"Real Housewives of D.C." starlet Stacie Turner dishes on the Salahis, living in the District and being the only African-American woman cast on the runaway hit reality series ahead of its premiere tonight.
"Real Housewives of D.C." has become a huge yet controversial franchise. What made you want to be involved? I talked with the producers and I really liked the fact that they said they were going to make the D.C. version a little bit more sophisticated and different from the other cities. I questioned, 'Did that mean no drama?' and they said, 'Of course not! You'll still get drama; it's just different from other "Real Housewives" series.'
Are you originally from D.C.? I grew up in Alexandria, Va., went to Howard University, moved around a bit and settled here with my husband in 1997.
What are your favorite things to do in the Distirct? I love bike riding with my family, eating at intimate restaurants like Oya, and I actually love to shop at Basari in Baltimore. They have designs that you just can't find in D.C.
If you could have dinner with three of the most powerful people in D.C. -- past or present -- who would it be? President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Are you actually a housewife or do you work full time? I'm a career woman. I work in real estate. I run my charity Extra-Ordinary Life. I have two kids, a husband and I'm trying to keep a household together. I, like many woman across the city, wear multiple hats.
Why did you decide to start your charity? It was very personal for me. I was adopted out of foster care when I was six months old. I decided to focus my charity on young women ages 13-18 who are without permanent homes. There are nearly 2,000 young women right here in D.C. who are without a family. It was important for me to give them the experiences that they aren't fortunate enough to have. I actually just took eight teenagers to South Africa a few weeks ago and watching them learn about another culture was so inspiring.
When you were officially cast on the "Real Housewives of D.C." did you know you were the only woman of color and how did you feel when you found out? I was surprised because D.C. is such a diverse city and it is known as Chocolate City. I expected there to be other nationalities on the show and there weren't. I feel additional pressures and really hope that I represent well. However, we interact with so many people on the show that I feel like viewers will get a great flavor for the city and the different circles people flow in.
What was your favorite moment on the show? I think one of the really funny moments is when we went to the Salahis' vineyard and stomped grapes. I loved that; it was so much fun!
Did you have any regrets when you were finish filming? I wouldn't say I had any regrets, no. But filming did make me realize how busy life already is. Filming is a lot, you have to have your hair, makeup and clothes together daily. It's so much to keep up with.
What cast member are you closest to? Surprisingly, Catherine. If you see the first episode you probably wouldn’t think so. We didn't know each other when we started filming, and in the beginning we butted heads. I actually find her refreshing now.
There's been a lot of negative press surrounding the Salahis. What do you think of them personally? My husband and I interacted with them in a number of scenes during the show. They’ve been nothing but nice and friendly to us. I don’t have any ill feelings towards them. I don’t want to judge them on what happened. They’ve treated us well.
How are you going to take it when you no longer have privacy and millions of people know who you are? I'm not too worried about it specifically in D.C. People here tend to be more reserved than most cities. I think it'll be OK.
If the opportunity presented itself, would you do a season 2? You know, ask me midway through the season, but so far yes. I just hope my reality gets portrayed the way it really is.