'I'm not a big party girl': Stephanie Hollman from 'The Real Housewives of Dallas' on balancing reality TV, friendships, and prioritizing her family
A fan favorite, Stephanie does know how to stand apart from the rest in Bravo's 'The Real Housewives of Dallas', which airs on Wednesday's at 9/8c
Stephanie Hollman is a lot of things — a drop dead gorgeous philanthropist, a fitness enthusiast, and the hilarious witty 'girl next door'. But according to her, she is — first and foremost — a mother to her two sons. One of the biggest fan favorites on the most recent installment of the popular franchise, Stephanie does know how to stand apart from the rest in Bravo's 'The Real Housewives of Dallas', which airs on Wednesday's at 9/8c.
As the official synopsis describes it, this new installment of 'The Real Housewives', "centers around Stephanie and the other ladies on the charitable circuit in Dallas, Texas, while navigating life, love, and everything in between.
Stephanie's positive and bubbly personality shines while serving as a peacekeeper between some of the other girls throughout the season of the show. When push comes to shove, Stephanie is never afraid to speak her mind and find her voice."
But at the same time, she is vocal about being cautious to not ruin anything for anyone else she's filming with. That, among other many wise things, is what she spills to us in a casual chat. Here are some excerpts of Stephanie's conversation with MEAWW, on juggling a reality TV show, her family, keeping her passions alive, and most importantly, ensuring her marriage and children are always the first priority.
'Real Housewives' is airing currently, so with respect to the show how would you describe your experience so far?
The series, especially this season, has some real fun and exciting elements. But people love the drama, and there's a lot of that this year too. I love that this series has a lot on us as individuals and you still have the mix of the group. And that seems just more personal and I really like that.
Balancing family life, and being on 'Real Housewives', how has the experience been?
Balancing family and the show can't be hard. This year it was a little easier with both my boys at school full time. And the producers have been great too, doing most of our filming when my children are at school. I like to take them to school, I like to pick them up, I like to tuck them in. So if you desire to make it as easy for the kids as possible, they really, really work with you. And occasionally there would be exceptions, but for the most part, I was able to do the majority filming when my children were at school and I would have been alone anyway, which was really nice.
What urged you to star in 'Real Housewives'?
It kind of fell into my lap! They were casting Michelle in Dallas and nobody knew what the show was, and they were looking at my friend who the casting agent asked 'do you have any friends?'. And then they gave about hundreds of people, like their friends and their friends. She gave them my name and Brandy's and we were the two last ones they looked at. So we had the job within about two to three months.
You've also found such a tight friendship in Lee Ann. How did that happen?
With her, two years were spent filming without really knowing each other. And I felt like we both were exhausted with the same thing where we didn't know each other or didn't like each other. It was a moment at the end of a party that I told myself that we never really gave each other a chance, and it was just easy to open up since then because we both had struggled with depression and other things too. It's like when you find out you have something common with someone, you can build a relationship with that.
Speaking of bonds, you also have two sons! What are their views on you starring in a reality show?
I don't let them watch the show, and I really only have them film when they want. I don't push them at all because they're seven and nine years old so I have to respect their wishes, and most importantly, privacy after all. So every time you see them on the show, it's something they want to do. But even if I'm home and they've had a bad day, or they're cranky, I never put them in the situation, even if they want me to film with my kids.
Is there anything particularly challenging about balancing the two?
When my husband is traveling, it's really hard to balance. His schedule isn't like predictable, but the show really helped me juggle the schedule. And I also have a babysitter whenever I needed help, and that has really worked. So it's more of a team effort, just because when I can't be there, somebody needs to be there.
When speaking your mind on a public forum like a reality show, are there any ground rules you live by? Does diplomacy always have to be a part of what you say in front of the camera?
The only thing I really try not to do, even though it's a reality show, I love most of the ladies, and I believe their life is their life and I really try not to break offset and spread rumors on the show, because that can really affect people — their relationships, their marriages, and families. And I try not to go overboard with stories. My stories are mine, so if I don't talk about my stuff, I really try not to bring outside gossip with the ladies. For me, it's more about being true to myself than anything else. So I don't want to elevate myself and ruin it for somebody else that I'm filming with.
What are some of your favorite hobbies to indulge in when you're away from the camera?
I love to run and work out. I love dinners and wine. I adore date nights, and nights with my kids, going to the zoo — I'm kind of a homebody. So even being at home and watching TV and just spending time on the couch with my kids are some of my favorite things to do. I'm not a big party girl, even though I love to travel!
Speaking of date nights, your 10-year wedding anniversary is coming up! Is there a pro-tip, or a secret mantra you'd like to share for a successful marriage?
I think marriage is just two people who work hard, love each other, and never give up. It's love, and a choice you make every day to choose the person you're with. If you choose to put more effort and love that person, it could be very successful. Just making it a priority.
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Last year I completely changed my life and marriage. I have spent most of my life struggling with depression, my past and many insecurities. I decided to change and focus on truly loving myself so I could better love others. I attended @hoffmanprocess and did a week of working on being a better, more authentic person. This process changed my life and for the first time in a long time I have found peace, self love and self compassion. Today I go back for a weekend retreat with @travishollman to further that work for our family and our future. To those of you who struggle with some of these same things, know you are not alone. Sending you all so much love today and I will see you all when I get back. God bless ❤️
As a reality TV star, what do you consider the best part about reality shows?
My favorite thing is looking at past seasons and reflecting on how my kids have grown and changed — how big they are now and how little they were back then. It's like little home videos you get to keep forever.
If you could change one thing about them, in general, what would it be and why?
I think you kind of put yourself out there, so you have to take the good with the bad. Sometimes it gets a little too negative with certain people. I wish people would look at them as more than entertainment. So even if it's not so much towards me, I am on social media, and I see them being so nasty to some of my castmates and it's really hard to see it. Regular people are dealing with the same things they are and the only difference is that ours is public, so the humiliation is public.
Any other projects that you're thrilled about?
Right now my husband and I are working on our charity initiative through our company which is Hollman Education and Learning Program (HELP), which provides children and families with free college education. But my husband runs the business, and I run the household, and as of right now, I'm quite happy with that. Being a mom is more than enough for me right now. So many I might do something in the future but right now I'm very content with my family. I'm supporting my children, my husband, and their dreams.