Fast paced careers, marriage, four children under the age of 8, discipline in a world of preschoolers attending Justin Bieber concerts, plastic surgery, cameras rolling …Sound crazy season of your favorite Reality Television show? It’s not. In fact, it’s just one day in the lives of Real Housewives of Orange County standout couple, Heather and Terry Dubrow.
Last week I was given then opportunity to chat with this charming, down-to-earth couple about everything from making a marriage work in the OC to raising children on camera. And if you think you like the Dubrow’s on television, you are in for an even more pleasant surprise, just as I was when I chatted with them. They’re funny, likable and a clearly dynamic team who paints a different picture of life in Orange County then has previously been portrayed by some of their counterparts. So now it’s your turn to find out how their relationship works, what Heather’s 99 cent beauty secret is and how they keep their children’s feet on the ground , even while jumping on a trampoline overlooking the Pacific Ocean sunset.
Big Blonde Hair: You both seem very grounded and sensible, which can be atypical for Reality TV stars. You set a great example for viewers of The Real Housewives of Orange County. What initially peaked your interest in being on the show?
Heather: Terry’s been on a plethora of Reality TV shows. He was on the The Swan and Rhinoplasty (amongst other shows), so he’s very comfortable in the Reality genre. For me, coming from scripted television, it’s (Reality TV) something you don’t do. It took me a few weeks and it was a very difficult thing for me to get on board with. I did understand that the landscape of television had changed and this was a platform you can use to further your goals and brand yourself. I feel like we have a lot to offer and put out in the world and this was an interesting, cool platform to do it.
Terry: We were big fans of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and we know Paul and Adrienne pretty well. I had never really seen the Orange County series, but I heard it had nothing to do with the Orange County that we know and love. We wanted to represent what a life is like in Orange County that people like us live. We’re married, we have a family and we live in Orange County. I think we more represent the aspirational side of a married, stable couple living in OC, rather than where the show has gone in the past.
BBH: I definitely agree that you guys give a different perspective on what life is like there. And a lot of people don’t realize that a relationship between two hard working people can cause more juggling and accommodating of priorities and schedules then average. How have you been able to stay balanced as a couple while you both work so hard on your own individual projects, even before you had kids?
H: I think before we had kids it was easier. Well, that’s not entirely true because Terry was out of Orange County and I was out of LA, so that presented a lot of obstacles for use, we were commuting and that was pretty hard. Right, honey?
H: I think life is what you live every day and it just keeps coming at you. You never know what it’s going to be. One day I’m working on a sitcom, the next day I’m on an hour-long drama for seventeen hours, the next day, I have twins. We moved down to Orange County, ended up having 4 kids, and I worked a little here and there.
We have had a lot of interesting opportunities both separately and together. It’s fun because we enjoy what the other one is doing so much and we respect each other so much that it’s fun to see what the other one is doing. But as far as juggling goes, it’s crazy. The schedules are crazy…
T: I think, if I may, honey…wife…(just kidding) we remain balanced and stable because Heather is very organized and has a really good overall picture of what is going on in our lives at any particular moment. She is a really great planner. If you don’t appreciate that your life is a series of well thought out plans executed to the best of your ability, you’re just going to run around and bump into people, situations and opportunities. But Heather can tell you what she’ll be doing in 8 weeks, where our vacation is going to be in 9 months, in 8 months, so she really delivers. That’s how we are able to balance all of these variables in our lives so well and it’s 100% credited to Heather. Whereas, I walk in like I just scrubbed in (to surgery) and I go “Hand me the towel let’s go.”
H: Well, thank you honey. You know he works so hard and I do too.
BBH: That’s great. And since you are both very successful, do you ever feel competitive with one another?
H: We are not competitive in general. Well, you’re a little competitive with sports…
T: I am a super competitive guy but we are not competitive with each other. If Heather is up for something really great and it doesn’t happen, then I suffer more, way more. And if I’m up for something great and it happens I think Heather is happier about it than I am.
H: I love seeing my husband having success. First of all, he’s so bright. He’s so talented…
T: I’m sorry what did you say honey? Wait say that again I didn’t hear that? (laughter)
BBH: Don’t worry I am recording, the statement is on record!
H: Really, he is so bright and successful, I just find it sexy to see my husband doing his thing and doing well. He is not just a surgeon, he does all these crazy things. He just sold a show to the E! Network. Who does that? He’s a plastic surgeon! He’s crazy talented, this guy, he can do anything and I love it.
T: It’s like we are both on the same Olympic gymnastics team you know and…
H: And even if we don’t stick the landing…
T: Yeah, if she doesn’t stick the landing, I’m more bummed than she is about it.
H: We sound sappy…
BBH: No, no … you don’t sound sappy you sound good. You sound like a couple that likes each other, which is very important.
H: Well, we do. It’s also important to know we are normal. We have fights, we get irritated. But I do think the secret to a good marriage is separate bathrooms.
BBH: I understand that one! So Heather, after graduating from Syracuse, spending your life acting, performing, singing and dancing, and then transitioning into being a mom of 4, did you find it difficult to shift into the mom role? A lot of women are in that boat these days.
H: I think like for most mothers (I would assume) it’s a rollercoaster. We had a lot of fertility issues so we had a long road to get pregnant, so I was really excited when we finally were. I had never even touched a baby before I had the twins and it was culture shock to have two babies. It threw my world upside down. And then I thought, oh gosh I have to get back to work, and then oh gosh how can I leave these kids.
Now I have 4 children under the age of 8 and I have honestly spent the last 8 years being on a roller coaster feeling like I don’t do anything perfectly because I try to do everything. I just took my kids to the Hamptons, to New York, for 2 weeks to see my parents and when we came back and Terry and I had to leave for a day and a half and I felt so guilty, even though I had been with them 24/7 for 2 weeks straight. I think that’s just the whole mom guilt thing.
The transition doesn’t end. It wasn’t like I started having kids and I just turned into this housewife. I started having children and I still worked some, and I have been pregnant a lot the last 8 years. And now with the Real Housewives it’s the next chapter. It’s still transitioning.
(BBH’s phone cuts of the conference line…Trust me, this gives insight into the couples charm)
T: What happened? Did we lose her?
H: Did we bore her? Did my transitions put her over the edge?
BBH: Hello? Sorry about that.
H: Was I boring you?
BBH: Everything was still recorded my phone cut out.
H: By the way… I was brilliant.
BBH: (Laughs) What are your feelings about having your kids filmed for reality television? Did you have a few hesitations?
H: I did have a few hesitations. But the truth is if I am going to do it I am going to do it, and being a mother is so much a part of my life it would be so inauthentic not to show them. And honestly I don’t think I could have physically done it without them being on camera sometimes.
Evelyn that produces the show is an unbelievably amazing, thoughtful, caring producer and so I would say that they (production) don’t want your children to look bad.
BBH: So If any of other Housewives are saying their kids don’t look good, it’s their fault not Bravos?
H: Exactly, exactly.
BBH: In general your life is not typical with all of your different ventures and it’s definitely not the life most of your viewers are leading. Do you think you both will have to work extra hard to keep your kids grounded in that environment?
H: That’s a really good question. It’s very hard when you have a movie theater in your house, and I hate to make it sound that way. And by the way, Terry and I didn’t grow up this way. One thing we do to our kids to keep them grounded is we chose schools that have other children in them with similar parents with similar values to ours. Schools that keep the children young. We were at a preschool where 4 year olds were going to Justin Beiber concerts and I just couldn’t take it. So we took our kids out of that environment and put them in one that is right for them, that I feel will support how we teach them and our family values.
T: Our kids have a weird life right now. For example, we go to a charity function to see the McClain Sisters from A.N.T. Farm. Our daughters wanted to take a picture with them after the performance, and then are upset because they can’t. But then, out of the blue, they come up to us saying “We love the show” and “Can we take a picture with you and Heather?” So we say “Yeah, if you take a picture with our kids.” And it’s weird. We go to a restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway, 2 sets of cars scream out “We love you Heather!” So it’s a weird life that our kids are leading now. What we try to do is understand it and try to teach them gratitude.
H: By the way, we ignore all that stuff, we downplay it, we wave, we go on and we don’t talk about it.
T: Well we do talk about it to a certain degree rather than ignoring it and taking it in. We say this is weird, its only temporary, we’re so grateful we get all the amazing opportunities, but you have to realize one day you are going to look back at this and think this was insane. This will be a weird memory you had but it doesn’t make you special, it doesn’t mean you can glide through life. You have to work and concentrate and focus every day, because this all goes away and there are many ups and downs in life. We don’t want them to think just because they’re alive breathing air, they live in this sort of rarified weird world and they will forever you know?
H: Gratitude is a big conversation at our house. I always try (to teach it). For example, we do a lot of family dinner toasts. We always go around the table and try to talk to them about their day. Even when we’re outside jumping on the trampoline as the sun is setting over the ocean, I’ll say “Let’s take a minute let’s look at this. Not everyone gets to look at the water and the sunset and this is amazing.”
T: And it’s not always the way it’s going to be
H: Yes, it may be forever, it may be fleeting. We have we enjoy it.
BBH: That sounds like a great strategy. You are both busy people, and now we know Heather is the planner. So who’s the disciplinarian?
T: Oh Heather will answer that question….
H: I do everything.
T: Yeah, Heather really is the captain of the ship.
H: Yes, I am the captain of the ship that’s not to diminish Terry’s role at all. He’s an unbelievable dad, a great husband, and honestly, he’s at work. I’m the one here with the kids, I’m the one who has the last word because I never want to say “Wait til your father gets home”. First of all, it’s not fair to him, and second of all it takes away my authority. I try to be even but the truth is I’m the one here; I’m the disciplinarian. He gets to be the jokey fun one, but you know what? That’s my role
BBH: I understand that. And now, from family to fashion. I have to deal with a few style questions, Heather, or my readers will kill me. Your style is definitely East coast inspired compared to the other ladies of The Real Housewives of Orange County. What are your favorite brands and places to shop?
H: I love to shop at Chanel and Valentino and I like YSL a lot. I shop at Neiman Marcus and a lot of the boutiques in South Coast Plaza. But I also have to say I also go to Zara, Target, and H&M. I think it’s cool buying pieces from all over the place and mixing and matching because that’s what gives you a unique look.
BBH: Yes, I definitely agree with that and people will like to hear that you, Heather Dubrow, shops at Zara. That gives everyone hope!
H: By the way, I have to say Target has come out with some of the best kids lines I’ve seen in years. The Gwen Stefani Harajuku Mini line is amazing. And now they have a Disney line called D-Signed there and I have to tell you, the clothes are beautifully made.
BBH: I’ll have to look. I bought my son some of the Harajuku Mini t-shirts, very cute…
Editors note: She’s right, go look, it’s very cool.
BBH: Thank you…Now I learned something new. Terry do you do your own shopping? Or does Heather take the reins and go shopping for you?
T: If Heather is a Bentley I am a Prius, you know?
H: Aw that’s not true honey, but the truth is he wears scrubs every day to work, black scrubs. He (essentially) wears pajamas and clogs every day.
T: A very, very close friend of ours is one of the top men’s clothiers in the world, if not the top guy, David August. He dresses everyone from Mit Romney to Schwarzenegger to Stallone. Everyone. He has done my clothes for the last couple of years. And he makes it so it’s ‘Terry resistant’. It’s more a “Hey if you’re going to wear this tie, wear this shirt, with these pants”. He gives you a little clothespin organizer of everything. I’m not really into clothes or fashion. I like to look nice, but I just don’t care to be honest with you. And my wife takes care of that.
BBH: That’s fairly typical of most men I’d say. Now Heather, a lot of my readers, must know what your favorite beauty products are.
(Terry gets off the call to take another interview and very politely thanks me. I wonder secretly if we just bored him to death with the fashion talk )
H: I have to say I have a very simple regime. I use the products from Terry’s line, which are going to available soon worldwide. We believe in a very simple, very inexpensive routine because skincare should not be expensive. Terry wrote a book a number of years ago called The Acne Cure and it was basically how you can clear up your skin for no money at the drugstore, and our line is based on that. It’s a line that anyone can buy, not a Neiman Marcus line.
And for my actual makeup, I will give you some of my tricks; Some are expensive some are not, just like my clothes. First, I love Chanel lip glosses. To me, they are the best they and are pretty much all I wear. But, my lip liner is Wet n Wild #666. I’m telling you, a makeup artist told me this trick 15 years ago and you can never go wrong. You line your lips, color them in lightly, put gloss over it and it looks fabulous on any skin tone. So I love that. One of my other fab finds that I love is Maybelline Mascara.
I am obsessed… obsessed… with L’oreal Paris Elnett hairspray. How did I never have this product before? I don’t have extensions or color my hair and it’s easier to style your hair (when it’s colored or you have extensions). So my hair (stylwill fall out. Ever since I got that Elnett hair spray it stays. I have no endorsement deal with them, I’m just telling you I love it.
BBH: Alright that’s great. People are always asking about everything you Housewives use.
H: Because I am married to a surgeon, I do Botox and I do some fillers. But I truly believe that the best beauty secret is happiness. I know that sounds sappy but I’m just telling you it comes from the inside and spreads out. The happier and more satisfied you are living your life, the better you will look.
BBH: That is perfect. And finally, looking towards the future, what about plans for the new restaurant? Are you moving forward with that after talking about it on the show?
H: We are as a matter of fact, but it’s so complicated to talk about. I really don’t want it to be in a strip mall. I grew up in New York and I want something cool, a cool joint. (Now) we are working with Fabio Vibiani from Top Chef, so his guy is now looking for the location. So hopefully, we will get it together. But the truth is my girlfriends and I have been talking about this for 3 years. So it could take us a few years to do it could take us 6 moths to do it, whenever it happens it happens, I’m not really on a time line.
BBH: To wrap, are there any other projects you are working on moving forward, in addition to the skin care line and restaurant?
H: You know I hate being that specific because it sounds like nonsense to me when people say “Exciting stuff to come!”. But this show has led to some interesting opportunities. For example, I just filled in for Ken Conway Jr on KFI while he was on vacation. It was a 3 hour show, all talk (as you can tell it’s not a problem for me to talk for 3 hours )and it was a very cool experience and that has led to some other interesting opportunities.
In the frame of thought that work gets work, even being on the show has lead to some potential acting experiences. I don’t want to over schedule myself because I know at the end of my life I’m not going to look back and say “I’m so glad I did this extra sitcom or that radio show”. It’s experiences with my family (that I will look back at). So I want to find a way to feel creative and fulfilled as a person because I think that’s very important, but also really put my family first. I know that it’s fleeting and they’re not going to be here forever,
BBH: I agree, that balance can be a struggle. I am sure you will figure it out. I just hope you will be back on the show because you and Terry are a great addition.
H: I think I talked your ear off Lauren
BBH: Thank you, I enjoyed it.
And as a stay at home mom looking for good conversation with charming, like- minded people, I thoroughly did enjoy it.
An enormous that you to Heather and Terry Dubrow for giving us the opportunity to look inside one of Reality TV’s realest, and most charming, couples.
Be sure to follow them on Twitter @HeatherDubrow and @DrDubrow. Also check Heather out on Who Say .
Category: Celeb Interviews
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I’m a former wholesale sales representative for major contemporary clothing lines turned fashion writer with a style obsession! My fashion career and love for writing all came together back in 2009 when I found Dina Manzo’s Alice & Olivia Ombre Rosette Dress was something I could have in my closet and noticed that Patti Stanger wore Express and decided to write about it. I love fashion and am lucky to have had awesome readers that helped make my dream a career.