Gizelle Bryant is so much more than just a stunning smile and eyes that pierce your soul. Starring as the main cast member of The Real Housewives of Potomac for all six seasons, Bryant has taken the world by storm since first gracing our at home TV Screens. Since her Real Housewives debut, Bryant has launched her own beauty line which, until being hit hard by the pandemic and having to halt production, was a hit with customers. In 2019 she wrote her first book titled “My World,” and in 2021 launched her podcast, “Reasonably Shady,” which was nominated for the Outstanding Arts and Entertainment Podcast at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards.
Happy: So you have three amazing daughters that you are so adorable with on Real Housewives of Potomac. Would you be excited if any of them were to be real housewives in the future?
Gizelle: Oh, my gosh. That means, I’m dead and buried. How old will I be? If that’s what they want to do, it’s fine. But I doubt that they would want to do it because we’ve been doing this for years and they’ve seen what it really entails. The fact that it’s hard work and the fact that it’s kind of not really glamorous at all, I doubt they would ever want to do it.
Happy: Yeah, that definitely makes sense. Also, I think that when we see our parents doing something, it automatically makes us want to do it less.
Happy: So who is your favorite housewife out of all the franchises?
Gizelle: Oh, gosh, I have a couple I used to love. Nene… Every episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Watching the first season, I said “oh, my gosh, who is this Nene?” She’s amazing. She’s a star, so I loved her. I really like Kyle Richards, I think that Kyle has been around for so long, and she’s been able to just manage the show and manage the ladies. We’ve seen her kids grow up, we love her husband. Kyle is a quintessential housewife.
Happy: I honestly agree with that. Erika Jayne always says that Kyle’s the heart of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I think that’s kind of true.
Gizelle: 100% yes.
Happy: Totally, so you and your BFF Robyn Dixon started a podcast together called Reasonably Shady. What has been the secret behind not only being able to work together, but remain friends for so many years?
Gizelle: Robyn and I… We were friends before the show started, so I think that helped us. I think that if we met while filming… That’s a different kind of relationship. We trust each other, we just love each other. We’re kind of like sisters. She’s very reasonable, and I’m super shady. We respect each other for who we are. It works. We started the podcast not ever having listened to a podcast. We didn’t really know what we were doing, but we started it. We love it. I mean, we talk to each other all the time anyway. But when we do the podcast, everyone else can hear what we would normally be talking about. So it’s been super fun.
Happy: That’s awesome. You guys definitely have a dynamic that’s so enjoyable to watch and be a part of from afar.
Gizelle: Yeah. We’re actually going to start doing live shows. Our first one is actually next week here in the DMV area. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to be up close and personal with the people that listen to the podcast, because I feel those people are different from the people that watch Potomac. Do you know what I mean?
Happy: That’s going to be so exciting to be able to experience the energy in person.
Gizelle: Yes, I can’t wait.
Happy: That’s going to be awesome. So, something that people around my age struggle with a lot is confidence. I think anyone, that watches RHOP, knows that you’re definitely very comfortable in your skin. So how did you become so confident, or have you always been that way?
Gizelle: Well, how old are you?
Gizelle: Okay, 24. This is sweet. Okay, so when I was 24 when I was in my 20s, was I as confident as I am now? Not. I think that the 20s are a good age to figure it out or to start figuring it out. What I mean by that is… Everybody says you need to figure out who you are. Well, in doing that, it’s baby steps to that. So figure out what you like, what you don’t like, what you like to eat, what you like to do, and what kind of friends do you like? What kind of music do you like? Those kinds of things were very exploratory for me in my 20s. I think once I started figuring out little things that made me happy, I was able to just be more and more confident. My parents raised me with a tremendous amount of love, to the point where it was maybe too much because I felt I could conquer the world. I felt I could do no wrong. I felt if I did do something wrong, it was okay. I’ll figure it out. So I kind of attribute my confidence and who I am to my parents.
Happy: That’s so awesome. Seeing you and your dad on that episode when you went to that historic monument was so touching to watch.
Gizelle: Yeah. In New Orleans, that was amazing. I had never been there, and my dad had been telling me about that place for years. So, to be able to go, with the show, and bring the other ladies was fantastic. It’s always great to know where you came from. That’s also important as it relates to confidence. You have to get to a point and a place in your life where you just don’t care. You don’t care what people think, you don’t care what people say as it relates to superficial things. That takes time. Everybody’s journey in that walk is different.
Happy: That’s so awesome. I’ve learned so much.
Gizelle: Oh, this is what I tell my kids you got to trust your gut. When you feel a little off, that’s going against your confidence. It’s going against who you are. You have to you have to act. You have to act. So all those things you learn along the way.
Gizelle: Your daughters are definitely very lucky to have you.
Gizelle: So your ex-husband is a pastor and activist, Jamal Bryant. You have been very open about your growing relationship and how that’s going. What was it like being a First lady of the Church?
Gizelle: Being the first lady is an honor. I was honored to be the head female figure of the church, and I was able to do so many awesome things. I was able to set up an orphanage in Africa and set up a school in Swaziland and help a community. During Thanksgiving, we would always feed a bunch of families. When I say feed a bunch of families… I, personally, would get on a bus and take the food around the neighborhoods and go inside and talk to the families. It was very much hands-on and it was fulfilling. But, on the other side, being the first lady can be very lonely. You are scrutinized from head to toe, every Sunday. You are held to an expectation that is 100% impossible, and you really don’t have anyone else that understands it outside of other First Ladies. So, from that perspective, it can be a little lonely and a little isolating. But I knew what I was getting myself into when I married Jamal. I pushed him to start his Church. When he and I were dating, he didn’t know whether or not he wanted to start a Church, and I felt that he would be amazing, I pushed him to do it, and he was amazing.
Happy: That’s very cool. I’m sure you were a very iconic first lady.
Gizelle: I tried.
Happy: I’m so sure of it. If you could go back in time and give advice to your 25-year-old self, what would you say?
Gizelle: You couldn’t tell me anything. You could not tell this girl anything. I was a hot girl, I was the baddest thing walking. I was living my life, and I can say that. Definitely live your life. Life comes at you fast, and it comes at you hard. When I was 25, I had a job, I was making good money. I didn’t have these kids of mine. I was single. I legitimately thought I knew everything under the sun that there was to know about life, but I did not. So what would I tell that person? To slow down. Just to slow down and be patient and realize that life is a journey. It’s not a race, and you have to appreciate the race for what it is. But you have to love the journey.
Happy: I’m so excited that Sheree is back.
Gizelle: I would say Kandi, but Kandi is so booked and busy, she wouldn’t be able to come. I’ll say Sheree because Sheree is a lot of fun. Then Real Housewives of New Jersey? I would pick up Dolores.
Happy: Okay! I was expecting you to say Teresa Giudice for RHONJ. That’s why I paused.
Gizelle: Well, Teresa already went. Teresa and Melissa already went.
Gizelle: You’re so right.
Gizelle: Yeah. So I would say, Dolores. Yeah! I think that’s an excellent trip.
Happy: I think that’s a great trip. Wow. That was an expert lineup. I hope we’re manifesting that in this moment.
Gizelle: We shall see. We shall see. My emails. Yeah. [Gizelle has since been cast in RHUGT3. You’re not crying, we are!]
Happy: So I definitely love you on RHOP and I love Karen Huger on RHOP. I kind of feel like the friend in the trio that just wants their friends to get along. So I’m wondering, what do you think causes the friction between the two of you?
Gizelle: Well, shockingly, we’re getting along these days. We’re getting along in a very nice way. I think Karen loves to fight with me. She just loves to argue with me. I think it’s her favorite pastime. So I just let her do it, you know what I mean? I play along with her fighting with me, and it’s fine.
Gizelle: But at the core of it, I know she loves me and that’s that.
Happy: Well, I’m excited that you guys are good. That’s very exciting!
Gizelle: Yes. We’re good. We’ve been good for a while, and I feel as if we’ve turned the corner… We’ve turned the page. We still argue, but it’s not detrimental.
Happy: That’s awesome! It’s great to get to that place with friends.
Happy: So you have been in the public eye for a long time, but how have you felt about experiencing fame to the extent that you are now?
Gizelle: I’m totally fine with it. It comes with its ups and downs, as you know. I don’t mind it for me, but my children, have to navigate with their friends a bit. Their friends potentially might be excited about the show and excited about me, and that’s not a good friend to have. They want friends that want to be friends with them. My kids have had to navigate that a little bit. So that’s been the only downfall of it for me.
Happy: That makes sense. It can definitely be hard to navigate kind of your relationships in that.
Gizelle: Yes, and they’re teenagers, so I think a lot comes with just learning friendships anyway. Then you have a mom that’s on TV and it just adds another layer of craziness.
Happy: I definitely understand that. Well, I’m glad that you are doing well with it because some people think, or feel that once they’ve encountered fame, they’re kind of, “oh, I don’t really want this.”
Gizelle: No, it’s fine. At some point, no one’s going to care about me, okay!
Happy: That’s never going to happen.
Gizelle: No. At some point, I’m going to be so old and crusty. No one’s going to care. So it’s fine. I’m just riding it out for now because, at some point, it’ll be, “Gizelle who? Who cares?” So it’s fine.
Happy: I see that nowhere in the future.
Gizelle: Thank you. But I can say… Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I went out, obviously, with my daughters, and their dad came down to take us out. We were in a restaurant, we were sitting in a booth, and I was in the booth. There were people around me. If I was going to get out of the booth, everybody would have to move. So a woman comes up and asks, “can I take a picture with you?” I’m so nice to everybody because I feel as if the fans are how we have remained on television. So I don’t ever want to be mean to the fans, but I was so taken aback. It’s Mother’s Day with my kids. It was just so weird. I just said, “no.”
Happy: Wow. That’s hilarious.
Gizelle: I felt so bad, and I kind of got upset about it because I was upset that I answered her that way and that I had such a reaction to her because normally I just ask for a minute. I’ll come to your table and I’ll do it. But I didn’t even say that, I just said, “no.” That was the only time that I’ve felt if I wasn’t on TV, this wouldn’t be happening and I wouldn’t be mad right now. I just want to enjoy my kids. What is going on? It’s Mother’s Day, you know?
Gizelle: But it was just a moment, and you get over it.
Happy: All of that makes sense. It definitely makes sense. I’m sure she understood that it was Mother’s Day.
Gizelle: I don’t think so. She looked pissed… she’s probably trashing me right now, but it is what it is.
Happy: I guess it really is what it is. What can you do?
Gizelle: Nothing, basically.
Happy: So what is next for Gizelle Bryant?
Gizelle: So… A lot of things! As I said, Robyn and I are working on live shows. We’re going to be touring, so we’re going to be going to New York, LA, Atlanta… We’re all over the place. As well as I want to get on the other side and do some producing. So Robyn and I have actually started Reasonably Shady Productions, which is a production company. We’re working on some shows right now that will hopefully be out next year because we’re working on them now. So, yeah, I want to do producing. I think that when we film Potomac, I’m always able to see the big picture and just see it from a different lens. I want to take that lens and have other people be in front of the camera.
Happy: That’s awesome. That’s super exciting, congrats!
Gizelle: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Happy: I can’t wait to see this!
Gizelle: Yeah, it’s going to be good. So stay tuned!