‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ exclusive: Kelly Dodd on joining series, Vicki Gunvalson friendship

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This season of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” has certainly been eventful, and the addition of Kelly Dodd has been a wonderful component in that. She’s brought a new perspective, a new energy, and based on what we’re seeing from the preview of the next episode, there are going to be some lively discussions ahead between her and Shannon Beador.

We had a chance to interview the newest member of the O.C. cast about her experience on the show, why she signed on now after originally not going for it a few years ago, and why she was willing to give Vicki Gunvalson a chance and form her own opinion of her, rather than taking the feelings from the other Housewives as gospel.

CarterMatt – When you were thinking about going on this show, what excited you about being a part of this crazy, crazy world?

Kelly Dodd – I was approached three years ago to do the show and it wasn’t a good time for me, but my life is now a little more pure, I have a better relationship with my husband, I have a beautiful house, and I felt like if they came back at me again, what do I have to lose? It was a great opportunity. My life is better, so why not?

So what has been some of the reaction from the people in your life through filming and the show airing? Has it been excitement, have there been people who were like ‘I don’t know if I want to be filmed’? What’s the sentiment been?

Everybody’s been pretty positive and pretty uplifting. I don’t really have any negativity with my family or my friends so far. I’ve just had a lot of support.

So how about online? Obviously you’ve had plenty of support, but it’s the internet and people always have an opinion. What has it been like for you seeing what all of the viewers are thinking?

I had a really hard time with the social media stuff. That was probably the biggest challenge. I just had to learn that haters are going to hate, and there’s nothing I can do. I just wanted to go back at them, but you quickly realize you can’t engage because there’s nothing that you can do to change them.

The vast majority of the feedback has been pretty well-received.

You knew Meghan [King Edmonds] going into the show, but were you able (almost right away) to feel a good friend connection with anyone else in the cast?

I was friends with Meghan before, and I had spoke to Meghan and said that they approached me again [after three years] and she said ‘do it, I’ve had a great experience doing it, it’s been a lot of fun.’ So she was really the one who influenced me on doing the show.

I have a mutual friend who is friends with Vicki [Gunvalson], so Vicki was probably the most warm and kind to me right off the bat. She knew who I was and I knew who she was, and we were supposed to get together a couple of months prior to signing contracts and all of that. We knew of each other, and we immediately hit it off. We just had a fun chemistry. She’s always been there for me, she’s kind, she’s loving, and we just had a great friendship right off the bat.

How important was it for you to form your own opinion of Vicki? Obviously there was a lot going on for her last season, and that carried over for a lot of the other women going into this season.

I just really go based on if someone is being kind to me and nice to me, I really want to treat people how I get treated. It was important for me to form my own opinion and not listen to other opinions, because other people may have a lot of opinions about myself that may not be good. That’s not the right way to be. The right way to be is that if someone is nice and kind to you, you should be nice and kind to them. I don’t want to judge people. I just want to go based on how I’m treated. That’s basically the reason why I didn’t want my opinion of Vicki to go on the mean-girls side.

In general, did filming the show meet your expectations? Was it more fun than you expected, or more dramatic than you thought it would be?

I really didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if it is scripted or not, and it is 100% not scripted. I didn’t think that the stuff that has happened would ever happen. It is seriously a roller-coaster ride, like almost having a near-death experience [from] going on this Ireland trip to forming other relationships. It’s more exciting and drama-filled than I could ever imagine anything happening in my life.

I know in the preview that has been released, it looks like there is some conflict coming between you and Shannon Beador. Can you speak to [what led to some of that]?

Shannon, obviously as you can see from the first episode, she doesn’t like me at all. I was kidding around with her with the University of Spoiled Children, which everybody knows. It’s like a common thing. I wasn’t being malicious or mean. From the get-go, she didn’t like me.

(You can see a preview for Monday’s episode over here, which escalates the conflict. Suffice it to say, things get heated.)

For you, is there always some sort of hope for reconciliation [when there’s conflict], if the other person is willing to put in the work to try and rectify the situation?

I’m always about not harboring negativity. We’re a part of a small community, we have girls the same age, and will probably end up going to high school together. I just want to be polite. I always want to overcome issues, conflicts. I want to resolve them. We don’t have to be friends, we just have to be polite to each other. It’s all I really want in life. I don’t want to come from a dark, negative place, and you can see through the whole season that Shannon is in a dark, negative place. She’s can’t get out of it. I don’t want to have a negative feeling.

So on a fun note, what are some of the fun things that you are looking forward to seeing on the show this season?

Just us laughing. We have a lot of great times together, especially Vicki and I. We’re always laughing and having a great time and joking. Just seeing that and getting along. Then there’s so much drama. There’s friendships being made and broken and then made again and then broken. I’m excited because there’s so many highs and lows. It’s probably going to be the most exciting season ever.

In terms of the reunion at the end of all this, are you excited for it or nervous about it? It’s such a long day.

I don’t know what to expect because I don’t have any clue as to how long it is. [With that,] I already had [a similar experience] in Ireland, so I know what to expect of them and I already kind of know how this is going to go. I’m ready and prepared, so bring it on!

We want to give a special thanks to Kelly for her time, and be sure to head over here to read a review for this past “Real Housewives of Orange County” episode now. Also, sign up over here to score some other TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Bravo.)

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