Peggy of "Million Dollar Beach House" Unpacks the Show's Most Awkward Scene

Elena Nicolaou
·8 mins read
Photo credit: Chloe Gifkins
Photo credit: Chloe Gifkins

From Oprah Magazine

  • Out August 26, Million Dollar Beach House is Netflix's latest foray into the world of luxury real estate.

  • The six-episode show follows five agents over the course of the summer in the Hamptons.

  • Below, real estate agent and lawyer Peggy Zabakolas unpacks the show's most dramatic moments—including that fight on the boat—and tells us where she is now.

Million Dollar Beach House is Netflix's latest foray into the world of luxury real estate. The title of the Hamptons-set show is technically an understatement. The "houses" depicted are five, ten, twenty million-dollar beachside compounds. White-washed and sun-soaked, the series is as close to a summer vacation that many quarantined audiences will get.

Peggy Zabakolas is one of five agents featured on the show, and acts as a tour guide to an unbelievably lavish world. Speaking to OprahMag.com, Peggy wants to emphasize that Million Dollar Beach House, the luxury real estate show on Netflix she's featured in, is nothing like Selling Sunset, the other luxury real estate show on Netflix that recently made headlines after people doubted its veracity.

"I think all of us as a cast wanted [Million Dollar Beach House]to be authentic to who we were, in addition to that, authentic to the real estate process. I'm glad that we were able to focus more so on the real estate because that's what we're very passionate about," Peggy says.

Photo credit: Chloe Gifkins
Photo credit: Chloe Gifkins

Translation? Million Dollar Beach House is steeped in the details of high-end real estate, as opposed to the inter-cast bickering that defines Selling Sunset—for the most part. "There's definitely going to be drama," Peggy, who is typically at the center of said drama, adds.

In fact, there wouldn't be much of a plot on Million Dollar Beach House if it weren't for Peggy. The confrontation on the boat! The botched showing with her colleague, Noel Roberts! The Selling Sunset-worthy screaming match at the party!

Essentially, Peggy's first-ever summer working in the Hamptons was even more stressful than she could've predicted. "Juggling the New York City business, breaking into the Hamptons, and the added drama took a toll on me. I didn't really have friends in the Hamptons. This is going to sound pathetic, but I ride horses, and I would go to see the horse every single day. That was my escape because I didn't have anything else and the drama was just too much at some times," she says.

Fast forward a year later, though, and Peggy is thriving. She's enjoyed fruits of a booming Hamptons real estate market, due to people seeking more permanent getaways in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. "I actually haven't been on [the horse] this summer just because I've been so busy with work," Peggy says.

Below, we caught up with Peggy about the show, and her life now. Peggy answered the phone from the Hamptons. She has no plans of leaving—and given the interiors seen in Million Dollar Beach House, who can blame her?

Is there anything you want viewers of the show to know?

You see a lot of relationships unfold on camera, but a lot of people often forget that we were filmed for three months—there's a lot of things that they don't get to see. I came out with great intentions, and sometimes you just kind of get beaten up by certain people. You have to stand your ground. I'm not crazy. I'm really not. But that just makes me more crazy for saying that, right? [laughs].

There was tension between you and Noel. Is that because your colleagues are also your competitors, in a sense?

I don't know what parts were put into the show. But I think that was very authentic. If someone disrespected a client, I would naturally always say something. Things got a little bit more involved because [Noel and I] were so connected throughout the entire summer. Normally, I would just back away and leave it as is. But because we were so intertwined with so many different things, I think it got a little more personal. I was affected personally because I wanted these people to be my friends too. But at the end of the day, I wanted to work. I went out there to build a Hamptons business.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

How do your relationships with your coworkers stand now?

Listen, we are all friendly. We're all going to dinner tonight. We all can work together amicably. I think some of us have better relationships than others, but I think it's fair to say in any work environment—sometimes you click better with someone than you would with another person. Just because you're putting on a specific project together, you don't have to necessarily get along the best.

I've never had any problems with JB. James and I are cordial. [Michael] Fulfree is like a little big brother to me because I'm older. And Noel and I...we're not super close, but it is what it is. We're cordial.

Did you and Noel ever reach an understanding?

My first goal going into the Hamptons was really just to build my business out there. That was priority number one. So with Noel, there are things about him that I don't necessarily trust, but I've also come to the realization...that's completely okay. I don't have to trust him in every way. Just like any work environment, you're not going to always love every person you work with.

So the drama was real.

Oh, a hundred percent. Everything was very authentic.

Which brings me to the confrontation on the boat between you and your colleagues...

I walked into the boat happy and excited and thinking that we're all going to be jolly and friends. Plus, I needed it because I was super stressed with work, balancing the New York City and Hamptons businesses. It felt like an ambush. I had thought certain things were dropped, but I guess they weren't. It definitely made me feel uncomfortable moving forward. I left there feeling really not so great—confused and just not sure of where I stood or where everything was going on. I think that was really a pivotal point in my relationship with everyone.

What happened on the boat scene? I don't remember. It was such a blur.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Well, they were trying facilitate a discussion between you and Noel. But it devolves.

It's already coming back. One of the things they kept saying that I was "perceiving" things a certain type of way. Everyone was talking about me behind my back and they never once brought it to my attention. It would have been better if one person took me aside instead of ganged up on me and I think the truth will come out. The truth has come out. We're all good now. Naturally, people are going to add drama when you put them in a room together.

Or a boat.

Or a boat that I really wanted to jump off of. I really wanted to jump off that boat.

You're the only woman on the show. How aware of that are you as you go about your job?

It is a hundred percent tougher for women—but that goes across the board. I've never been, and I'm not going to be, the person that plays the woman card and, Oh boohoo me. There are so many things that we can use to our advantage. Yes, it's a male dominated industry. Yes, most people trust other men and respect men a little bit more than women. And yes, if you're a young real estate agent as a female, you may be put in positions that you're not necessarily most comfortable with.

Having said that, I kind of look at it with the glass is half full mentality. I'm going to use what I can. There are plenty of times where other male colleagues of mine needed a female to just kind of...soften it up a little bit. You're going to use what you have to your advantage just like men do. That's kind of what I've done. I also mentor a lot of young female real estate agents because I want them to know the difference and I want them to succeed.

Would you be open to filming more seasons?

I would a hundred percent be interested in doing the show again. I'm typically a loner and in that sense, when I work, I go to the office just to work. I don't go to the office to hang out and make friends. And I think this show is also an eye-opener that maybe I should just relax a little bit and not be such a square where when I'm in my work environment.

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