Why Does Whitney Sudler-Smith from ‘Southern Charm’ Seem so Distant from the Cast?
Whitney Sudler-Smith from Southern Charm seems to be moving more into a behind the scenes role on the show than in front of the camera.
Sudler-Smith, who also produces Southern Charm hasn’t been part of the cast photo either for some time. In fact, he’s been known to skip a few reunions too. Sudler-Smith is also listed as a “recurring” cast member (instead of main) since season three, plus he has gone onto produce other arms of the franchise series.
Fans have noticed that Sudler-Smith’s on-camera presence has faded. When Craig Conover and Austen Kroll appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, a caller wanted to know why Sudler-Smith has distanced himself from the group. Both cast members seemed uneasy answering the question, but Conover gave it a stab.
Conover thinks Sudler-Smith had other career plans
The After Show caller wanted to know if Sudler-Smith was “bitter because he always hangs around people younger than him.” Conover looked stunned and uneasy, suggesting he pass the question onto Kroll, who nodded his head “no.”
Host Andy Cohen told Conover he couldn’t pass on the question, so he attempted to answer it. “I think that he struggled in an area that he wanted to become successful in a few years ago,” Conover said. “He got into a new area, and that area brought him around younger people. And he kind of like, views us as senses of resentment.”
As Conover talks, Cohen looks completely fascinated. “Look, he wants to be a Trasnformers producer,” Conover said. “He wants to be a movie producer. He doesn’t want to be a TV show producer.”
But Sudler-Smith is a TV producer
Cohen points out that Sudler-Smith is a television producer. “And he won’t embrace it,” Conover remarks. “And we don’t know why. Because we’ve been here for like six years now, And he won’t embrace it.”
Kroll finally contributes to the conversation. “Embrace it,” Kroll adds. “It’s a good place to be.” Indeed, Sudler-Smith has managed to use Southern Charm as a springboard for other projects.
Today Sudler-Smith is the producer of Southen Charm (Charleston), Southern Charm New Orleans, and Southern Charm Savannah. He’s particularly proud of Southern Charm New Orleans.
“I had been going down there a lot, and I knew there was a show there. … I met tons of people there, and then slowly developed it,” he told Bravo’s The Daily Dish. “And then the more we developed it, the more it kind of became a Southern Charm and that brand — but it all kind of fit together organically.” He also noted this about the NOLA crew: “I love this cast. I think they’re the best-looking cast on TV, hands down.”
He started in filmmaking
Before Southern Charm came Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston. Sudler-Smith wrote and produced the 2010 documentary, which was met with lukewarm and even scathing reviews. The Hollywood Reporter review was particularly brutal.
The review began, “Asked near the beginning of Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston what song she performed at the memorial for her close friend Roy Halston Frowick, Liza Minnelli says she didn’t: ‘It wasn’t about me.’ Too bad writer-director-producer Whitney Sudler-Smith didn’t apply that thinking to his absorbing but irritatingly compromised documentary on the designer who revolutionized the American fashion industry and helped define the hard-partying New York glitterati of the Studio 54 era.”
While most reviews weren’t favorable, TV Guide was gentler. “It becomes clear throughout the movie that you don’t have to be a fanboy or fashionista to appreciate the story of such a smart, flawed, fabulous man.”
Southern Charm was supposed to be a documentary about Thomas Ravenel. But Sudler-Smith’s agent saw a bigger picture and steered the producer toward television. As a result, Southern Charm was born.