried about only being perceived as one way on Ladies of London?
I made a conscious decision to do this kind of show because when the people get to know me here, I want them to get to know the real me. I don’t want them to get to know what some journalist who doesn’t do their research says about me. That was the biggest thing that bothered me. That these people would think that they knew you inside and out and write like they knew you. And it would be rubbish most of the time, you know? [Laughs] So, at least with a show like this, this is me. And if you don’t like me, then okay, then you saw the real me. And if you do like me: amazing.
Ladies of London airs Mondays at 10 pm EST only on Bravo