It’s hard to believe a time when Lisa Rinna wasn’t on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Ever since joining the cast in season four she has become a household name. Recently Andy Cohen was put on the hot seat when a fan asked why Rinna started on the show so late.
While Rinna has turned out to be a big hit for the RHOBH and a fan favorite, Cohen wasn’t sure about casting her. A decision he recently realized was a mistake. He also admitted that she was not the only casting mistake he has made with the shows franchises.
As it turns out, Rinna had wanted to be a part of the reality show from the start. She was screened and even recorded a video for producers. On top of all that, she already knew and was friends with most of the housewives. So, why did Cohen make her wait until season four?
Andy Cohen was unsure about casting Lisa Rinna for RHOBH
When it was time to start casting for the RHOBH, Andy Cohen had a chance to cast Lisa Rinna. Unfortunately, he felt like she might not be a good fit. His main concern was her notoriety. He felt like she might be a little too famous for the show.
That’s not to say, that the other cast members weren’t famous or well-known, but that he was worried Rinna was more recognizable. He wanted the show to be about all the women, not just about Rinna.
“I felt like it should be all unknown people, and even though Kim and Kyle had acted years before, whatever, I felt like Lisa Rinna was too much of a personality and name to join,” Cohen said on his after show. He also went on to say that once the show was established, he knew it was time for Rinna join the cast.
What made Lisa Rinna more famous than other housewives at the time?
On top of being a big hit in reality television, she has also seen success in acting and modeling. She has several workout videos, and she is a published writer.
Her most notable roles in TV are from Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place. Her regular role on Days has earned her two Soap Opera Digest Awards, as well as several more nominations. She has been in over 300 episodes as Billie Reed.
She played Taylor McBride in Fox’s Melrose Place, the original series, not the reboot. Fans will remember this character’s scheming, oversized attitude the most. She was a hit from the start.
According to Biography, Rinna also found success with a recurring role on Baywatch, posing nude for Playboy magazine while being six months pregnant at the time, and hosting gigs for Soap Talk on SOAPnet.
It is no wonder that Andy Cohen had concerns about casting her. She really was and still is a recognizable face. If his goal was to build a foundation for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, casting her in season one, might have put too much attention on her, rather than the show.
Cohen also hesitated to cast Bethenny Frankel for the RHONY
According to Andy Cohen, Lisa Rinna was not the only cast member he questioned. When it was time to find women for the Real Housewives of New York, Cohen was unsure about Bethenny Frankel.
Die-hard fans might not be able to fathom the show without her, but Cohen thought she wasn’t a good fit. She had just finished as the runner up in The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, and he was worried people would think she was show-jumping.
Well, she was cast, and some fans might argue that she made RHONY what it is today.