Ariana Madix is thrilled that Vanderpump Rules is finally back, despite all that has happened in the SUR-adjacent universe over the past two years.
The longtime cast member of Pump Rules is at the center of this new season’s drama, whether it’s her ongoing feud with Lala Kent or talking boyfriend Tom Sandoval through his drama with Katie Maloney, the wife of his best friend and business partner, Tom Schwartz. In her mind, this year’s tensions feel more “fresh” and authentic than in years past.
Ariana Madix appeared on the most recent episode of In The Know’s pop culture interview series We Should Talk, where she discussed all the hot topics surrounding season 9 of Vanderpump Rules, including her relationship with Lala, what’s at the root of Tom and Katie’s issues, what it’s like having newborn babies in the mix and not missing Jax Taylor’s presence on the show.
“The funny thing about the group as it stands now is that those are my people! Not to say that the other people who aren’t on the show are not people I don’t love, and we don’t have our own friendships, but when I joined the show, it was like, ‘You’re coming into a group of friends that exists, and you have to figure out how you fit into everyone else.’ I was like, ‘I don’t really operate that way!'” she told In The Know. “This season, I’m feeling like, ‘This is my friend group.’ So, everyone else, it’s your turn to wedge!”
Listen to Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix’s full episode of We Should Talk below, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:
On her relationship with Lala Kent: “I don’t appreciate someone just talking s*** about me. There was a lot more that she said, not just in that podcast, but also going back over time [there were] things that she had said about me in season 8 when I wasn’t around. She never really apologized for it. So, it was all of that, and then I hear about it, and I’m just like, ‘Oh, OK.’ The biggest thing for me is that I felt that she was just full of s***. I was like, ‘This is a lie.’ If you saw the ‘Never Before Scene’ episode that aired the week later, you see me showing her the text messages that were sent to her. She was like, ‘I didn’t get these.’ I’m like, ‘It says delivered, lady. And you unfollowed me.’ […] A lot was said [other] than just the one thing that made it into the show. It got to a point where I was just being gaslit until the frickin’ cows come home. Being told, ‘Oh, this didn’t happen. It isn’t like this.’ And I’m like, ‘Here are all the receipts that show it’s exactly what I’m saying.’ That’s what really gets me going, is the saying something horrible about someone and then refusing to even acknowledge that you said something that may have hurt that person, and then expecting that person to apologize for making you mad. I mean, it’s just like, ‘OK, but you were mad about what?'”
On where she and Lala Kent stand now: “This is definitely an ongoing journey and TBD on us now, because there’s still stuff [going on]. And then [there’s] the Instagram drama of the night of the premiere … I just feel like it’s ongoing. It just seems that we get to maybe somewhere that’s good, and then we don’t see eye-to-eye on something at all. In Palm Springs, when we were in the pool, I did say, ‘We’re gonna have fun no matter what. Period.’ And I meant that, and we did all have fun in Palm Springs. You didn’t really see that, but me and Lala did have fun together in Palm Springs because I was like, ‘I’m determined for us to have fun.’ […] She was saying that I ditched her when she became friends with other people, and I was just like, ‘Are we on Earth right now? What are we talking about?'”
On what was going through her head during Vanderpump Rules‘ extended hiatus between seasons: “With COVID, there would be a date set, like, ‘Oh, plan ahead, we might start filming in October!’ Well, first it was July, then it was October, then it was, ‘OK, well maybe January.’ It was just one of those things where, [same] with everything with COVID, just being so unsure. Even then, when we did start filming, we have all of these COVID protocols now. […] Tom and I have spent the last few years really cultivating our other business endeavors, but there’s always the main focus [of] the show. So, if that was to go away, yeah — we were both thinking about what that looks like for us. It would just be going full force into everything else, which we already kind of do.”
On why boyfriend Tom Sandoval and Katie Maloney have such a tense relationship over her getting involved in their new bar: “There are many factors at play. One of the biggest ones that, to me, feels important to have out there, is that when Tom and Tom first started doing this project of opening a new bar together, they agreed that me and Katie — they literally shook hands — that [we] wouldn’t be involved. And I think that that’s honestly for good reason! With the personal aspects of our relationships, for me I think it would be detrimental to the business and also our personal relationships with each other. And then Tom Schwartz said, ‘Now I want Katie involved.’ It’s like, ‘But we agreed on this, and you want that to change. I don’t want that to change because I think it’s good without it.’ Then add in everything else. Add in the fact that Tom Schwartz is basically pitting the two of them against each other in private. Add on the fact that Katie and Tom Sandoval just have such a convoluted, crazy history as friends that spans way before the show. […] There was a point in time a couple years ago where the four of us were really solid, and I want to get back there. I think the way of getting back there is probably not us all working together.”
On not missing Jax Taylor on Vanderpump Rules: “We all tend to take things for granted, right? It’s human nature. Season 8, there were definitely moments. We used to have Jax be like, ‘I’m not driving to a beach cleanup.’ And it’s like, ‘Well, you have a call time, and this is what we’re doing today. We’re doing this beach cleanup.’ That kind of mentality of being like, ‘I don’t want to do that. I have to do this,’ definitely changed into, at least for me, ‘Oh, my God. I get to do this!’ […] A recurring theme would be this person — like Voldemort — this person says something, who even knows where [it came from]. Maybe there might even be a kernel of truth. He would say whatever he wants about anybody, then you would spend three and four days talking about it. It just sucks all the life out of everything else. I’m sure some people loved to watch that, but I personally did not. When things are the same, the same, the same, to me that is what’s boring. So, I found that very boring. I feel like what’s going on right now is so new and fresh for us, and that’s why I think that, for me, watching this new season is really interesting.”
Watch In The Know’s full interview with Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix below, and tune into Vanderpump Rules Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo:
If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s recent interview with Winter House stars Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula!
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