'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Lisa Rinna on "Hustling" from Home

Annie Goldsmith
Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth
Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth

From Town & Country

Lisa Rinna is not a homebody. However, in the past few months, the Real Housewife of Beverly Hills has been forced to adapt to COVID-19 lockdown requirements. Since the show’s tenth season wrapped, Rinna has spent nearly five months in her Los Angeles abode, dancing, learning, exercising, and, of course, posting on social media. With 2.4 million Instagram followers and 190,000 followers on her brand new TikTok account, the former actress is more accessible to her fans than ever, sharing everything from dance routines to bikini shots to her support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Below, T&C spoke with the reality star about her quarantine routine, what keeps her sane, and her newfound political voice.

Can you walk us through your typical day in quarantine?

It’s a very weird time, as we all know. This seems to be my typical day: I wake up and I take Isaac Boots’ TORCH'D class almost every single day at 8 a.m. That has saved me more than anything in the quarantine. So, I’ll take Isaac’s class and then I’ll look over my emails, return some calls, and then go on an hourlong hike. We’re very fortunate to live by a trail. Then I’ll come back, have a little lunch, and, in the afternoon, I may do QVC from the house—we’ve been doing Skype QVC. Next, I’ll have some business calls or business Zooms and then I’ve been watching a lot of old movies, a lot of television, and listening to books on tape. You know, I’m just taking it one day at a time.

Apropos of that, what have been your favorite things to watch or listen to?

In the beginning of quarantine, I was watching a lot of art movies: Julian Schnabel movies and documentaries on him and Warhol and the ’70s disco art scene. We watched The Outsider; we watched Ozark; we watched the end of Homeland. I watched, of course, Tiger King. I just finished watching The Betty Broderick Story, in which Amanda Peet was amazing. I’ve watched everything.

Right now, I’m watching that great documentary on John Lewis [John Lewis: Good Trouble] and I watched 13th. You name it, I think I’ve watched it. I also listened to André Leon Talley’s book, The Chiffon Trenches—I loved that. I’m now listening to Mary Trump’s book.

And who have you been quarantining with?

For the first six weeks, everyone was here. And then slowly as we started to be able to open up, so maybe eight weeks later, the girls [Rinna’s daughters, Delilah and Amelia Hamlin] started to go back to their apartments. We’ve all been very, very careful and overly, overly safe which has helped us, because no one has contracted the virus and we’ve been tested numerous times.

For those eight weeks when you were all in the house, how was the dynamic? What was your experience having the whole family home again?

It was fantastic. Harry and I absolutely loved it! It was heaven above! Amelia had just moved out a couple months earlier, so we were newly empty nesters. That only lasted a couple months and then everybody was back, so are you kidding me? We loved it. Harry cooked every night and we had dinners every night. I will cherish those eight weeks, I really will, because we had everybody here and it was just magical.

But, the kids could only take it so long and then they were like, “Oh my god, I need to get out of here and go to my own place!”

Photo credit: Paul Bruinooge - Getty Images
Photo credit: Paul Bruinooge - Getty Images

You’re well-known for your style and look. How have you been keeping up your beauty routine during this time?

I’ve been coloring my own hair, which is ha-larious. I did get out one time to get it done in a really safe environment: a private salon. But, in the meantime, I haven’t felt comfortable even when Los Angeles opened up to go sit in a salon. So, I had it done one time and then I’ve had my colorist send me kits and I’ve figured out how to do it myself.

And, you know, you have to get good at waxing [laughs]. I’ve become my own beauty technician, really, and I think I’ve been okay. Obviously, I’m not getting the facials and lasers and treatments that I’ve always kept up on. But again, it’s all about adapting and figuring out how to do it yourself.

Are there any changes that you’ve made to your life during this time period that you may want to maintain, even when things go back to normal?

Well, I like that I’ve stayed put. I’m not running around and I’m okay with just being home, which I think is a big change, and I think I will continue that. I think it’s taught me that you can just sit and be, which is good for me because, you know, I’m a hustler; I always have to be doing something. I really learned that I don’t have to be—I’m okay just hanging out.

You have also been more active on social media during this time.

I have—I mean, probably too much [laughs]. I think that’s been my way of trying to express myself. I’m not normally that active on social media, but it’s been my way to stay connected to people. I like to share my life and I like to share how I feel and sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes that’s not such a good thing.

You've been more politically active than you’ve been in the past, as well—what’s been your thought process behind that?

Obviously, what we’ve been through in this country is so polarizing and there’s so much going on. Especially after George Floyd was killed, I felt like it was important to speak out and to support people. I’ve expressed how I have felt in a way that I don’t normally do, but I think it was time and I think it was important.

What have the reactions been like to your statements?

I think when you do that, when you take a stance in any way, you get good and you get bad. I was so moved by John Lewis and what he stood for and I think that that is something that we all have to be really cognizant about right now: You have to get in good trouble. You have to speak out.

I really think that if you have a platform in this day and age, and I know my children feel the same way, I think that it’s our duty to use it—for more than dancing around and posing in my bikini, all that silly stuff that I do. I think we’re very blessed to have this platform and to be able to bring awareness to certain things, and I think it’s our duty to do that.

Have you been keeping up with your fellow Real Housewives during the quarantine?

I have, yes, absolutely. We filmed the reunion on Thursday, and it had to be a Zoom reunion, obviously. But, before, we had all been tested so, we were able to go over to Kyle [Richards]’s house and celebrate together, which was really needed. We hadn’t seen each other in six months and it was really great because we knew we were in a safe environment, as we’d all been tested.

We’ve all kept in contact. I’ve grown close to these women and, when somebody’s in trouble, we reach out and say, “Hey, I’m in trouble,” or “This person’s in trouble, this is happening, anybody know what to do?” We work really closely together and it’s a very difficult show to do, obviously. So, it was really nice to have that moment.

You know, it is always changing. People fight. People get along; they don’t get along. But, we’ve been down this road for about five years, this particular group. So, it’s always nice when you have a group of people that you can celebrate with and we got to have a nice moment.

Photo credit: John Tsiavis/Bravo
Photo credit: John Tsiavis/Bravo

When all of this is over, what are you most excited about for normal life?

Oh my gosh. Being able to travel; being able to go to restaurants; being able to go back to working, and being free. But, I really think that we can do that if everybody would just wear a mask at this point, and really be cognizant for around six weeks. I believe, from what I’m hearing, that we would be able to overcome this.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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