PHOTO BY MICHAEL DIRLAM, @MICHAELGDIRLAM; STYLING: JENNY DAYCO, @JENNYDAYCO; HAIR: ROBEAR LANDEROS, @ROBEARHAIR; MAKEUP: CHRISTOPHER MILES, @CHRISTOPHERMILESMAKEUP; MUA ASSISTANT: DANILO CIFUENTES, @MAKEUPBYDANILOC; POST: VW RETOUCH, @VWRETOUCH
She’s an actress, talk show host and the inaugural Black cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but Garcelle Beauvais has always struggled with “the disease to please.” Here, the Haitian American star hints at the highs, lows and resilience she chronicles in her new April memoir, Love Me as I Am (HarperCollins).
You wrote a children’s book previously. Why did you want to write a memoir, and why now? Yes, I did write a children’s book series called I Am. It felt like the right time to write a memoir. I’ve had a big life. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. My book really speaks to resilience and the pursuit of happiness and acceptance of oneself. I hope it inspires someone.
What do you think people will be surprised to learn about you and your story? People will be surprised at my childhood and my journey into Hollywood. Also, my hope of finding true love. No matter how hard life gets, I still push through.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered? What were the biggest rewards? My biggest challenge is staying true to me when I felt like I had to act the way people wanted me to—and I’m a people pleaser, so that was tough. My biggest rewards would be my children [and] my career, and I’m still hopeful of finding my soulmate.
In her debut memoir, Love Me as I Am, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Garcelle Beauvais discusses her journey from growing up in Haiti and Boston to becoming a model in New York and a Hollywood actress. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMISTAD
Your book covers your journey from growing up in Haiti and Boston to becoming a model in New York and a Hollywood actress. What are some memorable stories you share? I share about leaving home at the age of 17 to start my modeling career with the Ford Models modeling agency. I talk about finding my way in the acting world when they thought models couldn’t walk and talk at the same time. I also talk about how sometimes, you don’t want to meet the people who you admire because they might disappoint you.
Tell us about the pressures you felt to be a “good girl” in this industry and how that affected you. Growing up in a Haitian household, you’re taught to be a good girl. But I believe no one is all good or all bad. … I had to find the balance.
How did you finally learn to overcome what you call the “disease to please”? I’m still fighting the disease to please. I’m trying to put myself first—I can be ‘nice’ but still stand up for myself.
What did it mean to you to join the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as the first Black member, and what was that experience like? Being the first Black housewife in the Beverly Hills franchise was exciting and scary at the same time. The most important thing to me was staying true to who I am and not falling into the trap of what people think I should be. RHOBH has stretched me and challenged me, but I’m still standing tall.
How would you describe your journey on the show, and what can we expect from season 12? My journey on the show has been fun, stressful [and] drama-filled, and season 12 will not disappoint.
What’s been most rewarding about being co-host of The Real? Most rewarding about being on The Real is the fact that we have a panel of women of color and we get to talk about our communities, but we also have really fun, entertaining conversations. I’m proud of our show.
What other projects are you working on right now, and what would you like to do going forward? I am getting ready for the release of my book, which I’m really excited about, and I just signed a first-look deal with NBC Universal to develop projects that I want to star in or produce.