Cynthia Bailey is the savvy, sophisticated, stunning - and not to mention, seriously funny - star of Bravo's massive hit show, Real Housewives of Atlanta. The supermodel/fashion school owner took a time-out from RHOA madness to talk about everything from married life with Peter...to why she loves beauty pageants (viva Miss Renaissance!)...to her secret to handling heavy duty Atlanta drama.
MM: What does it take to be a good Atlanta housewife?
Cynthia Bailey: Patience, prayer, and a great bottle of wine [laughs].
MM: You’re married to the super charming Peter Thomas. How did you meet?
CB: Peter and I met years ago through mutual friends, but we never ran into each other or hung out. We were two trains passing in the night and kept missing each other. The timing wasn’t right. Then it was and we really connected, and the rest is history.
MM: Your marriage has been featured on the show a lot, sometimes a little negatively. What’s a side of your marriage that viewers don’t see?
CB: When we got together, it wasn’t good financially. Being in love is not as fun when you have money problems [laughs]. Being in love is great, but you still need money. I feel like we went through the worst stuff in the beginning. Naysayers this season get a chance to see Peter and I come full circle. bar ONE is doing great, the Bailey Agency is doing great and we’re doing great.
MM: Absolutely mesmerizing season so far! What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you this season?
CB: My second wedding in Anguilla was amazing and I didn’t see it coming. That was a day and night that was a beautiful time for myself and the cast. There was a lot of love in the air. Peter and I were a little bittersweet about our first wedding. But everyone that came to our Anguilla wedding was so supportive and Peter and I needed that closure. It was the best surprise. There was a lot of rum flowing that day and nobody spilled the beans. I’m not sure I could have kept it a secret if a surprise wedding happened to another one of the girls. Give me a cocktail and I’m telling secrets [laughs].
Another surprising thing is that a lot of little kids are coming into the Bailey Agency and I didn’t expect that. We’re talking little – as soon as they’re born [laughs]. A woman wanted to sign her child up and I asked “How old are they?” And she said “2 weeks old.” Uh [laughs] They at least need to be able to stand up before they come to the school. So I was thinking, “What can we do for these cute babies that are too little to do anything besides being cute babies? Let’s take a picture of them [laughs].” So we started the Bailey Babies and Kids photo contest which we do every month.
MM: Congrats on creating the smashing Miss Renaissance pageant! Please say you’re doing more pageants.
CB: Yes! Coming from my fashion background, I’m surprised how much I love pageants. You don’t have to be genetically perfect or have cheekbones or be a certain height or weight to be in a pageant. That’s also why I made the Bailey Agency a fashion school and didn’t just make it about models. We also offer acting classes. I love being able to offer something to all girls depending on what they want to do.
MM: Will Boris Kodjoe return as your co-host…with a suit?
CB: Boris and I have been friends for a long time. We had to put out so many fires at the Miss Renaissance pageant that by the end of the day, the suit was the least of my problems. He could have come out in work-out clothes [laughs].
MM: Fabulous moment when you and Boris walked the runway!
CB: We were like “The scores aren’t ready. What do we do? Let’s walk the runway! It doesn’t make sense! Who cares?” [laughs]. I really try not to take myself too seriously and have a good sense of humor.
MM: Which one of your castmates would you crown Miss Renaissance?
CB: It’s hard because they all have great qualities and each have things that make up Miss Renaissance, but none of them have the total package. Sorry, girls. I created Miss Renaissance, therefore I win [laughs].
MM: How are things with Porsha?
CB: I’m cool with Porsha. I made the right decision to not do business with her until I knew her better – like I should do with any of my castmates. It can be problematic. I’d rather be friends with Porsha than do business and not have it work out. As far as Kordell, he has his funny Kordell-isms as I like to call them. He’s a funny guy.
MM: This is the year of donkey booty videos! Do you have plans to make one? Maybe a model booty video?
CB: My plan in the booty department is to lose a little bit of it. I’ll leave donkey booties to Phaedra and Kenya. Unless there’s demand for a video to lose a little bit of donk, I won’t be making a video.
MM: How do you stay composed among your fellow fiery Atlanta housewives?
CB: Unless it gets really out of control, I try to be rational and sensible. I think at this point in our lives, there’s nothing we can’t resolve with a good sit down and a cocktail! If that doesn’t work, I avoid that person. Either we work out or we don’t see each other that much [laughs].
MM: Anything you would change this season or are you 100% happy?
CB: I’m loving this season. It’s my 3rd season, and I feel like I’ve come out of my shell and I’m not going back in [laughs]. Viewers can see the real Cynthia Bailey – in my element and doing my thing. Coming from “New York Cynthia” to “Atlanta Cynthia” was a balancing act, but I feel like I’ve made the transition.
MM: What are you excited about in the next season?
CB: I’m on the right road and continuing the path. My school has so much potential. I’m thinking of expanding the Bailey Agency in other cities. I have some other little tricks you’ll see.
MM: What other Bravo show would you like to be on?
CB: One of the fashion shows, that’s my world. Maybe “Its a Brad Brad World!” I like fashion and food – so maybe a food one, too!
MM: Do you and Peter cook?
CB: We cook for each other. Peter is quite a good cook. I’m not bad. I’m one of those cooks where I want people to get excited about the meal and say ‘This is so good.’ [laughs]. I don’t cook a lot though because my daughter is a picky eater – she’s 13. Peter is busy. Peter and Noelle eat to survive. If I could give them drinkable food, they’d love it.
MM: You’re a superstar model…fashion school owner…pageant creator…Atlanta housewife. The list is a million feet long. What makes you so successful?
CB: I’ve always been so successful as a model and business owner because I’m not afraid to go for it. A lot of people are afraid to fail. I’m not. Just go for it and if you don’t succeed, do it again and again. I would have never ended up in New York as a model if I didn’t try or be an Atlanta housewife if I didn’t more to Atlanta because I fell in love. If you keep trying, something’s going to work.