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Stassi Schroeder has never been happier.
In fact, the "Vanderpump Rules" star has so much going for her right now that, when people congratulate her, she isn't even sure what they're referring to at this point. Is it her engagement to Beau Clark and their impending destination wedding in Rome? The beautiful home they just purchased? Or maybe it's her New York Times best-selling book or her sold-out podcast tour.
"That’s such a good problem to have," Stassi told In The Know's Gibson Johns during a recent phone interview promoting her partnership with Real California Milk. "Not knowing what people are congratulating me for."
One thing that the fan-favorite reality star isn't thrilled about right now? The current eighth season of her Bravo hit, which has seen its cast swell with new cast members this year and left its original stars, including Stassi, scratching their heads.
"We’re all a little confused this year, to be honest. Even while we were filming, we were like, ‘What’s going on?’ It felt like we were filming two shows at once sometimes," she told ITK. "I don’t know what the future is for 'Vanderpump Rules.'"
To hear more from Stassi Schroeder about this season of "Vanderpump Rules," where she stands with Kristen, discusses how wedding planning is going and, even talks about her love for cheese, read In The Know's full interview with her below:
ITK: You're helping Real California Milk launch its CBD (California Based Dairy) Dispensary in Venice. Why did you get involved?
Stassi Schroeder: I’m obsessed with cheese, and I’ve talked about that on "Vanderpump Rules" and on my podcast for, like, five years. If I had to cut out every food group and I picked just one, dairy would be what I would choose. For my wedding, I’ve talked to Beau about not having a real wedding cake, 'cause I don’t really care for sweets, and just having a cake made out of actual wheels of cheese stacked on top of one another. It’s genius!
So, is it safe to assume that ever cutting down on cheese or dairy is a no-go for you?
Oh, that’s a no-go for me. [Laughs] Growing up, my mom always told me, "When you eat cheeses or butter or milk, it’s good to have that natural, good fat." None of this fake fat-free or low-calorie stuff! It sustains you, and it’s good for you and my mom is one of the most stunning women I know and she looks like she’s my age, so I never actually feel guilty about eating dairy.
You have a lot to be congratulated on right now: Your engagement, your new house, the podcast, the book ... are you the happiest you’ve ever been right now?
F**k yeah. The happiest, but the most overwhelmed. It’s really exciting, because people will congratulate me and I find myself being like, "For what?" Because I just don’t know what they’re congratulating me on. I’m like, that’s such a good problem to have, not knowing what people are congratulating me for.
When you think about building out your brand, are you of the mindset of just, like, "Let’s just keep going, and continue this momentum?"
Yes, that’s the goal — to keep going and building until people are just sick of me, you know? I feel really lucky, because I started "Vanderpump Rules" and made a decision eight years ago to just be honest, whether that meant I looked bad or I looked great, it’s just about trying to be myself, because when I watch reality TV, those are the people I relate to. I don’t like feeling like I’m putting on a facade. I then made a decision to do that with my podcast and then the book. If I can just keep building that and make a business off of being honest? I mean, goals.
You’re building a very different brand and empire than Lisa Vanderpump, but you’ve had her to look up to as an example of tremendous success for years now. Is there any business advice that she gave you that has stuck with you?
Of course. Even from the beginning, when "Vanderpump Rules" wasn’t even airing yet and we were filming, she was very good about explaining to me that I should find what it is that makes me me and what I’m good at and encouraging me to just focus on that. You can’t copy off of anyone else. You can, if you want, but it’s really all about carving your own path, because no one is like anyone else, and Lisa is so good at truly living in who she is. She’s branded herself without even purposefully doing it, even down to her sparkly shirts. You see that, and you’re just like, "That’s Lisa Vanderpump!"
Do you watch "Vanderpump Rules" when it airs every week?
Oh, yeah. Dude, I don’t know that I’d be able to relax if something aired, and I had no idea what everyone else was watching. I’m a little too controlling for that, so I have to watch it before it airs.
What did you think about how Jax and Brittany's pastor controversy played out on the show?
It was more intense in person, I will say that. There were way more conversations about that, and I was kind of irritated that it seemed at the end like we weren’t speaking up to Jax and Brittany, because every single one of us had had a conversation with them about how we felt. We just called them and texted them. Each of us did that. It looked like we didn’t care, but it was like, "No, we’ve been talking to them for days now about this," and because of the way Sandoval handled it after — it was already taken care of — it kind of just turned it into a completely different fight and thing.
So there was some middle action that we missed out on seeing in the final edit?
Like any episode of any reality show, you can’t possibly show everything.
Obviously, you're an original cast member, so you've been around for every addition "Pump Rules" has made — and there has never had more cast members than there are now. What do you think of how the show has evolved into its current state? Where does it go from here?
We’re all a little confused this year, to be honest. Even while we were filming, we were like, "What’s going on?" It felt like we were filming two shows at once sometimes, but all we could really focus on was just doing what we normally do. I don’t know what the future is for "Vanderpump Rules." We all wonder about it, but it’s definitely different. There are a lot of us who are a little freaked out, like, "What the f**k is going on?"
I'm picturing a show where the OGs break off and do their own thing separately from the newer cast members. Is that something you’d be interested in doing?
Absolutely, especially if it’s with all my friends. It’s just continuing what we’ve already done for eight years, but we’re just not working at SUR restaurant anymore.
Seeing the Pastor controversy play out reminded me that we didn’t get to see the Lala and Randall's drama with 50 "Fofty" Cent. Do you know why that wasn’t featured on the show?
There was so much legal stuff going on with that, that you couldn’t show it.
Because everyone is surely wondering about this, I have to ask: How is wedding planning going?
I’m over it! I just wish that we had decided to elope. [Laughs] I’m over it. There’s no time. It’s like, when do I have time to plan a wedding? I’m putting this all on my wedding planner’s shoulders and letting them take it from here. Beau and I went and found our venue, we have our hotel, we sent them a printed Pinterest board of things we liked, so I am just going to let them handle it.
I read your recent column in Glamour, and I loved how candid you were about the invite list for your wedding. How have people responded to you about that column?
Everyone’s scared of me now! It’s just like no one is daring to ask me anything anymore, so it’s fantastic. The Glamour column has really worked in my favor.
You also addressed the continued speculation around your friendship with Kristen Doute and where that stands, and a lot of that is mostly out of people just wanting you guys to be friends again. Do you feel that fan investment in a lot of your relationships? How do you deal with that when it comes to Kristen or even more generally?
Normally, I’m really good at dealing with reactions from people on social media. It takes a lot to bother me, but I think because the Kristen situation is so real and deep and, even now, still fresh, and we’re still going through it, it does effect me when I see people just yelling at me because they think I’m not going to invite her. I’m trying to figure it out as I go, too. It’s not anti-Kristen, but I’m just trying to make the best decision.
Lastly, an idea that I've seen floating around on social media a lot is for you and Lala to break off of "Vanderpump Rules" to eventually join "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Would you ever join "Housewives?"
No! I don’t have what it takes. I don’t have what it takes. This is the thing: I’m a "Housewives" fan, so I’ve thought about this and what that would be like. What makes me so excited and happy filming "Vanderpump Rules" after all of these years and still wanting to go back and do it every year is that these are my actual best friends. When we’re not filming, they’re who I vacation with and hang out with and we’re real best friends. We don’t just go to lunch every once in a while, so I don’t know that I’d be able to enjoy myself filming as much if I was a Housewife and thrown into the lion's den with all of these women and told that I have to go to Puerto Rico with them or something.