There’s a new Housewife in Tinseltown — and she’s got a great sense of humor.
Speaking to PEOPLE on Wednesday night in Los Angeles at Sean Penn‘s CORE gala for the organization’s 10th anniversary, Garcelle Beauvais opened up about her decision to join season 10 of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
“I feel like, ‘Why not?’ I wanted to do something outside of the box — it is sort of like my midlife crisis,” she said with a laugh. “Instead of buying a Corvette or doing something crazy, I joined the Housewives.”
And Beauvais, 53, has already learned some valuable lessons from the cast, including that she “can’t let [her] guard down.”
“Because one minute they are laughing with you, and the next minute they are throwing you under the bus,” she said. “I’m like, ‘We were just cracking up!'”
“It is really interesting for me, because as an actor you are a character, so it’s really weird to show up and just be me,” she added. “So I’m just going along for the ride and seeing how it goes.”
The Haitian-American actress and former fashion model, who said she’s longtime friends with costars Denise Richards and Lisa Rinna, has also found out that she’s “a lot more sensitive than I thought I was.”
“I put up this tough exterior all of the time, I do my thing, I’m an independent woman. And I find myself… I got emotional on the show a few times,” she admitted. “I was surprised that could happen so quickly for me.”
Beauvais, best known for her roles on TV shows The Jamie Foxx Show and NYPD Blue, is the first black Housewife in a predominantly white cast.
The star shares son Oliver, 28, with her first husband, producer Daniel Saunders, and twin sons Jax Joseph and Jaid Thomas, 12, with her second husband, CAA agent Mike Nilon.
Also joining the new season is Sutton Stracke, a renowned party planner and hostess. The newbies will star alongside Rinna, Denise, Kyle Richards, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Dorit Kemsley and Erika Girardi.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 10 is expected to premiere sometime this year.