It’s an interview only Phaedra Parks could give. I mean, you saw her ballet themed baby shower and her pickle inspired photo shoot, right? In a sit-down with PaperMag.com, the Real Housewives of Atlanta reality TV star discusses everything from funerals to being dressed by servants in Ghana. I swear, the things that come out of this woman’s mouth are something else, but because it’s Phaedra, it’s totally hilarious. She dishes on wardrobe changes during a funeral (not hers, the corpses!) and the Georgia Supreme Court attending her wedding to Apollo Nida, because, you know, she’s such Atlanta society. Loves it! It’s a really long interview, so I’ve posted the highlights below, but I encourage you to read the entire thing here. It’s worth your time! Oh, Phaedra!
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So let’s talk about your new funeral business, Phaedra Fantasy Funerals. What can you share with us about it?
I’m in school so I’m actively burying people and embalming them because you have to embalm so many bodies in order to get your complete certification to be licensed.
How’d you get into the funeral business?
[My] best friend was murdered in New Orleans on her birthday and I helped with her funeral. It was tragedies like that that put me in a position to get up close with funerals and bodies and see how they should be restored. I wanted my [deceased friends] to look like they did when they were alive and I wanted them to have a great funeral. So I took it upon myself to go to the funeral homes, talk to the morticians and really get involved in the planning of the service and through that I got really intrigued with the whole process of the burial and what you had to do to restore people to what they looked like prior. And so that’s what brought me to where I am now.
What about the production? Because in a way it’s like an event production.
It’s definitely like an event. I really see myself as being the Vera Wang of funerals. I’m very creative and I’m always thinking outside the box. I want people to call me from Wisconsin and say, “Honey, so-and-so died. Can you come make us this huge, fabulous event?” I want to travel. I want to be the “master funeral planner.” I want to be the life celebrant, giving them the concept, executing a beautiful service, sending them away with nice mementos of the service and making it special.
Yeah, exactly. And I’ve looked into some [new] stuff. Now they have the eco-friendly burials at sea and ashes in diamonds.
Ashes in diamonds? What do you mean?
You can get ashes put inside a diamond. And I wanna put the “boom” in “tomb.” I don’t want to be routine. I want to be really cutting edge.
Have you actually produced any amazing funerals yet?
Oh god yeah.
What were they like?
Most of the funerals I do are usually in Atlanta and high-end stuff. I focus on those bells and whistles. I have people who want a specialty casket that looks like a car...I’ve also had people that want to be changed several times.
Outfit changes? During the wake?
I’ve had a three outfit changer.
And how did this Housewives thing happen and what was your first thought as far as participating? Were you gung ho at first? Or were you hesitant?
When it was brought to my attention that they were possibly looking [for another cast member], I was like, “Ehhh, I don’t know.” But I had represented a person that was a part of the cast and I had known Shereé for numerous years and after I got married and they found out I was having a baby, they were like, “Wow! You shouldn’t be an attorney! You should come join this show because you would be a great addition, blah blah.”
And, speaking of the show, how was Africa when you guys went last season?
Oh, I loved Africa.
How do you know all those people in Ghana?
One of my closest friends in L.A. who I met years ago is from a family that’s basically royalty over in Ghana. Her dad has a golden statue in the middle of the town and her cousin is the king. Long story short, her name is Mary and she’s a great author and we started doing some writing together years ago. And I told her, “You know I really want to go to Africa” and she said, “Well, you know I’m from Africa.” And I was like, “Oh really?” And so one day she called and said, “I’m going home. Would you like to come?” I said, “Well, when are you going?” She said, “Well I’m en route now.” I said, “Well, I’ll be there in two days.” [It was] like Coming to America. She was so modest and we immediately got off [the plane] and there was this whole processional. That day we had tea with the poet laureate there, we went to the king’s castle — it was just amazing.
And where did you stay?
I stayed in this whole compound. And I had servants that came in and dressed me every morning.
Oh my god! Do they have the show in Ghana? I read that they do.
Well they can see it on the Internet but they’re a season behind. So when we went to Africa everyone was like, “You’re pregnant! Where is the baby?” And I said, “Uhh, the baby is born.”
Are there any teasers you can give us from the upcoming Housewives season?
Well, I think there might be a few weddings this season. I smell a wedding.
Speaking of weddings, what was your wedding to Apollo like?
What time of year?
All Saints Day. November 1st. The venue was a mansion with four floors and we had every floor with different themes and food, drinks, and bars. After the actual ceremony, we turned [the space] into a dance floor and we had heated lamps because it was a little chilly and so it was beautiful. [Since] I was in the social scene, all the dignitaries came and our supreme court was present…
I mean, really. How can you now love Phaedra? It’s as if I’m listening to the words come straight from her…and she is totes planning my funeral. That’s all I have to say about that!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF PHAEDRA’S INTERVIEWING? HOW OVER THE TOP DOES HER FUNERAL COMPANY SOUND?