“It’s not about creating the drama!”
How real are the Real Housewives of Melbourne? Just ask Jackie Gillies.
“What you see is absolutely 100% genuine…” Jackie Gillies assures me.
“The emotions are absolutely genuine. We are not told what to say.
“You’ve been filming for 12 hours every day for a week with all these women. Then issues start to arise, and then something three days ago is brought back up, and you’re still upset about something that you haven’t resolved.”
In case you hadn’t heard, Season 5 of The Real Housewives of Melbourne is about to premiere.
One of Foxtel’s most successful reality series, it returns after nearly a 4 year break. The Australian franchise of the US series has amassed a guilty-pleasure fanbase ready for the frocks, parties, society lifestyle and catfights. And what catfights they are.
Foxtel even spawned a second edition The Real Housewives of Sydney, in which the cast were so over the top with feuding and bitterness that even Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s TV boss, canned it.
“There’s nothing to say other than they gave it a crack,” she quips.
But Gillies (pictured above, second from left) notes that humour is integral to the series, even if she does shudder at some of things she has said.
“Over the years, I’ve looked back and thought, ‘Shit Jackie should you have said that?’ But that’s who I am!” she admits.
“I’ve had these slight arguments with some cast members over the years. Nobody can edit what doesn’t come out of your mouth.
“You’re one way off camera and another way on.”
“In saying that there are some people that I’ve noticed this season that sometimes will ‘manage’ the way they react in case they come off looking a certain way. And for me, that’s not authenticity. You’re one way off camera and another way on.”
So is it possible to remain authentic in such a histrionic, attention-seeking, made-for-clickbait series? Yes darling…
“It’s not about creating the drama, it’s about having an opinion on a situation that we’ve been put in. Gina ….and I loved her to death- we’re very good friends, but we have differences in opinions.
“That can come across as ‘This is a Shit Show!'”
“So you’ll see us have arguments over the seasons where we have this push and pull, but it’s not creating dramas, differences of opinions. That can come across as ‘This is a Shit Show!’
“It’s not putting on a big act, because if you start doing that, then it’s not going to work.
“I wouldn’t do a show if Gamble or ‘Roachy’ or some of those women walked in and started acting on camera. I’d be like, ‘I’m out. This is bullshit. This is not truthful.'”
This season sees Gamble Breaux and Janet Roach return, but Gina Liano renewed her love of legal work during the pandemic. Joining them are Cherry Dipietrantonio, Kyla Kirkpatrick, Simone Elliott and Anjali Rao.
“The dynamics were very interesting,” she continues. “It’s fresh, it’s new energy and the positives are you’re getting to see me and the other housewives getting to know these women in real time. Because I don’t know any of these women.
“Because Cherry, Anjali and Kyla were really quite close, sometimes for me it was difficult to get to know them all individually, on a deeper level. So that sometimes is a little bit tricky.”
Without getting specific, Gillies also acknowledges there were two moments where she “overreacted.”
“That’s something that will always send me over the edge”
“One was towards the end of the season and one was (during) a getaway that we had. But I’m very honest person and if I feel like someone’s bullshitting, embellishing or not telling the truth as it is, that’s something that will always send me over the edge.
“Maybe it’s Croatian passion. Sometimes that can come across all as being aggressive, but it’s just that I’m loud and passionate. If you just do everything with the right intent and you’re honest you’ve got nothing to hide.”
But behind all the high drama there is also another reason she agreed to return for Season 5 (originally she had walked away).
“I was going through IVF and knew I wouldn’t be an asset,” she explains.
“It’s such an emotional topsy-turvy journey that it was it was just too much stress to put on me. I wanted to make sure that I was in a positive frame of mind whilst I was doing IVF because I didn’t know how I was going to react.”
“I’d already done five rounds of IVF”
But the pandemic delayed filming for so long she was ready to return.
“I’d already done five rounds of IVF. I know what it takes and what it entails. I’m in a better mindset. I know I have to share this journey on The Real Housewives of Melbourne,” she insists.
“Yes, this show is about women behave sometimes badly, and there’s drama but I know that I have to tell this story.”
The Real Housewives of Melbourne returns 8:30pm Sunday October 10 on FOX Arena