‘Fixer Upper’: Chip Gaines Was Happy to Take On a ‘Supporting Role,’ Allowing Joanna Gaines to Become Super Famous

It’s not always easy for an ambitious spouse to take a back seat to their more successful partner. But that’s exactly what Chip Gaines had to do with his wife, Joanna when she became the face of Fixer Upper and their Magnolia empire. Chip was always more outgoing and wackier than Joanna. Even so, the quiet, reserved show host and self-taught interior designer has always been the true star of the family.

Joanna’s talent for creating idyllic modern farmhouse retreats is a huge part of her appeal. But Joanna’s fame is more than that. Chip Gaines revealed in the latest Magnolia Journal how he knew his wife was the real star of the family and how he really feels about letting her shine.

Chip and Joanna Gaines
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Rob Kim/Getty Images

Joanna Gaines became the face of ‘Fixer Upper’ — and Chip was totally cool with it

Chip was the one with an over-the-top personality and aspirations of greatness. However, fans immediately connected with Joanna instead. This could have logically become a problem in their relationship. But it didn’t.

“If someone had told me 15 years ago that I wouldn’t be living out my own solo show but that I’d actually be more like the guy holding the spotlight for someone else preparing to take center stage, I wouldn’t have wanted to hear it. I probably wouldn’t have believed it,” Chip wrote, as Parade reported.

Neither Gaines had any idea how famous they’d eventually become. However, Joanna’s star rose much faster than Chip’s and he had to come to terms with that.

Network executives were more interested in Joanna Gaines’s opinions

Chip realized the vast difference between himself and his wife when they were gathered in a conference room and everyone was more interested in Joanna’s input, not his. Chip had years of experience building a successful company and flipping multiple properties, yet Joanna resonated more with the viewing audience.

“I was slowly realizing that this universe we’d stepped into was actually built for Joanna in the lead role, not for me,” he admitted.

Chip provided Joanna support so she could succeed

Any initial feelings of jealousy for Chip were quickly overshadowed by his desire to help support Joanna and help raise her up.

“Any fantasy I’d concocted about my own future paled in comparison to the potential I was seeing in Jo,” Chip explained. “So, rather than staying fixated on being the star of my own life, I decided to take up the greater purpose of helping her reach her absolute potential.”

He continued, saying: “When I can clear her path, so to speak, and help her get to a place where she feels confident and capable to get after whatever it may be, I get to watch her change the world.”

He became the ‘supporting role’ and relished it

There were times on Fixer Upper when Chip would show up to kiss his wife goodnight and take the kids home for bed, letting her work in peace. Those types of moments just prove how much the father of five believed in his wife’s innate talent.

Ultimately, Chip’s flexibility became one of his most positive attributes and helped make his marriage stronger. “The role I thought I was born to play ended up not being the one intended for me,” Chip said.

“Instead, I’ve accepted my supporting role, a role I’m actually honored to play … I gotta tell you, it’s been the absolute joy of my life!”