The Real Housewives of Atlanta is known to have some of the most seasoned and sassy Housewives within the franchise. This year, two new ladies are joining the cast, and Drew Sidora is ready to take her place as the latest peach-holder. An actress, philanthropist, & mother, Sidora is putting her life and marriage front and center as she dives into the reality show juggernaut. I sat down to chat with Drew about being the latest Atlanta Housewife on the block, being open about marriage and family issues, and what her relationships are like with her fellow Atlanta ladies.
Michael Cook: You are the newest cast member on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and the buzz is that you are a perfect fit with this cast. What’s it like joining this show after a decade plus?
Drew Sidora: I love hearing that! (laughs). It is super exceptional and I am obviously a fan of the show. It has been a great experience to meet this wonderful group of ladies and share myself in a way that I would not be able to as an actress. I play my roles and I don’t really get a chance to show my human side, so I was grateful for the opportunity to share my real life, the good, the bad, and the struggles. I am excited; I am nervous, but I am excited.
MC: The first episode shows a completely different kind of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Both the pandemic and the George Floyd murder, as well as the social justice movement that rose up this year.
DS: I think it is very timely and I am super humbled and grateful to be a part of it. Bravo is doing an exceptional job addressing this important conversation and continuing it. The fight is important and It does need to continue to really get social justice, equality and better gun laws. The fight is just beginning and I am super excited just to be a part of the that conversation and I think it’s awesome fact that they highlighted that. 2020 has been a rough year. Before we even started the season, I had an achilles rupture in February when I was on stage, had three surgeries and had a life-threatening staph infection. It has been really hard, as it has been for everyone else and I just felt like being able to share that journey during a time like this, what better time to join the show? I have so much to share and who would have ever thought I would be going through all of this right now? I may have had success in my career, but I struggle just like everyone else. I think that people need to see that and I hope I can be an inspiration to someone that is going through similar challenges in their life.
MC: You have your issues with your husband Ralph just like the rest of us have with their own husbands or wives. What was it like putting all of that out for the public to see?
DS: It definitely wasn’t planned. In my mind, we were gonna show what a great couple we were, we’re gonna be fun and have fun. Honestly, life happened. Right before we were filming we had an argument and he left and I didn’t know where he was and that was very real, and I was nervous about that. We are who we are and our marriage, and the way we operate after being married for six years, if we are having a moment, we have it. We could be in Wal-Mart and we have that conversation right then and there and work through it. We are not really good at hiding and putting on that smile and not being okay with each other. My husband is from New Jersey, and he is all the way “New Jersey”. We are going to talk about it, put it all on the table, he is very blunt, and it is what it is. It was no different for us, we were just being who we were. Everyone around us knows us they know that if Drew and Ralph are having that conversation, just step over there (laughs). We have very strong communication, I am from Chicago and he is from New Jersey. Sometimes it gets to that level where he had to leave and I did not know where he was. We are still working through that and we are in counseling. My hope and my prayer is that we stay together because we do love each other; we are fighting for our marriage.
Marriage is hard and hopefully people will see it and know that they are not alone in this. My parents were married for fifty four years and my mother and my dad made it look so easy; I told my mom “you set me up” (laughs). She never really prepared me for the challenges. She came from a different generation where it was everything is all good, don’t to let the kids know what’s going on, put on a good face. Whereas we are real raw and what you see is what you get; we don’t hide it. I am learning that in real time and even on the show, how to be a better wife and a better communicator.
MC: Many women join the Real Housewives and see a very different side of their own marriages once they seem themselves reflected back on camera. There has to be a certain amount of bravery involved wouldn’t you say?
DS: Definitely. I don’t think a show or anything else can cause you to lose your marriage. If it wasn’t right, it is not going to last anyway. I think it’s just going to bring it to the forefront and other people will see that. I think it can sustain it though, if you are willing to do the work and this the journey we are on; doing the work. Going through counseling and sticking with it, we are just trying to grow and be better.
MC: You founded DREAMMAKERS, so you have come onto the show with an established passion and cause built in. Do you think it is more important than ever to give back to the younger generation?
DS: DREAMMAKERS is my baby and was birthed in 2013 when I was in Chicago and I fly back and forth a lot. With gun violence, education and schools closing there is so much going on there. I would go and speak with young girls in schools there and I felt that I needed to use my platform to instill hope. So many kids in Chicago don’t know if they are going to live to see another day and I realized how real that was when I would go home. DREAMMAKERS was birthed to offer a creative outlet to young women that have been affected by gun violence or trauma and giving them a creative outlet. They have these emotional barriers up and studies have shown that the arts can break down those emotional barriers. I do theatrical workshops, Andrea Kelly did a choreography workshop, we do music workshops, my mom is a pastor so she did counseling.
We had one hundred and seventy five girls show up in Roseland, which is a very indigent community in Chicago. I fell in love with the fact that these young girls came in with their hands down and their heads high, with confidence. I knew I had to continue to do this work because if you think back to the Harlem Renaissance, it was birthed in the civil rights movement, I think creativity in the arts is so important, it gives people the chance to express their truths through their views on politics, poetry, spoken word, or dance. Because of my own background, that is my space and my passion to offer that. As you see with all the ladies, they’re involved with Black Lives Matter and contributions, especially Porsha who is literally on the front lines, laying her life down for us. I truly don’t think I can commend her enough. That is my part and my role that I wish to play. I am looking forward to doing great work with DREAMMAKERS in Atlanta and really giving back to my community. I feel like I can’t do enough; I want to change the world, but I am going to save those that are right in my backyard that are right in front of me doing what I love.
MC: Based on the trailer for the new season, you are, as you say, bringing the “flavor” to Atlanta! Who do you think you have gelled with the most on the cast?
DS: Cynthia for sure, and Porsha, those are my two ride or dies. Cynthia introduced me to this group of ladies and we go back a few years. I played the love interest to her ex Leon, its such a crazy connection and we laugh about it all the time. I was at the opening of her wine cellar and I hung out with she and Eva. She has been super humble; Cynthia is gorgeous and super successful. Marlo I really connected with, I really hit it off with her. She definitely voices her opinions and is a strong personality, but there is a little teddy bear that I connected with. I appreciate who she is. I believe in friendships, you’re not always going to see eye to eye, it is not always going to be peachy with the peaches.
MC: You also came on board with LaToya Ali a fellow newcomer to the season. How did it go joining the show with her?
DS: You know, that, I am interested to see. I am someone that voices their opinion and it might be a tough conversation. I’ll say what I mean, mean what I say, keep it moving and have a great time after that. I don’t know how to be fake so I feel like, while it’s not all perfect, for the most part I have gotten along with all of the ladies. I have been myself and bought “me” to the ladies. Sometimes it may not go perfectly, but Im not perfect by any means, but we will see what it’s like watching it with everyone else, and how they felt; the real tea!
MC: You are going to be getting a massive amount of attention from so many people, specifically the LGBT community as a newly minted Housewife. Are you ready for the ride?
DS: I was born ready. I came up in this crazy industry, I have been on this roller coaster ride since I was eight years old. My life has always been spontaneous, I am used to people going in on me. I’l go in on myself, so I appreciate the criticism. Just keep it friendly, Bravo fans are very loyal and they go hard; I think it’ll be a lot of fun. I’m hoping they go easy on me, I’m still human (laughs)! It’s been a great experience, I can’t say I regret it at all. I’m just excited to see it on December 6th with everyone else.
MC: How have you stayed inspired and creatively fueled during the past year?
DS: That has been I think my biggest challenge. It was a challenge with me being on bed rest, my children being home 24/7, my mother being quarantined with us, which you will see on the show. It has been a very vulnerable time. For me, I realized going through the pandemic that we are not working and my checks stopped. What it did do is it forced me to do was realize the importance of creating your own content, and we started our own production company, Eudora Entertainment. That was something that sparked something in me. This is a time that so many stories need to be told and social media is so prevalent, so creating content and giving other people opportunities was what I found really sparked my creativity. We just wrapped on our first film And Your Call Yourself A Christian and this is what it took for me to do it. I’ve talked about it and I have produced before, but this is our own production company; what better way to dive in than to produce virtually. We had challenges in the midst of it, but this is the rainbow after the struggle; that is what came out of it.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres on Bravo on Sunday December 6th (check local listings)