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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Talking with new ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ cast member Kenya Moore

kenya-moore-full

Every lady on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” gets a quick intro at the start of the show with a quote.

Kenya Moore, the newest cast member, summarizes herself like this:

“I was Miss USA, not Miss Congeniality.”

In other words, starting this Sunday for the start of season five, Moore will stir the pot and stir it frequently.

I interviewed Moore a couple of weeks ago, before the trailers came out and before I saw the first episode, where she comes across as impressively diva-esque. On the phone, she was kind but clearly very confident in herself. She moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles, presumably for this show. Her primary occupation is producer nowadays though she was a model and actress for many years as well.

Here are highlights:

I’m a brand, baby: “My life I’ve just always been a risk taker. I thought this was a great opportunity to not only expand my personality brand but to really help grow my business as a whole. Also, to be closer to my family who are in Atlanta. This made perfect sense.”

Her prior connection to the show: Miss Lawrence, the hairdresser, who previously had been connected to now ousted RHOA cast member Sheree Whitfield. “Lawrence and I have been friends for eight years. I was his first celebrity client.” (There’s a scene in the first episode featuring the two of them dishing like two gabby girlfriends.)

Initial resistance: “I come from the scripted world. I’ve been a respected actor for the past 18 years. [Reality] wasn’t on the forefront of what I’d like to do.  But the climate has changed. I was always a fan of the show, especially because of Lawrence. So he said when they said they were looking for someone, he mentioned me. He got me to talk to the producers.”

Her self description: “I’m a very strong woman. Very outspoken. I’m positive. And I think that for the most part, people will respect my choices and decisions and understand why I made them… I’m a warm person. I think I’m genuine. I’m a generous person. I’m a loyal person. I love my family.”

Starting fresh: She didn’t know any of the women well at all, though she has run across fellow model Cynthia Bailey and R&B singer/producer Kandi Burruss before.

Her thoughts on NeNe Leakes: “I think she’s a lot of what I thought she’d be. She’s a funny girl, a tough girl. She’s made some smart decisions in terms of her career. She’s a talented actress as well.”

On Kandi: “She reminds me so much of myself. She’s got great business acumen. She’s responsible. She’s likable. She’s a smart woman. She’s a girl next door, like any girl I knew growing up in Detroit.”

On Cynthia: “It’s just interesting how that relationships evolves. The viewers, I think, will enjoy the drama.” [Interpretation: "Meow!"]

On Phaedra Parks: “You’ll have to watch the show.” [Interpretation: based on the trailers, this is going to be a tense relationship because Kenya has eyes for Phaedra's husband, Apollo.]

On Kim Zolciak: “You’ll see Kim. I’ve had scenes with Kim. I love her. She was a sweetheart, funny and vivacious. You’ll see her in the beginning episodes.” [Interpretation: we won't be seeing much of Kim later in the season as her pregnancy moves forth.]

On Porsha Williams Stewart, the other new cast member: “There are women I initially clicked with and those I didn’t particularly care for. With that being said, you have to watch the show.” [In other words, these two will NOT get along and based on the trailer, that clearly is the case though it's not clear why.]

As a producer for Moore Vision Media: “I’ve been producing television and film the past 10 years. You’ll get to see what I do for a living. I’m very proud of my projects. My last movie ["The Confidant"] starred David Banner and Boris Kodjoe that was on TV One [in 2010.] I’m extremely proud doing this work. I’m able to empower others of color and give them jobs.”

On “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta”: “I’ve seen a few episodes. It represents a very specific group of people and you have to take it at face value.”

On “Honey Boo Boo”: “I don’t feel like losing brain cells every time I watch something.”

Pandering to Atlanta (and hey, we’ll take it!): “I feel great. Being in Atlanta, I’m finally home. I feel like I can relax. It’s a great place to raise children [she doesn't have any that I know of.], have a social life and be private at the same time.” [She lives in what she calls no more specifically than "Northwest Atlanta."]

Her favorite “Housewives’ franchise among the other ones: Beverly Hills

On TV

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” 9 p.m. Sunday, Bravo

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter. Oh, and Google +, too!

49 comments Add your comment

Keisha

November 1st, 2012
2:39 pm

She’s a “respected actor?” Um, ok.

sana

November 1st, 2012
3:02 pm

She is just expanding her “brand”. She will have signature lines of perfume, jewelry, lingerie, and sex toys. Pretty soon everyone in Atlanta will be wearing “Kenya Moore” items.

really??

November 1st, 2012
3:10 pm

@keisha….I had the same reaction after reading that statement…lol

TIME TO END THIS SHOW

November 1st, 2012
3:13 pm

i did like the confidant but the fact that her and phaedra have problems with her being interested in another woman’s husband just looks bad..i dont think this show will see good rating this year i know you have to get some attention but a home wrecker will not get my view. i am open minded and i like some good drama but noting good comes out of a home wrecker (well kim got lucky) at least she had a different attitude Black women seem to have a sense of entitlement though which is way off from white home wreckers

Bree

November 1st, 2012
3:22 pm

I think we’ll see the ‘real’ side of her for sure. @keisha and @really?? i had a raised eyebrow on that one as well. Lol

watchbree

November 1st, 2012
3:24 pm

I think we’ll see the ‘real’ side of her for sure. @keisha and @really?? i had a raised eyebrow on that one as well. Lol

Bell Bottoms

November 1st, 2012
3:33 pm

Clearly if she relocated here just to do this show tells me that her options were limited. YAWN. She is desperately trying to become relevant. Good luck girl!!

mj

November 1st, 2012
3:41 pm

What the heck is “personality brand”?

Just Me

November 1st, 2012
4:31 pm

I agree with the others…..respected actress? I just remember her as the girl from ‘Trois’ and it wasn’t anything at all respectable about that performance.

Also, I can’t imagine a successful film and television producer moving to Atlanta to star in a reality show. Girl face it. Reality TV is a place where C/D list celebrities go to die, or brand new nobodies go to become a star.

Zoe

November 1st, 2012
4:38 pm

Never heard of this woman. She calls herself a respected actress. And yet has joined this garbage production? Another empty headed airhead.

TG

November 1st, 2012
4:42 pm

So she openly admits to being a carpetbagger. As if Bravo couldn’t insult Atlanta more, you go to LA to find a “real” housewife of ATLANTA??? You would dare pretend this person represents Atlanta too? Do you have even ONE native on there? Okay, one, Kandi, BUT SHE’S NOT and HAS NEVER BEEN A WIFE, much less a housewife. In fact, she prides herself on being “independent,” which is the OPPOSITE of a housewife! lol The only conclusion about Bravo that can be made is that they hated the word “housewife.” They blatantly took a word and changed its meaning. There is no explanation why 95%of their “housewives” in all of their cities are not even wives. Just wow.

Mareea

November 1st, 2012
9:32 pm

kenya who? never heard of her…I dont like her already ,women who go after other womens husband only feel worthy if she grabs that mans attention although it is only temporially. He loves Pheadrea and respects her. she made it because of her brains and not her body. I think men respect that more and prefer that kind of woman as their wife and the other only for sex. So fetch your next man from the gutter. and stay away from married men.

romeo

November 1st, 2012
11:12 pm

Just beautiful wow!

NLT

November 2nd, 2012
7:18 am

LOL, “respected actor”. Okay.

Valerie

November 2nd, 2012
8:36 am

Good luck Kenya! Wish she had looked into other shows other than “reality TV”. There has to be more than reality TV.

Kat

November 2nd, 2012
8:36 am

If she is that successful and respected of an actor, then she should stay in LA or in NYC. Coming to Atlanta to do a reality show – especially this one – might make people think of the word “desperation.”

john

November 2nd, 2012
9:15 am

looks like a drag queen

RST

November 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

Beautiful woman… but why do I see her nipples in this pic… are you kidding me??? I would fire her Stylists. And why didn’t the editor catch this… Wow anything for a story…

[...] “I’m a very strong woman. Very outspoken. I’m positive. And I think that for the most part, people will respect my choices and decisions and understand why I made them… I’m a warm person. I think I’m genuine. I’m a generous person. I’m a loyal person. I love my family.” [...]

All I'm Saying Is....

November 2nd, 2012
9:49 am

Kenya is and has been beautiful, sexy, well spoken, and just a dream visually. She has also had some success in the entertainment business, much to the surprise of many who think she is just a pretty face. But a ‘Real Housewife of Atlanta’? LOL! If it were not for the brand awareness that has been built, they should really rename the show to something like ‘Staged Drama in the A-T-L’. Will I watch? If there is any chance to see Kenya especially in a swim suit, then you bet!

Pitchy

November 2nd, 2012
9:51 am

RST – had to go back. I thought it was a tattoo, then I see its on both breastessssesss so you may be right. She is pretty, but if one of the story lines is she has eyes on Phaedra’s husband, that’s plain tacky!

Deja

November 2nd, 2012
10:00 am

those aren’t her nips, it looks like the lace in the dress.

ummm

November 2nd, 2012
10:38 am

She said she doesn’t watch Honey Boo Boo because “I don’t feel like losing brain cells every time I watch something,” and yet she’s on Real Housewives of Atlanta??? Anyone else catch that? Oh, the irony. Someone needs to tell her that the show she’s promoting is even worse than Honey Boo Boo in terms of brain cell decimation. At least Honey Boo Boo isn’t a grown woman getting into immature, juvenile fights with other grown women on national TV and spreading negativity disguised as “toughness.”

RST

November 2nd, 2012
10:38 am

I thought that too… look above the lace. The outer part of her nipples are showing on both sides. I’m a graphic designer and I can see when I picture is flawed. I don’t blame her. I blame and editor that didn’t catch it and the stylist that allowed it to be published after photo review.

Rodney Ho

November 2nd, 2012
10:58 am

@RST This is a “family” blog. I totally missed that issue with the photol. I replaced it with another photo without the problem.

RST

November 2nd, 2012
11:02 am

Much better!!! Thank you

MollyHallz

November 2nd, 2012
11:02 am

First off who is she married to that constitutes her being a wife. Not once in the interview did I see or read mention of a husband other than her jocking Phaedra’s husband. With all the REAL housewives that resides in ATL..you know the ones that get the kids ready for school, do their chores at home, make sure the household is in order why weren’t they recruited! This will be another SCRIPTED not REALITY show…PALEEZE respected actress…TUH

Mrb62

November 2nd, 2012
12:13 pm

Just saw her on an old episode of Martin playing the wife of Greg Morris JR. You may remember him as the guy who is Kramer’s lawyer on Seinfeld. She’s plays his sexually dressed wife, wearing a tight leather outfit to a business dinner with Martin and Gina. Fans of the show will remember that episode.

Mrb62

November 2nd, 2012
12:16 pm

The term “…Housewives” was being used loosely before. Now it’s more loose than a prost.. on an aircraft carrier.

Val

November 2nd, 2012
12:29 pm

I remember when she was crowned Miss USA. I had such high hopes for her. Clearly she didn’t have high hopes for herself. Bless her heart.

She may be "witch"...

November 2nd, 2012
12:44 pm

…but I’d do ‘er…

Pitchy

November 2nd, 2012
3:29 pm

She said she doesn’t watch Honey Boo Boo because “I don’t feel like losing brain cells every time I watch something,” and yet she’s on Real Housewives of Atlanta??? Anyone else catch that? – I caught it.

No, that wasn’t lace. Thought it my be tattoos like Eve’s paw prints, but realized it wasn’t that either.

trailerparkted

November 2nd, 2012
4:53 pm

Is this another unmarried black woman on a show about married women?

Tim

November 2nd, 2012
11:24 pm

Other than Lisa Wu (who is now gone), the Atlanta housewives don’t look worth a darn.

But Kenya Moore? SMOKING HOT!!!

Just look at her stance with those high heels on.

Lord have mercy……

j otroganov

November 3rd, 2012
5:36 am

were you Kenys summer moore in miss universe 1993 when eveybody was boooing you and dayanara , ate all your candies,due to your bithchi attitude,

Observer

November 4th, 2012
2:21 pm

She has large knees. No definition in her upper arms. Definitely not “all that.”

patricia22@yahoo.com

November 4th, 2012
10:31 pm

Enter your comments here

patricia22

November 4th, 2012
10:38 pm

This latest mess is typical of what was expected Kenya moore is a wannabe she adds nothing to the show but her interest in phaedra husband SMH Kim is straight trash to diss the $25 gift her parents sent saying thats all they could afford Bish please if she was a real daughter she would help her parents SMH she is typical trash who get a man an forget who helped her with her other 2 “fatherless” kids. Kandi is back taking care of a man saying our home knowing the producer she dating is broke. Peta about to be all over phaedra for saying they threw dead dogs in the creek WTF atleast we put them in garbage bags an buried them.Cynthia has her ex living in the home with her an her husband # no comment

Shelley

November 5th, 2012
10:09 am

Thanks Bravo for importing a person to Atlanta to add to your show. Why didn’t you add some color to the Beverly Hills group if you wanted to hire Kenya Moore. We were doing just fine without this egomaniac nobody has every heard of. She is so full of herself. I am team Cynthia all the way.

MelDee

November 5th, 2012
11:29 am

She was Ms. Lawrence’s first “celebrity” client. Newsflash Kenya – you are not a celebrity. You are a FORMER Miss USA.

JWYNN

November 5th, 2012
12:13 pm

IF YOU ASKED I THINK THE CHICK IS BORDERLINE BIO-POLAR………………….????

KimboSlice

November 5th, 2012
12:34 pm

I’m so disappointed in Kenya. She has achieved so much in her life. It’s absolutely fabulous to be beautiful and outspoken in a classy way, but when it’s done in a way that’s disrespectful and hurtful to others it’s a problem.

G Reon

November 5th, 2012
12:41 pm

I wish she had not joined that DRAMMA

missyJean

November 5th, 2012
12:47 pm

She warned the viewers, not Ms. CONGENIALITY. Did anyone glimpse the feet at the start of the show. Brand Kenya Moore moved to Atl because of family even though doing so well in LA…right.

missyJean

November 5th, 2012
12:49 pm

Former Ms. USA is a public figure with own security. She made Cynthia very nervous in the Fall premier episode but then again that isn’t hard to do when it comes to the Bailey Agency’s owner.

'trtainmntatitzbest

November 5th, 2012
12:56 pm

These shows show the really bad side of people. 1993/2012, a way different woman now. Claims she has a man but is after the hot married convict. Been proposed to 6 times, why not a Mrs. yet?

T Dog

November 6th, 2012
1:38 pm

Hey Kenya Moore… YOU SOLD OUT! YOU SOLD OUT! YOU SOLD OUT! Welcome to the darkside, you backstabbing sellout! You’ve become the black Bret Hart. Is your Miss USA tiara next up for bids?

Shawnie

November 6th, 2012
9:12 pm

I agree with TG why did the producers need to go to LA for an Atlanta Housewives who is not even a housewife, but I think the producers were looking for drama and not status. I was talking about the new season of ‘RHWOA’ with my co-worker from DISH, and we are both excited for the new season. I’ve already set my Hopper from DISH to record the rest of the season, and with all the DVR recording room I’m going to record my other favorite ‘Housewives’ shows without using up much space. It will be interesting to see the story line (drama) between Phaedra, Apollo and Kenya.

t

November 8th, 2012
3:28 pm

I’ve seen the first episode of RHOA, and do not like this Kenya girl, she tries to act like she has class and is very classless. Her pretty is gone, to much makeup has dried out her face. She was very nasty and catty of Cynthia’s girls that auditioned for the Jet magazine centerfold, even jet thought so. She is a has been, trying to revive her otherwise dead career. But she will be good for the drama that is RHOA. On another note Kandi I love you, but you should have went alley on Kim and her racist comments, and she has no room to talk at least you have a home that as you said you and your man paid cash, where is her home?????? Soon to be on the sidewalk…….