Meghan Markle Recalls Being Told to 'Suck It In' on 'Deal or No Deal' in Podcast Chat with Paris Hilton
Meghan Markle is opening up about her time on the game show Deal or No Deal.
On Tuesday morning, Spotify released the latest episode of the Duchess of Sussex's podcast, Archetypes. To start the show, Meghan said she was recently flipping through the channels on TV — "this, by the way, is a rarity when you have two children under the age of four," she said, referring to son Archie Harrison, 3, and daughter Lilibet Diana, 1 — and caught the show Deal or No Deal, on which she used to be a "briefcase girl" in 2006.
"This brought back a lot of memories," Meghan, 41, said.
She recalled that while Deal or No Deal wasn't so much about acting, which she was pursuing, she was grateful to have a job to pay bills while she was auditioning.
"I had also studied international relations in college, and there were times I was on set at Deal or No Deal and thinking back to my time working as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina in Buenos Aires and being in the motorcade with the security of treasury at the time and being valued specifically for my brain. Here, I was being valued for something quite the opposite."
Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images; Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Paris Hilton; Meghan Markle
The former Suits actress said that before tapings of the show, the models would line up for different stations: lashes, extensions, bra padding. The women were also given spray tan vouchers every week.
"There was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like. It was solely about beauty — and not necessarily about brains," Meghan said.
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"When I look back at that time, I'll never forget this one detail — because moments before we'd get on stage, there was a woman who ran the show and she'd be there backstage, and I can still hear her. She couldn't properly pronounce my last name at the time and I knew who she was talking to because she'd go, 'Markle, suck it in! Markle, suck it in!' "
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Meghan Markle
The Duchess of Sussex said she eventually quit the show: "I was thankful for the job, but not for how it made me feel, which was not smart. And by the way, I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn't the focus of why we were there. I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. I didn't like being forced to be all looks and little substance, and that's how it felt for me at the time — being reduced to this specific archetype."
Meghan interviewed Paris Hilton about the stereotype of "bimbos."
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Paris said when she starred alongside Nicole Richie on the reality show The Simple Life, producers said they wanted Nicole to be "the troublemaker" and Paris to be "the rich, dumb blonde." The heiress said she played into the character both on the show and in interviews.
"So, I almost got like stuck and lost in the character where I, at some points, it was like the lines got blurred or I, it's like, I forgot who I was," Paris, 41, said. "And I don't know, makes me sad because I used to be such a free spirit, and I was just so like, I don't know, just like, not so closed off."
Paris — who described herself as "shy," "a tomboy" and "an undercover nerd" in the podcast — is now an advocate against child abuse, particularly at residential schools like the abusive one she attended as a teenager.
"Now I'm pushing for federal legislation and going to D.C. and yeah, it's just been so empowering. Just really turn my pain into a purpose," the star said. "And I almost think that maybe God made me go through this and gave me this special gift so that one day I could be the hero that I needed when I was a little girl and help save these children from having to go through the torture that myself and so many others went through."
Mark Mainz/Getty Paris Hilton in 2002
The episode is the sixth to drop so far, following a month-long pause after the death of Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 8. In the first episode back, Meghan welcomed Margaret Cho and Lisa Ling to break down the trope of "Dragon Lady" and the "toxic" stereotypes that many women of Asian descent are forced to navigate.
Last week, the Duchess of Sussex spoke with Constance Wu, comedian and writer Jenny Slate and activist and Bollywood star Deepika Padukone for a conversation titled "The Decoding of Crazy."
During her chat with Deepika, Meghan described how her husband, Prince Harry, found her a referral to a mental health professional when she was at her "worst point."
"I mean, I think at my worst point, being finally connected to someone that, you know, my husband had found a referral for me to call. And I called this woman," Meghan said. "She didn't know I was even calling her. And she was checking out at the grocery store. I could hear the little beep, beep, and I was like, "Hi," and I'm introducing myself and that you can literally you're going, wait, sorry. I'm just. Who is this? Um, and saying I need help. And she could hear the dire state that I was in."
Meghan continued, "But I think it's for all of us to be really honest about what it is that you need and to not be afraid to make peace with that, to ask for it."
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Meghan and Harry, 38, first announced a "multi-year partnership" between Spotify and their production company Archewell Audio in 2020. According to a previously shared press release, Archetypes intends to "investigate the labels that try to hold women back.
Speaking with historians and experts, Meghan will "uncover the origin of these stereotypes and have uncensored conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape narratives."
Previous guests include Serena Williams, Mariah Carey and Mindy Kaling.