Marie Reyes opens her front door to her Preston Hollow home and welcomes her 10-year-old daughter home from school.
“Hey, there. How was your early Valentine’s Day?”
Sofia, who was picked up from school by the family’s housekeeper, trots in wearing her Hockaday School uniform and carrying her Valentines.
A housekeeper, big house in Preston Hollow, and picture-perfect family are elements typical for Dallas' tonier set. But Reyes, owner of SkinSpaMED, and her family are about to step into a completely new world. Reyes has just been announced as a “friend” of the castmembers of The Real Housewives of Dallas.
She leads me back to her closet for the interview because she says it’s the quietest place in the house. We sit on a white fur bench with shelves and shelves and racks and racks of designer shoes, purses and clothes surrounding us.
Reyes has been in the running for a reality show centering around Dallas for six or seven years, she says. It’s something Bravo has been toying with for awhile. However, when the show was first presented to her, it was supposed to be a show featuring women and how they balance their work, home and society life. After casting women without families and even some “pseudo careers,” the show turned into The Real Housewives of Dallas.
Whatever show it was, Reyes was on board. Her friends LeeAnne Locken and Tiffany Hendra, fellow castmembers, were in and Reyes wanted to support them. She didn’t know the three other cast members before filming began. Reyes filmed for about 20 hours per week for three months, she says.
“I think part of the magic of doing a reality show is putting women with different personalities in situations that are going to be likely to create some kind of interaction that will either be highly volatile in a good way, an awkward way or a negative way,” she says. “I mean there’s all kinds of things that can happen. We can feed off each other’s emotions in a positive manner when we’re at a charity event. So there can be a lot of positive things.”
At one point during the interview, Reyes' husband finds us.
“Well, it won’t be quiet anymore,” she jokes.
Reyes is kind and attentive and believable when she says she’s non-confrontational. She says she went into filming pretty naive, thinking it would be a fun experience and a good chance to support her friends. If she admits to being naive, her husband, Angel, an attorney, is quick to balance the couple back out.
“You want my opinion,” he asks me. “I was very supportive of her interest and desire to do it, but I come from a far more cynical perspective than she does. I don’t think they do these shows to spite you, but I do think that they do these and they’re not terribly worried about how you come across looking. So totally supportive, but understand there’s going to be blowback, there’s going to be haters, there’s going to be situations that are edited in such a way that we have no control of them and with lack of control, you can do a lot. The magic of editing.”
There are no regrets on Marie’s side — she says participating in the show was a positive experience. Angel voices a little bit of concern for their 10-year-old daughter, however.
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“But some of that stuff might be odd and awkward and hard for a 10-year-old to all of a sudden hear something weird,” he says. But they aren’t too concerned with anything. “We don’t do anything embarrassing (on film),” Marie says.
The Real Housewives of Dallas premieres at 9 p.m. April 11 on Bravo.
Are they ready for their world to change once it airs?
“You can never prepare,” Angel says. “I guess we’re as ready as we’ll be,” Marie adds.