Last summer when rumors swirled that Denise Richards was joining the season 9 cast of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” viewers scurried (as Bravoholics do) to catch her filming. Now fans are really getting their fix as the show is airing and Richards has come into her own as the charming newbie.
Ten years ago, on the heels of divorce from Charlie Sheen, Richards starred in the E! series “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated.” Now with her vitriolic split behind her and two new family members to showcase (daughter Eloise and husband Aaron Phypers), the 48-year-old felt ready to expose her life alongside the glittering women of the 90210.
Oh, and while restaurateur and RHOBH queen bee Lisa Vanderpump is rumored to be on the outs with the cast, Richards hints at their current state of affairs.
Welcome back to reality TV. What’s different this time around? When “It’s Complicated” filmed, I was going through my divorce, I lost my mom, and my daughters were much younger — they were only 2 and 3 years old. Now people are seeing me juggle my career while raising teenagers. My youngest daughter has special needs [and] wasn’t on the show the first time either. She’s 7 years old; I adopted her at birth [and] there are challenges with her disabilities.
Why join the show at this time in your life? In doing something like this, I want to be myself. I want to be real and open. In the past, I was in a place where there were certain things I couldn’t really show, so I felt like I would do a disservice to any show [for which] you have to share your life. [Now], I felt it would be fun. I love [longtime friend and cast mate] Lisa Rinna. We have a good time together. She enjoys the show, so I thought … Why not?
What will fans be surprised to see? I’m not the fancy-schmancy girl. I dress up for events and red carpets and when I’m filming. But when I’m day to day as a mom, I don’t have all the glam. And after seeing the trailer, I quite regret that. That’s a little different from some of the other women on the show and fans will either like it or they won’t. They will be surprised; there are a lot of unexpected events. I was supposed to go on the cast trip to France, and the day I was leaving the [Malibu] fires happened. I didn’t make the flight.
Any moments you’re worried about airing? All I will say is my husband would shake his head at certain things I [said] and go, “Oh my God, my mother cannot watch this.” And I would say, “Well, my dad learned years ago not to watch [my work].”
When filming wraps, will you keep in touch with the ladies? We’re all on a text chain together and text each other often. It’s definitely real friendships. It’s not just being on the show.
And is Lisa Vanderpump on that text? I am not going to answer that! Maybe after my first season, I’ll disclose more.
The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty