Even with rumors of a recovery on its way, for now, the economy still sucks. If youre like most Americans, that means buying a new home -- much less a multimillion dollar estate -- is the last thing on your mind. But thats not going to stop Madison Hildebrand, along with two other young, hip, dashing real estate agents, from finding any way possible to flaunt what theyve got on Bravos hit show Million Dollar Listing.
We sat down with the shows bisexual star to talk about the floundering economy, his stint as a Playgirl cover boy, and what he thinks of Flipping Outs Jeff Lewis.
Out: So how has the current economic crap-fest affected the show?
Madison Hildebrand: I mean, its affected our personalities, our stress levels, and what our clients are going through -- even in the high end. You know, for me personally, its a season that has a lot more intensity and pressure and stress because of the economic crisis. And because we taped for so long, you kind of see the transition of the whole market coming down from when we initially started taping, and then coming to a recovery by the end of the ninth episode. Because thats whats really happening. So it still reflects whats going on. Its true, its just a lot more intense. Its not as easy.
How long did you tape for?
It will be about a total of 10 months.
Oh, wow. Thats a lot of taping.
[Laughs] I get to know my crew really well.
Do you think that viewers will be turned off knowing that the properties are even more unattainable now?
No, I dont think so at all. I think that the way the show portrays what the sellers and buyers are going through -- mainly the sellers -- and watching the amount of stress with the decisions that they have to make -- I think a lot of people are going to relate to that, and be really relieved to see even people on the high end going through the difficulties that people in the rest of the country -- who dont have $4 million homes -- are experiencing. You know, even in the high end, this economy affected everyone. So I think everyones going to relate to it.
Im sure you knew wed bring this up: What made you decide to do Playgirl?
[Laughs] Actually my last interview didnt bring that up, and for some reason, I thought this was just going to sizzle away! I thought about it, and I just asked my mom, and she was like, You cant be serious. I said, You know what? Im not taking my clothes off, I get a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something like that, and a little controversy is always healthy. So I just went for it. It gives people something to talk about if they want to!
Does it get brought up on dates?
Um, sometimes. Its random when it comes up, or who sees or knows about it. Ive actually met two other Playgirl cover boys in Malibu, which was a really funny experience.
How did that go down?
I went into a little Thai restaurant here on the beach and I saw a group of my friends, so I went over and said hello. And then I recognized this guy, and I was like, where is that person from? And one of my friends makes the connection and goes, Oh, this is Hes on Playgirl! We started laughing so hard.
So are we going to see any love life developments for you this season?
Yes, there are developments. Fun ones, happy ones. Im still in an open process, Im exploring my sexuality and letting the viewer into a vulnerable side and really trying to capture what was really going on with me. And that still carries on through the season and ultimately has, in my opinion, a very happy ending.
Have you considered going on Millionaire Matchmaker?
Ive actually been asked! Just the other day, it was on my Facebook! [Laughs.] Could you imagine? No, I couldnt do that for some reason. I think one Bravo show is enough.
Last season you declared yourself polyamorous. Do you still use that term to describe your sexuality?
On occasion. I would say, after an event, Oh, Im polyamorous.
An event, I love that.
I see youre following. Yeah, its a fun term. I actually got chewed out by a few websites for apparently using the word incorrectly on TV. [Laughs.]
In the gay community theres that stigma that bi men cant really be bi. Does that bother you?
When Im coming and going through a process of exploring who I am, what I am, and what makes me happy -- I dont care what anybody else is saying. I dont care whats going on around me. I didnt even know there was a gay community that had a judgment about anything. So as far as what I was experiencing and what I was going through and what I needed to put out there to help other people -- [it] was my own process. If I get condemned or blamed or ridiculed for something like that, thats OK. Thats my process. But I dont know why the gay community even has a stigma about it. They just need to worry about their own sexuality -- like theyve been preaching all their life.
Amen. Is your sexuality going to play a big role again this season?
It is. It does have some closure. Laurens still on the show. I do make some sort of public statement and campaign to outline my beliefs, and it is part of the season, yes.
What do you make of Chads [Rogers] hair antics?
[Sighs then laughs.] Well, you limited it to hair. I dont really understand where a compulsion like that comes from, so I cant really relate. I dont want to judge. I just dont understand. So whatever hes going through that he needs to focus on his hair so much, thats what hes going through. I mean, it gets a little tiring.
Are you ever going to choose a side -- team Chad or team Josh [Flagg]?
No, Im going for team Madison. I cant be a part of their drama, its so crazy. Although I did get wrapped into a little of it this year, unfortunately.
Uh oh. Cant wait. Given his similar field, what do you make of Flipping Outs Jeff Lewis?
[Laughs.] With those qualities, I think Chad and Jeff would get along. I think they would have a lot to talk about. They would share hair products, maybe reorganize the furniture in the house, and you know, put things in Ziploc bags. I think theyd be really good friends!
The third season of Million Dollar Listing premieres on October 12 on Bravo. Check your local listings for channel and times.Send a letter to the editor about this article.