Flipping over Jeff & Jenni
|Written by Scott Holland on September 06 2012|
Flipping over Jeff & Jenni
Of “Flipping Out” and “Interior Therapy”
It has been 3 years since I sat down with Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos of Flipping Out. Since then, Jeff found a life partner in Gage, Jenni has gotten married to an extraordinary man, they started a second show with Interior Therapy, Zoila is still Zoila and their ratings have gone through the roof. It seems like America can’t get enough of Jeff, Jenni and their functional/dysfunctional life. It was a pleasure to sit down with Jeff and Jenni once again right before the premiere of season 6 for this exclusive Hotspots Interview.
Ok, I have to ask, all the buzz is about your controversial new cast member Andrew, please dish?
He is the new assistant, but get ready as he is a great addition to the office but a piece of work. He brings a lot of drama! I loved his resume and asked him a lot of questions in the interview, but I found out that most of the resume and the interview answers were a lie. The problem is we had him in our house for 4 or 5 months before we found out he is a con artist.
In the years you have been on television you have had many assistants. What are the qualities you look for in the perfect assistant?
I start off the season kind of floundering as I lost 3 employees, but don’t forget Jennie and Zoila have been with me for 10 years. I need assistants that are here for the right reason; want to be in the design business and want to be here long term. I have had people who don’t know what they want to do or are here just for the TV fame.
You have obsessive compulsion, do you ever hear from people thanking you?
I am the poster boy for OCD and I get tons of correspondence. I have taken what people consider a handicap and have made it successful and I think for that reason it has become inspiring to people. I found a career that this disease could assist me.
You said that Andy Cohen’s office was an upscale dorm room, which takes some balls or confidence, when did you develop that?
It’s not confidence as I am an insecure person. I just feel compelled to tell people the truth. I hate phony people and therefore I am very real. If you get a compliment from me, then you know it’s the truth. My family was always honest with each other and that’s where I got it from. I was always encouraged to tell the truth.
The last few years you seemed to have calmed down. What do you attribute this to?
I think you will change your mind after you watch this season. I took on a lot this past 6 to 8 months and it really affected me and I felt out of control. I took on too much risk and stress. I think I regressed this season.
Jenni – I think you have grown in many ways, but you were very stressed. Your personal house project brought you a lot of stress, but overall I think you are handling things better. And when you have had issues you confronted them in a healthier way.
Jeff – We started therapy this season, all of us; myself, Jenni and Zoila. I have definitely gotten back on track.
Tell me about Jenni visiting Chicago?
Jenni visited Chicago for about 2 years to visit her man, before they got married but her hubby has just moved to Los Angeles.
You took on a new role as Jenni’s wedding planner, is that something you can see doing in the future?
Jeff -I didn’t do it by choice, but to help Jennie as she was swamped.
Jenni - Oh here we go.
Jeff - I had a vested interest in seeing this through and making it right, because I am not doing it again for her. If Gage and I can ever legally get married, we will elope.
Jenni - He wrote the calendar out. I don’t want to hear about it, oh please!
Jenni, did you ever thing you would get married again and how does it feel?
Jenni -I never gave up on love and I am so happy that I found the love of my life. I am in a happier place personally then I ever thought I could be.
Jeff – He is a great guy and extremely responsible. He is everything I have ever wanted for Jennie and even more. She is with the person she has always deserved.
With such high ratings, why are there such few episodes per season?
These aren’t produced episodes like the housewives. They don’t tell me what to do, they just follow my life and what I do. If we could do more we would, it’s just so time consuming.
How did filming “Interior Therapy” help your company?
“Interior Therapy” affected my income because I was filming in Nov and December which is when I usually book jobs that start in Jan and Feb. I lost about 10-12 jobs. The business is now booming, but it took several months to get back into it. However, Interior Therapy did get me a lot of business because in every episode there was a reveal.
Jenni – I saw his own talents explode because we were under pressure to finish a job in 4 days.
How has it been building a house with Gage?
I have remodeled like 75 houses, 50 of which were mine and I never had to consult anyone else. This was a first for me and we butted heads. It’s amazing how much stress this put on me and our relationship. It was 50% my fault, but I blamed it all on him. I can see why couples break up over this stuff, but thank god we made it.
Any other projects you are working on?
I have been working on paint line for a long time. It will be called Jeff Lewis Color and it should be on the shelves this year.
Jenni, only friends who truly trust each other can go to the level of conversation you go to with Jeff. Was this instantaneous or how long did it take?
Jenni - We have spent thousands of hours together and yes I do trust him. We have had a lot of ups and downs like any relationships. Sometimes I want to kill him, but we are family.
Jeff – It’s not really an option to leave each other’s life. We work through things no matter what!
Jennie – I have come to realize over the years where Jeff comes from and I have great respect for him. The 2 times I had to walk in his shoes I really understood why he reacts the way he does.
Jeff’s final words were to “watch season 6, it’s a roller coaster ride and you are going to love it!” You can catch “Flipping Out” every Tuesday on Bravo at 9pm. The first episode was September 4th, but you can catch it in reruns all week.