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Days Of Our Lives Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Lisa Rinna

This is an interview with Lisa Rinna on March 1, 2012 about the show Days Of Our Lives.

Question:
Does it make you so happy to know that the fans are just dying for you to come back?

Lisa Rinna:
That makes me feel wonderful. That's just a bonus, absolutely. That makes me feel great.

Question:
You have a few secrets of how you have not changed how you look since you appeared the first time. What's your tips on this?

Lisa Rinna:
It's really funny because when I came back there's quite a few characters that are back after almost 20 years, there's about 8 of us. And I have to tell you that no one has changed. Everyone looks exactly the same from Missy Reeves to Patrick Muldoon to Matthew Ashford, Deidre Hall, Kristian Alfonso, I mean, Peter Reckell, they're all the same.

I guess I'm very happy to be joining that group of people who don't age. I think that if I have any secret it's really living a blessed life and being happy. And I take pretty good care of myself, you know. I think we all know I'm a workout fanatic. And I will try anything that's healthy food-wise, diet-wise. I'm a female Dr. Oz-in-training in my own head. And I'm always looking for whatever it is that makes you feel better.

I'm so busy and I think all of us women, as mothers and working moms and wives, we tend not to put ourselves first. And we really need to because we have a lot of work to do. It's really busy. And so I'm really always just doing it not necessarily for how I look, but how I feel. Because I really think it starts with if you feel good everything else goes much better and then you tend to look good too.

Question:
Is there any chance that Billie will be singing again on Days of Our Lives?

Lisa Rinna:
I don't know. That would be a question for the writers. I've had a few people ask me that. It would certainly be fun. I would certainly love that. It would make me go to my voice coach and start training. As we all know, Billie first started on the show singing Come Rain or Come Shine I think. So yes, it would be fun. I would like that.

Question:
The show just is such an iconic show that television really cherishes. What do you think it is that continues to captivate viewers?

Lisa Rinna:
I think it's great story and great characters and it's generational. You know, it's something that you can share with your family. You know, everybody can watch it and it brings families together and keeps them together. And I think it's that. I think it's just good story telling.

Question:
It's been a few years since you've done the show. Did you find that there were a lot of challenges and what specifically would be your biggest in returning to the show?

Lisa Rinna:
I came back in 2002 for about six months. I don't even remember it, to be honest with you. So really consistently doing the show it's been 17 years. So I think for me coming back, again, it's like riding a bike. You know, once you've played a character and done that, it is like getting back on a bike and riding.

But I will say that the whole format's changed and it's very much like live theater now. It's very fast and you have to get out there and you have to know your lines and you have to really be prepared because it really goes quickly. And there's no time there's no retakes and they move. So I like that very much too because I really enjoy doing live television and I like live theater and I like live anything.

So not only do I love being able to be back acting, I get to do it in a way that sort of combines everything I've done over the last six or seven years. And I'm loving it. I'm just loving every second of it.

Question:
What are you most looking forward to of the things that are still to come?

Lisa Rinna:
I love not knowing. Like I have no idea what they have in store for Billie and it's sort of like life. Like we don't really know what's going to happen from day to day. So I'm always excited by will she get a new love interest? Who will I be working with? What's my story going to be? It's very unknown and it's kind of exciting I think, that way.

Question:
Any special moments reconnecting with people again? Maybe Patrick or Lauren Koslow?

Lisa Rinna:
Very much so, both of them. They're family to me even though they're my TV family. And Lauren could never be my mother in real life because she's not old enough to be my mom. So there's a really nice friendship and connection with both of them that, again, they feel like family to me. And that's really special to have. Especially I haven't seen Lauren probably in ten years.

I've seen Patrick. I had seen Patrick about a year ago. I started running into him. And he's one of the reasons why I decided to go back to the show. He kind of put the bug in my ear when he told me he was going back. And I thought, ???Oh, that could be fun. That could be an interesting thing.??? So anyway, I really have a special connection with both of them and it's really nice to reconnect in that way.

Question:
You mentioned interest as far as having a new love interest. Of course the rumor is it's going to be Dr. Daniel who's made the rounds through half of the women in Salem. So how are you going to kind of rise about that challenge that he has romanced your mother and your daughter on the show?

Lisa Rinna:
That's a really darn good question. Feelings are very powerful. And I think complete conflict would definitely be in the mix. But again when you're passionate about somebody it can override many, many things. So we'll see. I love that there's that kind of obstacle. I love that so it's not it's never easy in a soap. Certainly it's either going to be the person I hate and that hates me. Or somebody that has major obstacles to overcome, and that's what we love about soaps, isn't it? Or one of the things we love.

Question:
Coming back on the show, how do you look at where Billie is now in her life? Is that where you would've wanted to take her?

Lisa Rinna:
I like where they brought her. Billie's grown, she's evolved, she's matured hopefully. She's lived a lot of life. And in that there's been a lot of joy, there's been a lot of pain, there's been a lot of life lived. And so hopefully my bringing that as an actress to the role and Billie coming back, I like the way the show has written her back in, I think the audience will too. And then we'll see where that develops and evolves.

Question:
Since soaps were often like a training ground really for actors to get their experience, what do you think of the opportunities now for actors in a world with less soap operas than years past?

Lisa Rinna:
Thank God they're still here. I think it is a wonderful training ground. Certainly it's where I got all my training. The reality world has certainly taken up a big space. But I've got to tell you, the actors that I am working with right now on this show are so talented. You know, the young, the 20-year-olds as I call them, which is what we were 20 years ago when I was doing the show. Now looking at these young kids, they are so talented it blows my mind. I mean, the talent on this show is like none other. And these people just continue to just hit the ball out of the park.

And it's so much fun for me to work with such good actors. I mean, these people are real, real good. I'm amazed. I come home and I tell Harry probably nightly, I say, ???Let me tell you about this scene today. And let me tell you Chandler and...??? I mean, just these kids are unreal. So I think that they're getting the training somewhere and they're coming acting class, of course, if you can't work on a soap or live theater is probably our best bet. But yes, it's dwindling. So wherever they're coming from they're coming in a big, strong way to Days of Our Lives because these kids are talented.

Question:
How has the soap opera world changed since you first began on it?

Lisa Rinna:
I haven't been there long enough to see, clearly we've all seen the changes in the soap opera world. All you have to do is look around and see what's left on television. I was trying to think today, I was flipping through the channels and I went, ???Okay, what's the difference between The Chew and The Revolution???? You know, there is none. The real estate has changed dramatically and that we can all see I think. I think it's sad to lose such great shows.

But the shows that are left are great, very strong soap operas I think. And so what I've seen just personally what's changed is the budgets and the way they're run they're very efficient now so that they can stay on the air. And they have to be.

Question:
What advice would you give to people breaking out that want to be in the soap business or the acting business?

Lisa Rinna:
I don't think you can just be in any business. You can't just say, ???Okay I want to just be in the soap business.??? As an actor now you have to really be able to do anything and everything. And you have to continue to really brand yourself because there's not that much work anymore. So you really have to figure out what can I do? You need to be a triple threat. You need to sing, you need to dance, you need to act. You have to really study and be very strong because the opportunities are much less.

Question:
We were following very closely and you had a little Twitter dispute with Alison Sweeney about her Hollywood Moms' Club show. How or if that's been resolved and did that cause any tension on set between the two of you?

Lisa Rinna:
Absolutely did cause no tension and absolutely resolved. And we all learn our lessons. We shouldn't use Twitter as that sort of forum. Everything is fantastic and I love Ali Sweeney and it's all good.

Question:
How did your hiring come about? Did the show approach you or did you approach them?

Lisa Rinna:
It all just kind of came together. We both sort of assessed each other out at the same time and I couldn't even exactly tell you how it came about, to be honest with you. I ended up at a lunch with the producers and the next thing I knew we had the producers and one of the writers and next thing I know I was coming on the show. But it really started with Muldoon. It's all because of Muldoon. Let's put all the blame on Muldoon. That's where it started is with Muldoon.

Question:
Can you preview what Billie's first scenes are going to be? How and why does she arrive in Salem?

Lisa Rinna:
I do come back to do something with my mother. That I can tell you. So you will first see me with my mother.

Question:
Will Billie run one of the heads of Countess Wilhelmina Cosmetics? How does Billie get involved in this mess?

Lisa Rinna:
What I can tell you is that Billie created Countess Wilhelmina. So she's the one who started it. And we'll see how that plays out.

Question:
Are you going to be coming between Bo and Hope again or is that a been there, done that?

Lisa Rinna:
I believe that is going to be a been there, done that. And I have a child with Bo, obviously, but we are in a platonic relationship.

Question:
Is Billie coming back with any secrets?

Lisa Rinna:
Yes. Everyone has secrets on a soap opera, come on now.

Question:
I wanted to ask you when you were talking about you sat down for lunch and you talk with the powers that be about bringing you back and the writers. Did you guys talk about Billie having the same kind of edge or would she be more mature this time? Can you still expect her to be the spitfire that she was? And kind of what did you guys discuss that made you want to definitely do this?

Lisa Rinna:
We talked about everything. I come to the table with a pretty full life and you talk about everything and how it work and what it would look like. And Billie's a great character. And they've never killed her off. Obviously they've had three different actresses play her. I think there's been three of us. So I think there's a lot of value in that family and Billie as a character. And she will absolutely have her spunk and her fire. So she definitely didn't lose that, nor did I. I still have mine. So I guess I bring that definitely.

But again, she's matured and she's in a different place in her life right now. So I think what you'll find interesting and what I find interesting is some tables have turned and some roles have kind of shifted between some of the characters. So maybe where Austin being my big brother used to take care of me, I may be taking more care of him and even more care of my mother right now. Which that's a role reversal which I think's an interesting road to take.

Question:
Would you ever like to see her to go back to her drug days even though they just did a huge drug storyline with Crystal Chappell?

Lisa Rinna:
That was so fun.

Question:
But we loved Billie as an addict. Didn't they inject her and they tied her up years ago?

Lisa Rinna:
My father did that. Billie took a big old acid trip and oh my gosh, I'll never forget that. That was so much fun. As an actress that's just juicy to play all of that. You never know. People can slip up and certainly we watch it in the news all the time. I think that would be a really interesting story to play out and follow. Maybe she slips up, you know. Maybe she goes back if there's some serious pain and she slips and all of a sudden she's an addict again. Oh I would love that. That would be fantastic to play.

Question:
With your time as Billie on the show before, do you have a favorite storyline or favorite scene that you worked on that you just loved to look back on that's your favorite?

Lisa Rinna:
It's been over like 20 years so it's hard to remember, to be honest with you. After two kids my brain is like shot. But what I do really remember and I remember really loving was I think it was the great love story with Billie and Bo. And when I was working with Robert Kelker-Kelly and the whole arc of that story was very powerful and really interesting and fun to play.

Question:
What is it about the character Billie that you love that brings you coming back for more?

Lisa Rinna:
She's one of those great characters. There's just never a dull moment. There's always something going on. I mean, she's that underdog, she's that fighter, she's that survivor. She messes up and you want to root for her and you want to help her. And she's just it's one of those great, great characters that it's hard to explain. It gets under your skin and one of the reasons why I wanted to go back and play her again is there's so many places to take her.

Question:
Were you at all hesitant to open up about your sex life for The Big, Fun, Sexy Sex Book?

Lisa Rinna:
To make it really short and sweet, yes, I think it is always anytime we talk about sex I think we all cringe because that's how we were brought up. It's just something that you're not supposed to talk about. But I like to do things that scare me. I like to take risks. And in my book Rinnavation that I wrote back in 2008, I really opened up and I wrote about that and losing my sexual desire after having my children. And I got such a response from women thanking me and thanking me for the help and being brave enough to talk about it.

But I thought ???Why not???? You know, we write so many books. There's so many books on diet and exercise and this and that, but we don't have a book about sex and relationships and how to keep the intimacy and what to do and we just won't talk about it. And I think it does need to be talked about because I really think it is a very important part of a relationship and keeping a lasting marriage. And there's so many facets to it. So when it was presented to me and when I met Ian Kerner, who is a sex expert, therapist, I just thought, ???Wow what a great thing to be able to do to help people and help women.??? So that's why I did it.

Question:
How did your husband feel about you opening up about it all?

Lisa Rinna:
Well my husband cringes at just about everything I do to be honest with you. But he's known me for so long that he's used to it. He knows that underneath it all it's helpful and it's the right information. And of course I don't do anything that would make him feel so uncomfortable. But he married me and he knows the deal, he knows what he got into and he knows that I'm very open and I'm very honest about things. And I tried to do it in a way that I wasn't like talking for him, I was talking for me and my experience.

And if you wanted to know his experience you would really have to talk to him about it more, if that makes sense. So I wasn't really speaking for him. I was speaking for what our relationship is through myself, if that makes any sense at all. I think of course he'll be horrified, he's always horrified by what I do. But in the end he goes, ???You know what, you did the right thing and you rocked it and congratulations.??? So that's the story there.

Question:
How excited are you as a glamorous woman yourself that Billie's back with Countess Wilhelmina?

Lisa Rinna:
It's funny because it was more my husband. It was really more Harry. He just hated the fact that they put me in that cop uniform. It's so funny. You know, I really didn't care because it was actually easy. You know, you didn't have to do wardrobe, you just get in that cop uniform and you don't put much makeup on. I actually didn't mind it. He was just furious about it, which is so funny.

So this time when I said, ???You know, I think I'm going to go back, what do you think???? He goes, ???Only if they don't put you in that cop uniform. You have to go tell them if you get in that cop uniform you can't go back.??? He's so funny. So yes, it's nice to be going back to work in that area of I mean, I have been a business woman over the past nine years running my store Belle Gray, so I had some experience there too. So that felt right it felt nice to go back into Countess Wilhelmina mode.

Question:
Is there any chance you could talk your husband into guest starring on Days of Our Lives?

Lisa Rinna:
You'd have to ask him. That's a real good question. He and I like to work together, we really do. You know, who knows? You know, never say never. He may make a cameo, I don't know. You'd have to ask him.

Question:
How much pressure do you feel as someone with a lot of mainstream recognition to bring viewers back to Salem?

Lisa Rinna:
I think that you always feel pressure in this business, don't you? I mean, we always feel pressure. I'm not really thinking about that, to be honest with you. I mean, I hope to be able to help keep the show on the air, how about that? It would be really nice to bring enough viewership and attention to it and bring people back so that we can keep soaps on the air.

And if I were able to help in that way in some way, that would really make me feel good and be great. But I can't you can't put that kind of pressure on yourself because people either want to watch or they don't, you know. But hopefully they'll be curious enough to tune in. And of course I would love for a million more people to tune in. I mean, that would be a nice coup, wouldn't it?

Question:
You're big into working out and good diets. Have you considered starting a program for young teenage girls so they know the proper way to diet and exercise?

Lisa Rinna:
What a great idea. I would love to do that. I mean, certainly I'm doing that in my own home. I have a preteen and I have a full-blown teen. And so I certainly am doing that here. And I think that is a great idea and I would love to look into that more and maybe even being able to do that with my daughters. Could be a really great idea. Thank you.

Question:
Can you say if your return this time to Days is more of a short-term story arc. Or if you have plans to stay long-term?

Lisa Rinna:
I don't know if I can talk about it exactly. But I think it's going to be longer than as long as we're all having fun we're going to keep doing it. We'll see. But I think it's not super short-term, no.

Question:
How do you feel about that now that SOAPnet's going off the air? You were part of this Soap Talk, which at the time was great for the genre but then it kind of started getting watered down. Do you feel that watered down and didn't stay true to what it originally was for? Or do you think it needed to do that when eventually it went away anyways?

Lisa Rinna:
It's hard to answer that question. I think it evolved with the times. And I really didn't have control over that. It was more production and a network decision-making. And unfortunately that was what was going on and has gone on in the times. But it was great to be a part of it was a great fun, I loved working with Ty. It was a great show. We had a great time. I've met every single person that's ever done a soap opera, I think. And I have a lot of friends out there, you know. It was a great time, it was a great run.

Question:
You mentioned that you and Bo share a daughter, who is Chelsea Brady. And my question is are there any plans for her to come back even to make a quick appearance to say hi to her mom and grandmother? Or it's not in the works at all?

Lisa Rinna:
I don't know the answer to that question, to be honest with you. They're off in Europe right now and that's all I know.

Question:
We've seen you come onto Dancing with the Stars several times again since that second season that you were on and did such a great job. I'm just wondering are you still keeping up with show? And what do you think of the lineup this season?

Lisa Rinna:
Of course I keep up with the show. I love that show. It has a very special place in my heart. And it's fun because every season now I have friends that end up doing it. I was just thinking about the new season. And my friend Maria Menounos, my friend Jack Wagner and my friend Melissa Gilbert. So those are three people that I know quite well. Certainly working with Jack on Melrose. I've run into him from time-to-time over the years, but haven't seen a whole lot of him. And Maria, who I adore and see. Anyway, it's fun.

What I'm saying is it's just really fun to see people that you know do the show. And I think this season is fun and wacky and is going to be delicious like it always is.

Question:
You juggle a lot of work projects and family as well. So I'm wondering what do you like to do to just chill out and have Lisa time?

Lisa Rinna:
I like a good spa. I like to go away. I like to I have some secret little like Korean baths that I'll go to and just chill out and soak in the hot springs and massages and do facials and it's that kind of just chill time. I do a lot of yoga, which really helps keep me sane and grounded I would say. So that and taking dance class. You know, I love to take Louis Van Amstel's LaBlast dance class, which is so fun and so freeing. I love hanging with my family and just spending time with them and that's great downtime for me, just being together.

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