Everyone's favorite New York City "Housewife" got very "Real" when she made a surprise appearance at a "Real Housewives of New York City" viewing party Tuesday night.
We're talking about the original Skinnygirl herself, Bethenny Frankel!
Frankel surprised a group of girls who were invited to a special screening of the show, sending the room in ecstatic screams and applause when she made her appearance.
I caught up with Frankel, 44, between all the excitement and sips of some very delicious Skinnygirl cocktails.
Talk to me about your new book, "I Suck at Relationships So You Don't Have To." Why did you decide to write it?
I had a conversation with someone, and he said that I sucked at relationships. And I do, but I have so much experience with dating and relationships. And everyone said I had sucked at business, but then I succeeded. I felt the same way about business as I felt about relationships. I will get this thing right, and why go through so much pain and suffering if I can't help someone else to not go through the same pain and suffering that I went through?
This is your eighth book. How is writing for you compared to being on television?
I love to write. It's something that has to be part of all of it. It's the real, raw communication. You're not being edited. I play it down, being a writer, because I'm not that writer who secludes herself during the writing process. But I'm a writer.
You were absent the past few seasons of "Real Housewives of New York City." Why did you decide to return to the show?
I wanted to, and I had talked to Andy Cohen. What made me want to come back is the connection with the women and what I've been going through. I wanted to relate again to the same people that built this whole brand, who I connected to through the whole journey. I wanted to get back with them. I wanted to experience who I am with them. Women have gone through what I'm going through. I missed the humor, personal and professionally, and the ridiculousness of it. I am addicted to the laugh, the fun, the intelligent jokes on the show, and there is a lot of that in the "Housewives."
What can viewers and fans expect from the rest of the show's season?
A lot of depth, a lot of humor, a lot of real personal struggle. There is a lot of strong female stuff. It's not sensationalized. It's not drama for the sake of drama, which I despise about reality television. It's not over the top just because you want people to watch. It's not even over the top; it's actually riveting, genuine and compelling. I do not feel embarrassed to be on this show, and there was a time when I was embarrassed to be on the show. And that's why I left.
You've built up your Skinnygirl empire. How did you go about building the brand, and what's next?
I want practical, simple solutions for women. It's about giving the girl an alternative, to allow herself to indulge. I wanted to make it easier for women to have what they want to have and indulge but not feel guilty about it. I wanted to go out and have a margarita that didn't have so much sugar where I'd wake up the next day with a horrible hangover. That's how it started.That idea worked, so let's take it to the next level and connect with the fans and consumer. Now there are non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, things that surround the cocktails.
What are your favorite New York City spots?
La Esquina and L'Artusi are two of my favorite restaurants. I love to go to the High Line and Battery Park. I go to YogaWorks in SoHo and then meet someone for lunch at Morandi. Then I'd come to Soho House for a drink, and then go out and dance.