Vanderpump Rules Season 8 finds Lisa Vanderpump continuing to expand her empire after the successful launch of TomTom with Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz. Meanwhile, Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright are getting ready to tie the knot and Stassi Schroeder is celebrating her success as a best-selling author and her relationship with Beau Clark.
Ariana Madix is moving into her dream home and working on a new cocktail book, James Kennedy is keeping the party going and Lala Kent is focusing on her sobriety, music career and home renovation.
Scheana Shay, meanwhile, will have her hands full as she trains SUR’s hottest new servers, Brett Caprioni and Charli Burnett. They join waitress Dayna Kathan, TomTom’s general manager Max Boyens, and assistant manager Danica Dow as new Vanderpump Rules cast members this season, which is now currently streaming on hayu Canada.
Global News spoke to Vanderpump about her staff at SUR and TomTom, Jax Taylor getting married, defending James Kennedy and everything else that goes down in Season 8 of Vanderpump Rules.
Lisa Vanderpump: I thought it was an interesting premise, the fact that this group of friends have known each other for a long time. With that comes complication because it’s a multifaceted when you have intense relationships. It’s not like bringing a group of people together and just hoping that they’d get on and make good television. Even when we stop shooting the show, they still go on vacation together and we see how they bought houses very close to each other. I thought that was fascinating. I also think when we’ve done Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and sometimes the integration of a new cast member just isn’t as interesting as these significant relationships. I think that’s why people were upset about Kyle [Richards] and I on the Housewives because when a real friend turns on you, you’re way more affected by that relationship.
You’re such a hard worker and I feel like all the female cast members on the show really look up to you. How does it feel to have Stassi and Ariana say they want to be as successful as you.
I think it’s such a great compliment and I love them all dearly. I love Stassi, I love watching Ariana, she goes through a lot this season. I love watching Stassi grow up from being a little spoiled brat (laughing) and into a woman. I love them all, I really, really do. When they say they want to be like me, sometimes it takes a lot of work, a lot of dedication. I’ve been up since 5 this morning and I have been up to a lot for the last two days. It takes a lot of work and a lot of energy but I always say find a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. I like creating visuals for them.
This season Jax and Brittany are getting married. Did you ever think you’d see the day that Jax settles down?
I didn’t but I always hoped he would. I don’t know if he would be married now if it wasn’t for Brittany because she has the patience of a saint. I always call her saint Brittany because she really is a wonderful girl. I think that when Jax’s father died, he kind of took a long look at his life and realized that she is somebody that is truly on his side. You see them develop that type of relationship this season.
Oh, probably Scheana because [she has] all these good looking, young guys and I never got a chance to do that in my life (laughing). I’m just kidding, that’s a joke! I’d probably go with Stassi. But they are all lovely girls and even Kristen [Doute] sometimes.
Do you think we’ll ever see the type of growth we’ve seen in Jax in James Kennedy? James has been through a lot too and I feel like he gets a bad reputation but you’ve always been there to stand up for him.
Well, James is a lot younger than Jax. He’s had a lot of trials and tribulations that deal with family issues and things like that. We’ve seen throughout the seasons that his parents haven’t exactly given him the type of guidance he needed. But now you’re going to see him on a path and sometimes it can be a little disappointing but you do see a lot of growth in James.
Did you ever finish reading Stassi’s book, Next Level Basic: The Definitive Basic Bitch Handbook?
No way! I read half a page about her fluffy who-ha and I thought this was not the book for me (laughing). I also didn’t want to know about her losing her virginity.
The funny thing is, when you’re watching it as a viewer, you can get frustrated and ask ‘why didn’t Lisa say this?’ But they’ve seen it, I haven’t. If I don’t see it I’m just listening to other people’s words. As a producer I could say, I want to see what we shot today but that would just be a false reality. I always want to keep it real and I want to see how things play out. Sometimes when I watch and put it back I realize ‘oh, it’s not quite the way it was portrayed to me.’ The viewer has the accurate picture but I don’t always. It’s hard to make good judgment calls when I’m not seeing everything that they are seeing like when we had the “fat” thing between Katie [Maloney] and James. Everybody was yelling at James but then I also felt like she had been a bit provocative at the beginning. So I don’t always know the whole picture and that’s when the viewers start to yell at me and say ‘why didn’t you stand up for so and so.’ I wasn’t there, you were watching it and not me.
What does your perfect day off consist of because you are always working so hard!
Oh, my goodness. I like to actually go see my horse because I’m crazy about him. I like to spend time at the Vanderpump Dog Rescue Center. We’ve always got little guys that are desperate for kissing and cuddling. I like to cook a lot and I like being home. I like having family and friends over so there’s a lot of things I like to do but there isn’t enough time to do it all.
Would you ever do a spin-off show at your new restaurant at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas?
Well, I did say I’d never do reality TV and I did say I’d never do Housewives. I don’t think my “never really” is relevant now (laughing). I don’t know right now because I’m not based in Vegas all the time. But I’ve had some great ideas for shows in Vegas because it’s such an incredible playground. It’s a multitude of just so much going on and the energy. I don’t know if I’d do the spin-off about the restaurant but there’s definitely a great show to be made in Las Vegas.
You and your husband Ken always interact so amazing together on Vanderpump Rules. What is your secret to a healthy and happy marriage?
Well, always remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect man, ever (laughing). I think it’s about respect and letting each other grow and develop as you get old and understanding that you’re not going to be the same person as you were when you got married at 21. I think having humour is a paramount importance. I don’t take a lot of things seriously but for me, I need to have somebody that gets my ridiculousness. I think it’s important to have the same goal and not fight in front of the children. I made sure my kids didn’t hear any of that growing up. I’m very proud of that. You have to put each other first. I really care when my husband comes to the door.
(This interview has been edited and condensed.)