'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' star NeNe Leakes sounds off on tonight's premiere: 'I usually watch it with one eye open and one eye closed.'
Image Credit: Quantrell Colbert/BravoTonight is the third season premiere of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which returns with two new cast members in model Cynthia Bailey and lawyer Phaedra Parks. Of course, NeNe, Kandi, Shereé, and Kim are back, too, with loads of drama. (NFL wifey Lisa Wu Hartwell is not returning.) If tonight’s episode is any indication, this season is going to be a doozy. And what better way to celebrate the craziness than to have ever-hilarious mouthpiece NeNe Leakes preview it all for us? Here, NeNe talks about what’s coming up for her (entertainment reporting!), her dynamic with all the other ladies, who’s doing her wrong (Dwight!), and who’s recording a single this coming season.
On her storylines: “You see a lot of ups and downs with me. I am working on my career. I’m working on being an independent woman these days. Besides being an author, I am trying to do talk show hosting bits. You’ll see me do an entertainment segment. You’ll see my relationships change with the girls throughout the season. I think you’ll see a more business NeNe. I’ve always been very business savvy, but you haven’t had the chance to see that side of me. You’ll still have the fun, outspoken, loud NeNe — that will never change — but you’ll see the business side of me.”
On her dynamic with Kim: “I think when you say ‘NeNe’ and ‘Kim’ in the same sentence, you need to end it with drama and some exclamation points! We will be friendly this season, but we will also have challenges to overcome.”
On her dynamic with Shereé: “I do talk to Shereé and we are okay, but I think that Shereé and my relationship just is what it is. We will never be friends because of things that we’ve gone through in the past, and I don’t know if it’s ever come across on television before. It’s very hard for me to have something to do with somebody that’s not very loyal as a friend. Unfortunately for Shereé and I, we don’t view friendships the same way.”
On her dynamic with Kandi: “What I don’t think people know from last season was that I had met Kandi for the first time, and I just didn’t know her. I didn’t know her mom or anybody! So this season I will get to meet her mom for the first time. We’re not like besties. We don’t get that close. We’re just regular acquaintances, that kind of thing.”
On new cast members Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks: “I think they will bring an interesting dynamic to the relationships that are already on the show. One of the girls, Cynthia, I talk to her quite regularly. We form a rather nice friendship, so I think you guys will like seeing that. Phaedra is one of the other girls. I don’t talk to her very much on the show. She was around, but it’s almost like she wasn’t around. I don’t really think her personality stuck out that much. It was weird for me because Phaedra and I are from the same hometown. I met her back in high school, and so it was really different to see her come on the show. It was just odd to me. My opinion is, maybe they could have found two other castmates that were really exciting.”
On who’s recording a single: “We have a surprise for you! One of our gay friends that’s always with us on the show is going to do a single. Honey, one of them is going to really give it to you and you’re going to love it. It’s fabulous! He’s going to debut it in a nightclub, and we’re all going to attend, and it’s going to be fabulous. You’re going to be surprised which gay guy it is.”
On Kim’s follow-up to “Tardy for the Party”: “When we talk about Kim releasing a single, let’s be serious here: Kim is playing around. She’s not a singer by any means. So there you go. It’ll be a song that you never hear Kim sing live — I doubt it — ever, ever in your life. She’s not a singer, she’s just giving us a talent show. She’s like, ‘I’m releasing my single,’ like she’s really singing. Girl, you are not Lady Gaga, let’s be for real.”
On her brewing fight with gay BFF Dwight: “I’ve heard we were having World War III! I think a lot of that is rumors, but our relationship does take a turn, I will say that. But it’s not as bad as I’ve heard in the media, like we had a fist-fight or something. Like, I’m way too ladylike and way too fabulous, even if I have on jeans, so I’m not doing a fist-fight. Me? Now, I will get up in your face and let you have it verbally, but when you start talking about touching one another, that’s a whole different story. First of all, I would snatch Dwight a new ass if he even touched me, so that has not happened.”
On her mindset going into the season: “Going into each season is scary to me because, first of all, we’re curious to see what they’ve done in the editing room. Then I’m curious to see what the viewers are going to think. I’m always scared. I usually watch it with one eye open and one eye closed.”
Are you planning to tune in tonight, PopWatchers?
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky