By Emily Mitchell
The word “reality,” as in “reality show,” has become discombobulated. The culprit? Reality shows that are anything BUT reality! See: The Hills. The City. The Real Housewives of (Insert name of any U.S. city, seeing as though almost every one has a series!) Point being: “real” doesn’t mean “real,” but Giuliana and Bill Rancic are taking “real” back to its roots. The third season of their wildly popular reality show on Style, Giuliana & Bill, which follows E! news anchor Giuliana and her Apprentice-winning husband Bill as they make their marriage work cross-country (she in Los Angeles, he in Chicago), is set to air Oct. 11. We spoke to Giuliana about what to expect from the new season, and what she’s been up to since filming.
You are on your third season in only one year! You guys must shoot all the time!
Giuliana Rancic: Even in between seasons and in between our proper shooting schedules, we still pick up stuff and if anything interesting’s happening they make a call and they’re like, “Okay, we’re gonna have cameras there,” so it never ends. But no complaints; it’s a lot of fun.
I watched some clips on the show’s website, and on the red carpet Sandra Bullock told you she is a big fan of your show. Do you have any other celebrity fans? How does it feel to have the tables turned in regards to celebrities asking you about your personal life?
Now on the red carpets I notice people come up and celebrities — if I’ve never met them before — come up and [I] say “Hi, nice to meet you! I’m Giuliana.” And they’re like, “Yeah! How’s your husband Bill? I watch your show!” And I’m like “What!” Mark Wahlberg mentioned that last time we were on the red carpet, and Sandra Bullock. There have been a lot actually. A lot of people have mentioned it, and I’m like, “Are you kidding me?!” I feel like Alec Baldwin has … I feel like the most random people say they watch the show, and it’s really cute. People ask me how the house is going, how’s Bill, how’s Chicago and how’s the baby making. It’s weird ‘cuz I’m the one used to asking all the questions! Personal questions. So when they ask me, you know, it’s your personal life, you don’t want to talk about it. If I wasn’t going to talk about my personal life I’d be the biggest hypocrite in the world because that’s how I make my living! So it’s all good, it’s a lot of fun.
Season 2 focused a lot on your struggle to conceive. Is it exhausting to have to talk about such a personal issue so much?
One hundred percent of it is real. When we were first trying to have a baby and it wasn’t going our way, it was very easy for us to just hide it on the show. We could just say we’re not ready to have kids, we want to decide where we want to live before we have kids. We basically could have lied. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, nobody would have known anything different, and then behind the scenes we could have been going through IVI and IVF and trying to have a baby, but I don’t know. Bill and I had a conversation saying, “You know what? Maybe we should share this. Maybe we should tell our producers what’s going on and see how they react and this could be good.” I remember Googling the words “Hollywood fertility actresses” to see who had talked about it in the past, and there were so few girls in Hollywood who had ever talked about infertility. So I thought, gosh, you know, it’s not a taboo subject — it’s something that happens to a lot of girls. I felt abnormal and I felt something was wrong with me and I was very disappointed in myself and my body when I couldn’t get pregnant, and it wasn’t until I learned that one in eight couples deal with infertility and I felt like, “God, so many more people go through this than we know go through this,” and there’s comfort in numbers. There is definitely comfort in knowing that your neighbor’s going through the same thing you’re going through. So I thought if I could put this out there and help some girls and make them feel more okay with the situation, let them accept themselves a little more, then I figured it was worth it. That’s why I think you do a reality show. Hopefully you’re doing it for the right reasons and to help people. When we first started the show we didn’t set out to do that, and then it kind of became that, and now there’s no regrets.
Season 2 was just the tip of the iceberg and Season 3 definitely dives into much more personal things and personal scenes and moments. So hopefully people will embrace it because it’s real life and it is what it is, and I think the difference between Bill and myself and a lot of other people who live in Hollywood is, at the end of the day, we know who we are and we know we’re normal people. We refuse to get egos and become crazy like a lot of Hollywood people, and think [we’re] bigger than [we] are. And so we should act like normal people and talk about it like normal people would talk about it. My ego’s not so big that I need everyone to think that I’m perfect and have no issues. And that’s how Bill feels too. And we’re happy that we’ve got such amazing feedback from women and even men thanking us and telling us about their own experiences. It’s just great. I think the biggest compliment that I’ve been getting from women that makes us feel the best is when they say “Thank you for doing this. My husband watches the show and when he saw you going through it, it made him look at me more normal because he realized, “Oh, this girl in Hollywood who seemed to have it all, this couple in Hollywood, are going through what me and my wife in Omaha are going through.'” It doesn’t discriminate on age, it doesn’t discriminate on income — anyone can be affected by this. If you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s … it doesn’t matter. A lot of people are going through it.
What can viewers expect to see on the new season?
The first scene of the first episode is E! We do a lot more for E! We were actually shooting yesterday, and I was looking for someone in the building, and I got lost in the E! building, so I think there’s more of an insider point of view. There was feedback from viewers saying, “We want to see E! more, and we want to see her job more.” It was funny because we didn’t know! Did people want to see more of that, less of that, is it too Hollywood to show that? So we are showing a little more of that stuff. And also me and Bill bought a house, so there’s a whole remodeling of a home aspect and the craziness that goes into remodeling a home and how Bill and I have certainly learned a lot about each other through this process and that I’m horrible having to do with decorating or remodeling, and you would think that I would be good at that, like as a girl who loves fashion and shopping, but no. It seems Bill is the one with all the style in our marriage. It’s kind of fun. There’s a new decorator and lots of new people in our lives who have not been on the show before, which is also fun. Like our friends in Chicago and other people we have conned into being on our reality show. There’s a lot of stuff with my mom. She comes to Chicago to see me. She’s so Italian, and she’s speaking Italian, and I told the editor, I’m like, “You’re gonna need subtitles so call me so I can translate what my mom’s saying.” She’s so cute. A lot of the Italian aspect. We love that, the family aspect. There’s definitely more motherly bonding than ever before, more than any other season, which we didn’t plan on. It just happened. And I was watching it and I was crying watching it and it was making me tear up, and good times. There is obviously the debate of city vs. suburbs, L.A. vs. Chicago, because that is a big deal especially when you’re wanting to start a family and that sort of thing that you can’t have a child on a plane every week like we fly around. It’s not fair to a kid; it’s not healthy for them.
You are expanding your influence in the world of journalism! You have started “I Wanna Be a TV Host” seminars around the country. Can you tell us how you got the idea to start them?
I had subbed for some people at some hosting seminars in L.A., guest lectured, and I thought I should do this in Chicago, or other cities that don’t have this, so I’m doing it first in Chicago, and then people were e-mailing and they were like ‘You gotta do it in L.A.’, so I’m gonna do a few major cities. I think there’s 22 people, and that’s the max, because everyone gets to get up and do the prompter. I get the scripts all ready. Just like an audition. I send them a script a few days beforehand just as you would if you were going on an audition, and they have to come prepared and they have to read copy and I’m just going to give them a chance to just break into hosting because if you don’t go to college for journalism, where do you learn this stuff? And a lot of people are interested in it, and whether it’s being a sportscaster, a weathergirl, an anchorwoman, hard news, entertainment news. There’s so many facets that people don’t know how to break in to.
We haven’t talked much about Bill! What will we be seeing of him this season?
Trump loves him and has kept him on [The Apprentice] for the past seven years which is so wonderful. He speaks around the country and around the world and a lot of funny stuff happens to him on these trips so they’re going to be following him around a little more. And also he tends to go away during very important times in my life, but there’s nothing he can do because that’s his job! And so we have to deal with being apart during important times because of work and setting our priorities straight which is not easy but everyone has to do that in every relationship so you’ll see that.
Any final things you want to add about your new season? How are you feeling about it?
This season, it doesn’t feel like we’re shooting. It’s so real …they just follow us around. And it’s funny! It’s interesting to see that we rarely shut down. We just keep going and get really long, good stuff. I think this season has a lot of emotion and a lot of tears and most importantly a lot of laughter because we have fun. And the first cut the other day, before we saw it, I was a little nervous because I was like, “God, I don’t know if we’re that interesting or that funny! Can all this footage become a show?” It’s not scripted like so much of this reality out there, so I think that it’s definitely the most raw season and I think that people will learn a lot from this season.
Season 3 of Giuliana & Bill airs on Style Oct. 11.