Our favorite Real Housewife NeNe Leakes is heading to Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater to host a special Girls Nite Out this Friday, and on the eve of the event, we chatted with her about her upcoming comedy tour, fellow housewives, and Insta-famous Atlanta boutique Swagg.
It's exciting to have you here in L.A. for this special comedy event. How's the tour been?
NENE LEAKES: It’s been good. Yeah, I absolutely love the stage. I’ve done Broadway, and I also love to do what I call talking sh*t. I love to talk sh*t, so I find it very fun to do. I talk about everything: my husband, my children, the Real Housewives, my neighbors, everybody, and I love it. It’s just fun. For me, it’s like being on stage, and just being able to release, and I love it.
So no one is spared?
NL: Nobody is safe, but what everybody needs to know is that it’s all in good fun. You know what I’m saying?
Do any of the housewives make your act? Shereé? Kim?
NL: No, first of all, those two can’t call me to even ask me for directions, so they sure can’t call me to ask me about my show. I actually don’t have Shereé in the show at all. I do have Kim in there and I do have Porsha. The other girls make the act every now and then, but it depends on what kind of show we’re doing. I’m on two different tours; I’m on a tour by myself, which is why I’m hitting a lot of the comedy clubs across the country, and then a second tour, with a group of women who are comics themselves and I host that show but I come in and out of the show, hosting it and bringing each girl to the stage.
I imagine we’ll get to hear some of your famous catchphrases, no? I want to see if you do the bloop because I do the bloop.
NL: I don’t do the bloop but I do say, “Close your legs to married men.”
By the way, how is your relationship with Kim Zolciak these days?
NL: We don’t have a relationship and we’ll probably never have a relationship. No, I have no interest in being friends with Kim, working with Kim, doing anything with Kim. I just think she’s a very negative person, unfortunately.
What was the moment where you said, “You know what? I’ve had enough,” because you and Kim have had your ups and downs.
NL: Well, I’ve said it a million times like, “I’m not going to talk to her anymore, I’m over it,” and I’m forced to talk to her because we obviously work with the same network and they’re telling us, “You guys need to make up. You guys need to talk,” do this and do that. In the real world, though, I would never talk with Kim, for real. But because we work on the same show, I had to have some interaction with Kim. But after this, I have said to everybody, my producers, “I cannot have anything to do with Kim. Unfortunately, I cannot work with her.” Not like that, no. We can’t have any—we can’t be friends, we can’t do anything because I came on this season really wanting to be friends. Prior to me coming on, we were talking. We were talking to each other and all of a sudden—when she knew that I was coming back and that she was coming back—it all of a sudden started to be like we weren’t cool anymore. It didn’t matter what I did; I could hug her, I could tell her she looked beautiful from head to toe, that she was amazing, and she'd pretty much be like, “You're sh*t.” and I was like, “What?” [Laughs] “No, I can’t talk to you anymore.”
Andy Cohen snaps a selfie with NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak on his late-night talk show, Watch What Happens Live.
Was there a part of you that felt vindicated after watching the preview of the next episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, where Kandi confronted Kim about some of the things she's done?
NL: Well, I’ve seen that show. It’s great. Kim doesn’t really want to go there with Kandi. I’m not sure why but she doesn’t really want to go there with Kandi. I was really happy that Kandi stood up—first of all, let me just go back for a second—I was happy Kandi didn’t cry because I know Kandi will cry. She gets emotional, so I was happy she didn’t cry and I was really happy that she let Kim have it. You really have got to see it. She let her have it.
I mean, Kandi was not playing around...
NL: It was for real, yeah. She was like two hours late getting there for their meeting and Kandi was really frustrated about that because she was waiting on her two hours. I mean, who schedules a time and tells you to be there and then they come two hours late? Like, “No, I am not on your time.”
Now I don't want to get you in trouble—cause I know how certain housewives feel about their jobs—so I'm going to ask you this a different way: is there anyone you think might make a good addition to the Real Housewives of Atlanta?
NL: [Laughs] Well, that’s what the producers ask me all the time, “Who do you think is a good, solid housewife?” I don’t have anybody that I know that’s a good, solid housewife that has all of the things that the producers are always looking for. They’re looking for someone that’s in a relationship and who is willing to show their relationship. They’re looking for a girl who’s fabulous and has her own things going on. They want a girl who’s opinionated. All the things that they want is hard to find in one picture, you know what I’m saying? If you find a great girl who’s doing all those things, then she doesn’t want to show her relationship, or then her man doesn’t want to come on the show, or that kind of thing. So I don’t have anybody that I know.
Does that put Kenya Moore in a tough spot?
NL: Oh, she’s definitely in a tough spot, and rightly so because so many of us, for so long, have had to expose our husbands and children to the show.
I’m surprised nobody has ever asked Marlo Hampton to hold a peach. She seems like she'd be a great fit.
NL: For the same reason that I just said, she doesn’t fit all of the things that they are always looking for. You don’t have to be in a marriage, but you do have to be in a relationship and willing to show your relationship, and they really have issues with girls not showing their relationship. So that’s one of the reasons, I think. Marlo’s been amazing to see and I thought she was super funny, fun, and everything. There may be an opportunity for her at some point to own a piece of it, but I believe that she will be around and will always be around.
NeNe Leakes poses for a shot at her Atlanta boutique Swagg.
I am obsessed with your Instagram and all the outfits you wear at your Atlanta boutique Swagg. You look fabulous, I’ve got to tell you.
NL: Oh, thank you so much. I’ve been looking for models to model the clothes in the store and one of my girlfriends was saying to me, “NeNe, you need to just put the clothes on yourself because the people want to look the way you’re looking, so put the clothes on.” So I started putting them on and it did, like seriously, change the numbers in my store.
My sales clerk actually takes these pictures with a Samsung Edge because Samsung takes the most amazing pictures. I think Samsung phones are insane. I went and bought a Samsung phone just for the camera [laughs] and we use it for our website and everything, seriously.
You're one of the most successful women to come out of the Real Housewives, and I can't imagine there isn't something you haven't already done, but are there things that you haven't yet tried that you'd like to?
NL: Of course. I’d love to do movies. I have never been in a movie. I know that Hollywood sometimes stereotypes you in a role like, “She’s TV.” You know what I’m saying? I’ve already had my clothing line for four and a half years, but I am working right now on trying to have another clothing line that I’d love to be in a department store. A Swagg line that I’d love to have carried in more stores.
Photography via Bravo; via Facebook.com/NeNeLeakes