“I’ve always done things that hadn’t been done before, and I’m still doing it.”
In the historical past of actuality TV, Bethenny Frankel is up there with the style’s pioneers. While most individuals know her from Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City, she truly bought her begin because the runner-up on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, produced by Mark Burnett. Now, practically 16 years later, she and Burnett have teamed up once more for HBO Max’s The Big Shot with Bethenny (April 29), a actuality sequence the place contestants will compete to work for Frankel’s life-style model Skinnygirl. “The things that these people are competing for are all real. I need this person.” And it may take somebody distinctive. Frankel’s choice to depart Housewives wasn’t straightforward. “I never really had a big road map. I just make decisions with gut instinct.” She says the present is usually a double-edged sword. “If I do something right, I’m a humanitarian, philanthropist, mogul businesswoman with a $100 million business. If I do something wrong, I’m a nasty housewife.” But with The Big Shot, her podcast Just B With Bethenny Frankel and Skinnygirl, it is clear Frankel is not going anyplace anytime quickly.
Do you’re feeling such as you’re coming full circle working with Burnett once more?
First was seeing Mark Burnett once I was on Shark Tank. Both of us realized the full-circle second. I believed it was simply form of coming from me, however for him, me being a contestant and now being on considered one of his exhibits after which me calling him and having this concept for the present and producing this after which being companions on one thing took it to a complete new stage. It’s attention-grabbing, I nonetheless see him at a completely totally different stage than myself. I see all people that manner. Even with Martha Stewart, it was only a dream of a lifetime to be on that present and to go all the way in which, so now, for me to be the particular person in that place is mind-blowing. This [The Big Shot with Bethenny] is a lot extra actual of a contest. The issues that these individuals are competing for are all actual. I would like this particular person. I considered this present the way in which that I write each e book and each artistic factor that I do; it is all out of a necessity. That’s what occurred right here. I believed I wanted a successor who might be any individual that might finally assume like me. There’s all the time such a disparity between me and the those that work with me as a result of they’re wonderful, however they don’t seem to be at that stage the place we’re sitting on the massive woman desk with the multibillion-dollar companions which can be having these actual conversations. So who may that particular person be? It’s not straightforward to interview individuals. You interview somebody at your desk or at your convention room they usually inform you that they are the second coming and you are like, “How can I possibly know that you could do this job?” This is such a loopy job. I’ve such a bizarre profession that’s in so many various locations, the place I’m the CEO and the particular person in entrance of the digicam. So I used to be thrilled to undergo this litmus check to search out any individual actually nice.
How is that this present totally different from different enterprise actuality exhibits like The Apprentice or Shark Tank?
It’s been identified to me that there have been 15 enterprise competitors exhibits ever and just one has succeeded: The Apprentice. This would be the second. It’s such a wonderful present, and it is totally different than another. On The Apprentice, Donald Trump is in a swimsuit in a boardroom with two different individuals. I feel he has a life that is out of the boardroom? I feel he has mates? He’s bought youngsters, a relationship, however you see none of that. Everything’s good. Every choice made is ideal. Their enterprise is ideal. The Big Shot is displaying you I do not know the way we’re doing all this. It’s intense and it is onerous. We’re typically holding it collectively with Scotch tape. So it is totally different in that it is displaying warts and all.
What affect do you assume actuality TV has had on enterprise?
I’m not afraid to say I used to be the primary to monetize it. When I did what, together with the Kardashians at that time, nobody actually realized that it was a business till I used to be on the quilt of Forbes and The Hollywood Reporter article about my cocktail deal. The Bethenny clause turned a factor in Hollywood the place you were not gonna put anyone on a actuality present except you had been going to take a chunk of their future earnings, that’s actually referred to as the Bethenny clause. I used to be doing a business by my story on the present. HBO Max desires to make a superb present for us. It’s entertaining and when you occur to money out due to it, they do not care. They’re making a superb present. That’s their enterprise. And that is one of many attention-grabbing issues. They’re not within the enterprise of manufacturers as a result of they do not construct manufacturers, they construct their very own model. It’s true content material and it makes our present higher, it is actual. They can for the sake of it’s like, “Let’s put in Kraft macaroni and cheese as your product for these people to compete with.” But they do not need that. So they’re seeing the massive image. I’ve all the time executed issues that hadn’t been executed earlier than, and I’m nonetheless doing it. I’m simply by no means telling anyone what I’m doing as a result of I’m enjoying my very own sport.
How do you discover the stability between being your self as a public determine with out hurting your model?
You’ve bought to weigh the positive factors and losses. Having this platform for it to be a business, and talk what the product is, and what you are doing and who you’re, and the way this product solves an issue, for me, that outweighs the dangers I take being an outspoken particular person and being polarizing, having to deal with the highs and lows of being an opinionated particular person. I imply, imagine me, it is happening on a regular basis on social media, I’ve an inventory of celebrities that decision me and textual content me and say, “I’m so envious that you have the courage to say what you think and not be afraid.” That empowers me as a result of they’re individuals that you’d assume would have the braveness, however they edit all the pieces, they filter all the pieces, they sanitize it now as a result of society has made it that they should sanitize themselves. I might reasonably be completely gone and forgotten than filter myself and never be who I authentically am.
How will your philanthropic efforts with your group BStrong be featured on The Big Shot?
I’m very genuine within the communication of that as a result of I do not need it to be me with a violin hugging infants. Even although I’ve such super compassion for individuals’s hardship and struggling, I actually do function my philanthropic efforts like a enterprise, one hundred pc goes to the hassle. There is part of the present that does that however in a really business-like manner, that means we have to talk what we do, be clear, elevate cash, assist these individuals after which be prepared for the following horrible factor. So I do deal with it very very similar to a enterprise, individuals donating should get a return on funding. They should really feel that they’ve helped, know the way they’ve helped and that you’re going to be completely clear. So I like that about it. It’s truly part of the present. It’s extra essential than hawking salad dressing, popcorn. It’s individuals’s lives. We’ve hit the $100 million mark worldwide in three years. I imply, $100 million is an actual quantity.
When you left The Real Housewives of New York City, did you foresee one thing like The Big Shot being your pure subsequent chapter?
I by no means actually had a giant street map. I simply make selections with intestine intuition. Everyone informed me not to return to the present the primary time and I went again. Everyone informed me to not do the present. I had issues to do with philanthropy and with my household, my daughter and my private life, and I needed to not all the time be related with that, which isn’t that straightforward. If I do one thing proper, I’m a humanitarian, philanthropist, mogul businesswoman with a $100 million enterprise. If I do one thing mistaken, I’m a nasty housewife.