Prince Lorenzo Borghese burst onto the reality TV scene in 2006 after he was cast as the ninth lead on the hit ABC dating show "The Bachelor." After stints on other reality staples including "Celebrity Big Brother" and HGTV's "Selling New York," the successful businessman and animal rights activist returns to primetime in a starring role with the April 16 premiere of the Esquire Network's "Lucky Bastards," which chronicles the life and times of six friends in New York City.
According to a network press release, the series will feature 10 one-hour episodes. In addition to real-life prince and businessman Borghese, the show stars aspiring fashion designer Rocco Cafferelli, recent Los Angeles transplant Adam Campbell, cosmetics executive Craig Clemens, independent wealth manager Scott Mitchell, and the show's frequent "conscience," banker turned vodka maker Charles Ferri.
Examiner spoke exclusively with Borghese on April 15. The friendly, straight-talking prince chatted about a number of topics, including his feelings about "Lucky Bastards," the special lady in his life, and the downsides of being a reality star.
Congratulations on the premiere of "Lucky Bastards." How did you wind up on the show?
Borghese: I have a really good agent and they paid me millions of dollars. I said yes. No, I ended up on the show, my good friend Charles called me up one day and said 'hey, they just called me to do this show. They want to follow a bunch of friends around New York City in their day and night life, would you be interested'? The more I inquired about the show, the more I wanted to do it. I said if it's just going to follow what I do, it's my life, it's not disruptive, yeah, I'll do it. And I did it!
Awesome! So we'll actually get to see a day in the of you?
Borghese: Yeah. I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing [laughs] but I think you'll just realize I'm just like every other guy, except maybe I'm 41, I'm not married, I have no children. But besides that, I'm just another guy.
Have you taken any other steps toward finding your princess?
Borghese: I have. I went to Disney and I looked for her there. Couldn't find her. But I have been in a relationship for a little over a year. She's incredible and I had to force her to come on the show because she's camera shy and doesn't like that stuff. But she does make her appearance... so you'll meet her.
That's great! I was going to ask why we should tune in, but I guess that's one good reason!
Borghese: She's much better TV than I am, I'll tell you that. She's awesome. She's really sweet and nice and she's great TV. I don't know how good TV I am, but she's really good TV.
You're kind of a reality show king at this point, between "Selling New York" and "Celebrity Big Brother" and "The Bachelor," so there has to be something appealing about it for you. What is the best thing about being on reality TV?
Borghese: You know, I'm not a good guitarist, and I went the easy way. I've always liked concerts, it's a weird thing, I like to see the energy, I like to see people entertained, to see 80,000 people having a good time. If I could come back, I'd be a rock star but I'm not musically talented. So what I really enjoy about reality TV is that you're helping people escape for that hour of the week.... I don't think there's anything wrong with entertaining people and having them watch you and either criticize you or laugh at you or dislike you as long as you're entertaining them for that one hour. I think it's fun, and knowing that a lot of people are interested in watching is sort of a cool thing. That's one of the reasons that I like it. The other is that I promote my businesses and my brands. People say they go on reality TV to just find love, for example, and it's not completely true. They're going to find love, but they're also promoting themselves and what they do. It is a great outlet to tell your story.
Your honesty is refreshing.
Borghese: It's just true. I've always been honest. Even with "The Bachelor," I told them if they find me the perfect girl I've got no problem marrying her, but I'm not just doing it for that. I'm doing it so people find out who I am and to promote my business. Unfortunately on "The Bachelor" I lived in a castle and you never saw me work. What's cool about this show is you're actually going to see me working and what I do. I don't live in a castle and play polo day and hang out with 27 girls that all want to be with me.
On the flip side, what's the most frustrating thing about being a reality star?
Borghese: It's a lot of work, which people don't realize. To create 10 shows... is four months of filming and it's tiring. I work 12 hour days and having cameras there at times is disruptive because there's things that I can't say that I would. But you also try to be on your best behavior and then you're not because you forget the cameras are there and then you look back and you stress out at night... when you're lying in bed you're like 'oh my gosh, did I say that? Ugh, I wish I could have editing power so that doesn't air.' But the thing is, we all do stupid things and the camera picks it up. It's stressful knowing that you don't know what part of you're life they're going to show.
I wouldn't want a camera following me around all day!
Borghese: I'm far from perfect. I've got my parents and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews that are going to be watching... There are some moments when I don't act like I should... there are a lot of embarrassing moments. But this show is fun, it's edgy, it's cool, it's different, and it's intended to make you guys laugh.... We go down to Miami... we play tricks on each other. It's just a bunch of guys having fun but also working hard and trying to enjoy life.
What's one thing you'd like to tell America about yourself?
Borghese: I actually work really hard.... I have numerous jobs and I didn't inherit anything. I make my own living, I wasn't given anything. My parents obviously put me through school... but I actually made every penny I have.
Random question time! Ready?
Borghese: I love random questions.
What kind of toothpaste do you use?
Borghese: Colgate Whitener.
What's the last book that you read?
Borghese: [Long pause] My book, "The Princess of Nowhere." I've read it like 30 times. My memory is going, believe it or not, so I have to read books over and over again because... you forget a lot of the history. I get asked questions about the family history all the time... and it's in the book. But the last book that I read that wasn't mine was "Moonwalking with Einstein." Great book.
Last question. What is your favorite musical act?
Borghese: The Grateful Dead.