I have always wondered what it’s like to be a side character on a reality TV show. Do these people get paid? Do they have any contact with the production company? Do they just show up to casually hang out with their friends in front of a camera crew? I imagine this differs from show to show and from person to person, but I can’t help being curious.
Intermittent Southern Charm cast member Danni Baird shed some light on how things work in regard to her involvement with the show.
Even though Danni has never been an actual cast member, she talked to Kate Casey on her Reality Life podcast about what it’s been like to be on the show since the very beginning. She recalled, “Shep [Rose] and I had dated briefly right before filming so it was just kind of natural. I just kind of fell into it. It was so odd. Season one, I didn’t film that much, it just happened to be that every time I filmed it was in an episode.”
Danni made an observation that holds true for the first season of most reality shows: “There’s something to be said about season one. It’s the most organic and authentic season. There were no ulterior motives. There was no manipulation. It was just raw.” And of course that led her to mention Thomas Ravenel: “Thomas was a very sensitive, sweet, unassuming person. Fast forward to season four and he represents himself in a different way. You still see those sides to him, but you know reality TV isn’t for everybody. It’s not really for me.”
Danni also said what all of us are thinking: “I don’t understand the whole Thomas and Landon [Clements] connection.” I also don’t understand why Landon is even on this show, but (unfortunately) I don’t make the casting decisions at Bravo.
Danni addressed Thomas‘s now-infamous revelation that his two children live in the guest house on his plantation (yes, he lives on a plantation). “He lives in the guest house too.” So does anyone live in the main house? This makes no sense to me. #RichPeopleProblems
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Danni emphasized, “He is a very good father and he is engaged. He loves those children.”
She also tried her best to explain his TV persona: “Thomas sometimes says things and he thinks they’re funny and they come off as very arrogant.” Maybe because they are arrogant?
Just like everything else on Southern Charm, this interview also came back to Kathryn. Kate asked Danni, “Is it true that you were asked to come on the show [this season] because they just needed somebody to support Kathryn?” She admitted, “Yes. That is a big part of as to why I did come back this season because I knew that she needed a positive force. I stand by that.”
So did she come on to support a friend or did someone in production ask her to appear to balance out the dynamics of the cast? My guess is that it’s a combination of both. She really doesn’t seem too into being a “reality TV star.”
Danni broke down that fourth wall by revealing, “I signed on probably the last month of filming. The scene of Kathryn of I – it was the first or second episode – was cut and pasted I think.” Damn. So reality TV isn’t actually reality? Color me shocked. Danni continued, “I had filmed a couple things before I signed my contract. You’ll see more of me the last section of the season.”
TELL US – DO YOU WISH THAT DANNI WAS A SOUTHERN CHARM CAST MEMBER? IF YOU COULD GET RID OF ONE FULL-TIME CAST MEMBER ON SOUTHERN CHARM, WHO WOULD IT BE?
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