Marisa Zanuck is the newest face on the hit series Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! She is very blunt, and has no issue speaking her mind which is one of the reasons I knew I had to chat with her. Viewers fell in love with Marisa when she stood up for the underdog, Brandi Glanville, during her first appearance on the show at her friend Kyle’s dinner party.
I met Marisa at the Hilton & Hyland real estate offices in Beverly Hills where she has worked for many years as a successful real estate agent. Marisa was dressed very casually in jeans, a plaid button down shirt and some sneakers. Marisa explained that she is not one to be flashy with aesthetics, but she is a Beverly Hills girl so of course her tennis shoes at least had to be bedazzled! Marisa was all business and very direct as we spoke. It must be the real estate negotiator in her, however, once we started to talk about her husband and her kids, a softer side of her came out which was nice to see.
When you follow the world of these Housewives, a lot of times you see people say about one of the ladies, “she sure can dish it but she can’t take it!” One of my favorite things about Marisa is that she seems like the type to dish it AND take it. She definitely serves it up but will also be the first to take criticism and accept when she is wrong about something. Our interview proved just that. While she has not really contributed to the storyline of the show this season (Marisa discusses why!), I have a feeling she will become a main fixture as the second half of the season progresses.
Marisa spoke about her experience coming into this group of women who already had a lot of history together. Marisa opens up about why her opinion of Lisa changed so drastically, the state of her marriage despite what she has said on the show, and talks about her upcoming ventures. Marisa is not one to bite her tongue, so check out our exclusive interview!
AllAboutTRH: How did you get approached to come onto RHOBH? Did Kyle recommend you or were you recruited separately?
MZ: Kyle was instrumental in bringing me onto the show. Also, the producers liked me and had seen me before on Selling LA, but I was brought in through Kyle.
RHOBH is a whole different beast compared to Selling LA.
Were your expectations way off from what you actually experienced filming the show?
Even though I’d watched the show, I didn’t really know what to expect being inside it when you go in and meet all the women. All the women are strong in different ways, and I always wanted to do a show like that. With Selling LA I didn’t get to show my personality – it was strictly selling houses. Beverly Hills Housewives is more fun for sure.
Do your first impressions of the girls still stand today?
When you watch the show you only see pieces of the girls. You don’t get to see the full story just because there isn’t enough time in an hour to show the whole story. The editors and producers try to put it all together as best as you can but sometimes you don’t see why somebody says or does something. All the girls are very nice and I like them all.
I don’t like Taylor! Taylor kind of bugs. She’s just very narcissistic and whenever we’re all together talking about something, she’ll bring up something about herself that was traumatic. I mean, I feel for her! She’d just been through a horrible time, but at the same time we don’t always have to talk about it and we don’t always have to hear about it. It’s not the Taylor show. So it’s just frustrating in that area.
Is Taylor getting phased out? We haven’t seen any of her in two episodes this season!
I don’t know because I’m not involved in that. I have no idea. I mean, I don’t love her so I don’t really care.
You came into the show a few episodes into the season. Was it planned this way all along or were you asked to join after filming had begun?
We’d been in talks for many months before I came on, but I think they wanted to introduce me as a surprise. I came in at episode eight which was hard. It was hard because all of the drama that was happening with the women had happened early in the season as yous saw. So for me to come in late, it’s not really my place and I am not the type of person to start talking about what everybody did when I wasn’t there to witness it. So that’s why I’m quiet in a lot of the episodes. They’re talking about something that I have no real information on except what everyone is talking about. I’m also not the type of person to speak my two cents if I don’t really have an opinion on something. There’s so much drama, and I’m not a drama person, so it’s like ‘why can’t we get along?’
A lot of the drama seems to have spilled over from the season two reunion as well, which you weren’t present for.
Exactly. I saw the show and I know what happens, but I don’t know the back story and now being involved I know back story of what really happened when they were shooting that.
I wondered if you coming into filming later was due to Yolanda, the new Housewife, being boring and not really bringing much to the table besides lemons and flowers.
Yeah, a lot of people say that, but I think they say that about me too. A lot of people have been saying on Twitter that I’m boring. I can understand them feeling that way because for example, Brandi when she came in really inserted herself into these women. Maybe she just felt more comfortable doing that, but I am not that person. I am very opinionated and strong, but not judgmental. If I have an opinion, I will state it. But I’m not going to come in and start going ‘you’re a bitch!’ or ‘you’re an asshole!’ I mean that’s not my style. You have to hurt me and offend me for me to say those things to you.
I definitely speak my mind but people are saying I’m boring – and I’m thinking they probably want me to act like a crazy bitch. I can be mean and I can say stupid things, which I have said on the show, and as you’ll see from here on forth I’m very much involved. I was getting warmed up to this point. I really was.
Yolanda called you “bitter” and “jealous” after last week’s episode’s blogs. Do you think she is too sensitive?
Yeah, I think that was a joke. I think she’s totally overreacting. I mean, we’re on a show. If she thinks that was me being bitter and jealous, she’s hanging out with the wrong bunch of girls because that wasn’t mean at all. We’re supposed to poke fun of each other.
The way I look at the show is we’re supposed to have fun with it! The show is supposed to show our lives and us having fun, and of course there’s going to be drama. Yolanda saying I’m bitter and jealous is like, I don’t even think about Yolanda during the day. When she said that I was so mad! That’s when I get mad, when somebody attacks. I was thinking I’m going to go crazy on her, but then I relaxed and let it go. It’s silly.
We’re supposed to have fun with each other and not make drama out of every little thing somebody says. I would never want to hurt any of the girls and I would never say anything bad about the girls in a public forum. I might to my friend or my sister, but not to a public forum. To make fun of something in a light way is not a big deal.
At Lisa’s dinner party, Brandi and Adrienne finally come face to face over all this drama. Were you present for that?
I was at the dinner party. The Brandi and Adrienne thing comes up again, and I will say this. I do believe Brandi when she says she’s being sued and Adrienne says she’s not. Brandi did get a lawyer, and it really did stress Brandi out. It was a very hard time for Brandi.
Why do you think Adrienne is adamant that she is NOT suing Brandi?
I think she doesn’t want to look bad possibly. Adrienne is nice but I think she has a little something missing. She’s a very nice woman, but something is a little off. Maybe she doesn’t believe she’s really suing Brandi. Some people are like that – they don’t believe they’re doing something and talk themselves out of it. But I like Adrienne, but something is a little miffed there.
Did you interact with Adrienne a lot during filming?
I did interact with her a lot actually. She’s a very sweet woman, I actually saw her the other night. We ended up having dinner at the same restaurant and someone told her “there’s another Housewife here!” and she asks “Is it somebody I like?!” So once she saw it was me she came over to say hi.
I like her, but I don’t know what’s going on. Viewers have strong opinions of her but they only see a piece of her.
Your first appearance was when you stood up for Brandi at Kyle’s dinner party. Are you friends with Faye since you’ve been friends with Kyle for so many years?
I’m really good friends with Kyle but I only know Faye casually. I like Faye, but we had a difference of opinion. My opinion was that Faye was going on and on about something she wasn’t involved in and it wasn’t her place to go after Brandi. Even if she had been there, I felt that it was too much. But I do like Faye and I just spoke my mind that night.
In one of your early interviews you said that Lisa was fake on-camera because she would ignore you off-camera. Since then you tweeted Brandi saying she was right about Lisa being a great woman. What caused the change in opinion?
I am the type of person that says what I feel at the moment. I will say I was wrong about Lisa. In my early interactions with Lisa, I felt that maybe she didn’t like me or was a bit standoffish with me. She carries herself so elegantly and is so beautiful, but then she acts so crazy and cute which is adorable to me.
I really like her now, but at the time I did feel that she would only talk to me when we were shooting but not when we weren’t shooting. I took it the wrong way possibly. I don’t think we knew each other very well but I will say I do like Lisa. I had an event here in Beverly Hills for David Webb and they wanted me to host it. A lot of the women said they were coming because I was originally going to co-host with Kyle but she got another job so she had to be out of town that day. I was left alone, and Brandi was going to come but she had just had surgery so she couldn’t come.
Brandi was very instrumental in getting Lisa there for me and it was very nice. I told Brandi I was so bummed that a lot of the ladies cancelled or didn’t show, and Brandi said ‘I’m going to call Lisa for you.’ I told her not to because I felt she didn’t like me and it was last minute and didn’t want to bother her. Brandi said ‘that’s not true!’ so while I’m at the event already, Brandi tells me Lisa is coming. So Lisa and Ken came and it was really, really nice of her to support me and be there. For her to show up was a really big deal.
I was totally wrong about Lisa and I really do like her and she is a very good woman. Once you do something good for me I will always have your back and, I really like Lisa.
Viewers were surprised you didn’t know Kim prior to the show especially since you’ve been friends with her sister Kyle for a long time.
With Kim, I don’t really know her. Kim always lived in Palm Springs for many years, so I never really met her. Kyle and I were together almost everyday when our kids were really little, and I didn’t know Kim and I still don’t. I think she’s doing well and everything is working out for her so that’s good!
Will we see more of your husband on the show? Viewers loved him at the Moroccan dinner after his “dessert” comedy relief!
Yes. We have been on a lot together and you will see more of him. We will be packing up for another trip very soon that he’s involved in and it’s a lot of fun. We’re giggling because I have to pack him and pick out all his clothes and shop for him. He does not buy one thing on his own. So it’s very funny when we’re packing because he keeps things forever and it’s a nice clip, but hopefully they will show it.
How about your children, will they make appearances?
My kids did shoot but I don’t know what will make it and will not!
Usually when you’re a “friend” of the Housewives you don’t really shoot a lot of your personal life at home!
We actually did shoot a lot! Me and Dean cooking, the kids and I riding bikes with Dean… So I don’t know why that stuff hasn’t been on. Maybe it just didn’t fit but the kids definitely did shoot a lot with us.
How do you feel about the backlash from the comments you made about Dean and your marriage?
I think that I’m misinterpreted. Anybody that has been married for a long time thinks about being in a romantic relationship with someone else. Whenever I have girls nights we always talk about hot guys and that’s what girls do. I’m just the only girl who’s brave enough to speak the truth. Some of the other girls are too prissy to say stuff like that on camera because they don’t want that reputation, which they’re very smart for by the way!
I just speak my mind, but I adore my husband! We’ve been together for almost 17 years, and there has been hard times, but we get each other. He knows how stupid and crazy I am! So when he looks at the show he just goes ‘Oh my god, that’s Marisa!’ I’m lucky to have someone who gets me because another man would probably be like ‘you’re out!’
We have the type of relationship where we can be honest and say whatever to each other. The great thing about my husband is that, right now I’m five pounds overweight, and I’m like ‘I have to go to the gym every day! but he tells me I have the best body ever. He is very in love with my face so he doesn’t even care about that. So I am lucky to have a husband who really understands me and loves me.
Viewers want to know if you think Dean can knock Mauricio off the title of sexiest Househusband?
Yes! People have been tweeting me that it’s time for Maurice to step down now.
Side note: Marisa says it’s not just Kim who calls Mauricio “Maurice”. When she met him at work everyone called him Maurice, or Mo!
Would you return to the show next season if asked?
I probably would.
Would you like to be a full time Housewife?
Probably. It is a little weird because you get a lot of sh!t from people, and it is hard when people say mean things to you. But my husband and friends just tell me to play it cool even though I want to lash out on people. Like Brandi always says, ‘there’s always haters out there.’ I can’t please everybody and it’s hard because I’m a pleaser and I can’t please everybody.
Who are you closest with since filming wrapped?
Kyle. And I always talk to Brandi. I’ve been talking to her about her book lately and it’s going to be an easy, fun read. People will definitely enjoy that.
Do you watch any other Housewives shows?
I love the Atlanta show and I love New York.
Do you have any favorites?
On New York, I don’t really have a favorite. I think Ramona is kind of crazy and Luann is so proper and I like that as well as how she handles the drama. My favorite in Atlanta is Kim Zolciak, because I think she’s a lot like me. I’m a real potty mouth, and it seems like we parent our kids the same way. My kids are my life and there’s no boundaries with us. They sleep in the same bed with us sometimes, they call me 20 times when I go out… My son will do something and I’ll scream like ‘shut the front door!’ and he will try to get me to be a more “proper” mommy. It’s fun!
Do you watch New Jersey?
I do, but I’m kind of over the same family drama! I’m just not interested in the family drama, and I don’t think the other girls are that interesting to be honest.
So many Teresa fans were upset with you for saying Teresa seemed like a bitch!
I know…but I have to say that was me as a viewer. Now that I am involved in the show and I have seen myself, I know how you can be misconstrued and misinterpreted.
I was really out of line saying she was a bitch, but she just lets it go and acts how she acts. She’s like me in the sense that she speaks out. I didn’t think it would get out there that I said that, but since then we have spoken. My publicist did her book, so Teresa and I are good! And she does seem like a great girl. I think I would really like her, but on the show, you never know the whole story of what’s happening with her and her sister in law.
Let’s talk about your jewelry line! When will that launch?
I don’t know. I probably shouldn’t have said anything but I got really excited and I posted photos. I go to New York in a week for another meeting to work on it. I’ve always designed my own jewelry and I’ve always had people come up and ask me where it’s from! I will always dress down but I always have to have great jewelry and it’s my passion. I enjoy shopping for it, I love the history behind it. I love learning about the different stones and why they’re cut a certain way. I’m very interested in gemology, vintage and Victorian jewelry.
I want to keep the pricing moderate so everyone can afford it. I have some really big people out of New York working on distribution who have worked with Kim Kardashian and other big stars so it looks really good! If I’m on the show next season you will definitely see me working on this.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell viewers and your new fans?
Just to try to understand my personality and try to see where I am coming from. Also, don’t take things too seriously because at the time I may say something I don’t mean or doesn’t make sense at that moment! Just take everything with a grain of salt and have fun watching. Don’t be judgemental because we’re all human and we all have feelings and we’re all here to have a good time.
I don’t think any of the girls intentionally want to hurt anybody. I think sometimes it does happen, but I don’t think that’s the goal of anybody on the show. We are all girls who work and have fun together.
What do you think of all that Marisa had to say?