With the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ having wrapped another violence-riddled, hair-extension-pulling, crazy cat-fighting season last night, talk of Bravo’s wildly popular franchise has now shifted to the future of the New York cast. Fancast sat down with Kelly Killoren Bensimon over a late lunch at Delicatessen in Soho to chat about her potential participation in the upcoming season, her views on the series as a whole, and why she’s not the insane, drama-filled character the public often pegs her as being.
[Ed. Note: When we spoke last Friday, contracts hadn’t yet been issued to any of the New York ladies. Bensimon told us “if Bravo wants me back, I’d do it. Definitely.” Tuesday morning, Bensimon exclusively confirmed to Fancast she’d received an offer Monday to rejoin. “Yes, they’re sending a contract. I can’t confirm I’m fully on-board, though, until we’ve finalized signing the contracts,” she said.]
What are your thoughts on the concept of the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise?
As a whole, it is hilarious. It’s an amazing view of all these different women in all these different parts and cities around America. It’s a fun snippet of a look into these people’s lives. I like it. It’s great, great, TV.
Do you watch all the shows?
No. I’ve seen a little of New Jersey. I saw one scene of Atlanta. I obviously watch the scenes I’m in for New York. But I don’t need to watch the whole thing. I mean, I was there!
What do you think of what you see?
Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. I loved when I saw a scene where I’m making pancakes with my kids. It was so cute.
What about the Virgin Island’s episode? Some people thought you had a meltdown, some were convinced you were acting…
It’s not an act at all. When we were in the Virgin Islands, things happened that I didn’t like. So I responded, honestly and authentically. If I don’t like something and I’m being pushed, I think it’s important to respond. I could’ve easily walked away, left the scene. I could’ve even left the island. Just gotten on an airplane and left. But it’s my job to be honest and authentic and if you don’t like that, that’s not my problem. That’s yours.
Do you care how other people perceive you?
No. Why should I?
So if someone calls you crazy, do you just dismiss it?
Yes. It doesn’t faze me in the least. After [the Virgin Islands episode], people were like, ‘Wow. That was really hard to watch.’ And I said, ‘Why? That’s television. What’s so hard about watching that? Because I was crying and saying leave me alone and stop berating me and attacking me?’ In normal situations, you would excuse yourself from the drama. But in normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have even been there in the first place. I would never choose to put myself in that kind of environment. I would never go on vacation with people that I wasn’t friends with or didn’t trust.
Watch the best moments from the past season:
You’re not close with any of the girls in real life?
I like Jill Zarin. I like Jen Gilbert and I like LuAnn de Lesseps. Everyone else, I don’t know well enough to say if I like her or not.
What did your close friends say when they saw that episode?
They said ‘good for you.’ And they’re glad I stuck up for myself and let the other girls know it’s inappropriate behavior. My friends were laughing all over the place. They know its white noise. It’s non-coherent subject matter. It doesn’t make sense at all. Everyone’s like, ‘Kelly, you’re the only sane person on the show.’ My friends think I’m doing a great job.
Have you seen any of Bethenny’s spin-off show, ‘Bethenny Getting Married’?
I haven’t. I don’t watch that much TV, especially during the summer. I’m mostly out, enjoying the warm weather.
Doing anything fun?
I spent a lot of time working on a new jewelry line that’s coming out this fall called Kelly by Kelly Kelloren Bensimon. My summer line was at Intermix exclusively this season and now with the new line, we’re in the process of selling it. It’s got low price points, but it’s super trendy.
There’s always a lot of fighting on the ‘Real Housewives,’ regardless of the city. Which cast would win in an Anchorman-style back alley brawl?
I’m not a good person to ask! I don’t have a good ‘mean barometer.’ I will say this: I’ve met them all, and they were all super nice and friendly to me.
Even [New Jersey cast member] Danielle Staub?
Yes. She was actually quite friendly.
What do you think of Danielle?
If Danielle gets her own spinoff, I think that’d be amazing for her. She makes for great TV. She’s out of the box and has no inhibitions. It’s not my place to say whether someone has issues or not. I will say she has a lot of fun with what she’s doing. I don’t know what her real life is like, but I honestly don’t think that she’s well matched against the rest of that cast for that show. Still, she definitely is fun to watch. I love seeing her. She has no limitations and that’s great.
Would you ever want your own spin-off?
I would do my own show but it wouldn’t be the Kelly Killoren Bensimon Trainwreck Show. [Laughs] It would be more about people that I know and love. What’s more interesting isn’t necessarily me. It’s all the cool people that I know, and I want them to be highlighted through me.
Like your kids? They were in a few episodes last season. If you do come back, would they be a part of season four?
I would love to have them because I want people to see more of my real life. One thing everyone’s watching a lot is my interaction with people I don’t know very well. I’d rather everyone see how I am with people I love. So yes, they were in two episodes last year, and for the next time, I’d see that going to up to maybe four episodes? They’re spirited kids, they have a great attitude and they’re fun. I’m proud of them. I love hanging out with them.
Do they like the process?
They are exactly the same on camera or off. They’re just like ‘that’s my mom and there’s a camera there.’ They don’t think of it any other way.
You’ve mentioned before that said your daughter wants you to have a boyfriend…
Yes. She wants me to start dating.
I can’t tell you that!
Are you looking forward to the next season of RHONY? Would you like to see a Kelly spin-off? What do you think of her friends’ assessment of her?