“Polarizing” and “Controversial” are two words that have been frequently used to describe Marlo Hampton, and after eight years as a co-star on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Hampton may finally be stepping into her own. While only a handful of episodes of Season 12 of the Bravo reality show juggernaut have aired this season, we are already seeing a very different Ms. Hampton. I caught up with the Atlanta stunner after her much publicized appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, where we discussed everything from her controversial past on the show to what’s it’s like getting the chance to discuss her family and personal life on the show.
Michael Cook: You just appeared on The Wendy Williams Show for your own sit down with the talk show queen! What was that like to get some one on one time with one of the biggest and most talked about talk show hosts in the nation?
Marlo Hampton: It was amazing. I was so nervous though, I am my biggest critic. I was fine though, I hope I killed it! It did feel amazing though, she was so welcoming and she was not shady at all (laughs). I was super excited, I must say.
MC: This season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta has kicked off and after a few episodes, we are starting to see a different side of Marlo Hampton. How is it feeling to be revealing more of your life on screen?
MH: You know, what I love about Season 12 is that you are going to see more of Marlo. You are going to see my family, you are going to see my nephews, William and Michael, you are going to see me put my guard down and you’ll see my sensitive side. You’ll also get to see me launch my wig line HER. You get to see a lot more, as opposed to me just being “Messy Marlo”. It means a lot to my fans to be able to see a little bit more of me, which I think they deserve.
MC: Seeing you sit down with co-star Kandi (Burrus) and discuss your nephews and family situation at length showed a definite human side to you that we had not gotten to see before.
MH: What’s crazy is that so many people told me that they enjoyed it. When they saw the scene, they thought it was so great to see. I am human in so many real sides, but people just don’t get to see it. They think that Im just coming on just to start some mess and dress up in some labels. I’ll tell you though, I’m gonna keep the fashion coming (laughs). I do think I have to stop being so tough and let people see that I have feelings too and that I am human and that I cry just like everyone else.
MC: On Wendy Williams, you discussed the never ending question about why you have not gotten that elusive peach from Bravo to be a true “Real Housewife”. Essentially you said, you are fine either way and are simply letting destiny take the lead.
MH: Absolutely, that is exactly how I feel. I love Bravo, I have been with Bravo eight years. There is no place like home and they take great care of me. Do I want a peach?-I would love it. I just feel that what is meant to be will be in its own time.
MC: You had a legendary argument with former co-star Sheree Whitfield several seasons ago in South Africa, and a gay slur was used during the argument. You are known as a staunch LGBT advocate as well. Was it hard to both reconcile that remark with your LGBT fans and move past it?
MH: That was absolutely something I that I complete misspoke. What is really crazy is that I was around Miss Laurence (Washington) and they used the word, and then said I couldn’t say it (laughs). I absolutely regretted it like no other. My whole friendship circle is about fashion, fantastic gay men, all that. I felt so bad, I was crying and apologizing over and over. The majority of my followers are gay, and I know that they were upset, and I was very upset also. I am so glad that it is over with. That was a very bad mistake, and it was very hurtful. I did not want to hurt people that I loved and that I was close to.
MC: One thing that we can count on from Marlo Hampton is that when a new girl joins the group, you definitely put them through your own kind of rigorous initiation of being part of the #RHOA group!
MH: You know what it is, no matter how much I argue with the group, they are my sisters .We are bonded and we all have relationships with each other. So it’s kind of like, “hold up you’re not coming over here and thinking you’re going to tell these girls anything, you’re just going to have to wait. We have to grandfather you in sweetheart” (laughs)! I feel energy from people also, I don’t know if that’s the Aquarius in me, but I can just tell when you’re full of shit.
MC: We are starting to see so much more of you now, beyond the fashion and the drama. What does Marlo Hampton do when she is trying to decompress when the cameras are not up?
MH: You know what, I don’t know If I ever really decompress. I just walked in the door now, and my nephews are ready to run down and tell me what they did the past couple days. I do love the spa, that is the only time I get to decompress, when I give myself a spa day.
MC: After eight years on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, what would the Marlo Hampton of today tell the Marlo that went in front of the RHOA cameras for the first time?
MH: I would tell her to think before she speaks, because sometimes I don’t do it now (laughs)! I have also been truthful though, being authentic is so big to me. Thinking before you react is important though. There are situations in Season 12 that you will see where the old Marlo definitely would have acted differently. I feel that I have definitely matured in that way also.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Bravo on Sunday Night (check local listings)
Art Courtesy-Marlo Hampton (Facebook)