Daytime drama star turned soap-opera journo turned Dancing with the Stars alum Lisa Rinna is continuing her fancy footwork, juggling a new reality competition — Oxygen's Tease, which she hosts (premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET) — with DWTS' ongoing cross-country tour. TVGuide.com grabbed a few minutes with the fabulously coiffed brunette to comb through her many projects, which include a long-awaited date on Broadway.
TVGuide.com: What title do you think your husband, Harry [Hamlin], would be OK with me using for this Q&A? Can I do "Lisa Rinna Is a Big Tease?"
Lisa Rinna: [Laughs] I love it. Do it. He'd probably agree with you!
TVGuide.com: I understand that I've caught you at the beginning of the whirlwind Dancing with the Stars tour.
Rinna: You did — the very beginning of the whirlwind. We've done two shows, and I'm sitting here in Seattle looking out at the rain.
TVGuide.com: How has the reception been so far?
Rinna: It's been great. I think we have a hit on our hands! People love it, and it's selling out....
TVGuide.com: Are you maintaining your Dancing with the Stars form there?
Rinna: Are you kidding? That's why I did the tour, so I could maintain my figure. It gets you in real good shape, this dancing.
TVGuide.com: So I watched Tease, a rough cut at least.... It's kind of fun, because of the sort of personalities you get. These competing hairstylists are full of drama, inherently, so there is a lot of smack-talking and stuff.
Rinna: Yeah, that's for sure! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: When I first reported on the series and the players vying for some "coveted Silver Scissors" awards, I made fun of Oxygen for not having a proper budget.
Rinna: Well, you should!
TVGuide.com: Is there more to the Silver Scissors? An impressive retail value, perhaps?
Rinna: No, there's not. I think it really is sort of like the Dancing with the Stars trophy, that's all I can relate it to. It's ugly, it's silver, and that's all you get. You're vying for the title of "the great one," the winner. And that is a human motivator, obviously.
TVGuide.com: I found it cute how [in-house stylist/Survivor alum] Coby does a bit on crediting you, Lisa Rinna, with creating the "Lisa Rinna hairstyle, "which is apparently superpopular with people going into salons.
Rinna: Well, it is, I do know that. And that is one of the reasons I decided to do Tease. I thought, "Why am I going to host this show? What connection do I have to this?" And the connection I did have was my hairstyle. People stop me on a daily basis and ask me where I got my hair cut, and this has gone on for eight years. They say, "I've been to my hairdresser, and he can't get it right, can I just take a picture of you right now?" I thought, "OK, I have a connection to hair, I can host his show." Otherwise, it's like, "Why is Lisa Rinna hosting this?" And probably many people will say that anyway! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What's next for you? Are you and Harry still doing Chicago after the tour?
Rinna: We are; we're doing Broadway's Chicago this summer. Isn't that cool?
TVGuide.com: Are you nervous? Excited? Nervous-excited?
Rinna: You know, I worked really, really hard to lobby for it, because I'm not the choice on the tip of everybody's tongue. I actually first auditioned for it about eight years ago, and I wasn't up to snuff. I couldn't dance. Sandahl Bergman was in L.A., she took me through like a three-hour audition, and I couldn't cut it. I figured I can't do Bob Fosse, which is really hard, so I moved on. But once I did Dancing with the Stars, I figured, "Hey, I think I have learned a bit," so I called my agent and said, "This is a list of things I want to do, and on the top is Chicago. Make it happen." They looked at me like I was out of my mind, and then called the casting people, who were like, "You're crazy because we saw her eight years ago and she sucked." Long story short, what finally happened was they changed casting people, and the new person called my publicist and said, "Do you think Lisa Rinna would ever be interested in doing Chicago?"
TVGuide.com: My, how the tables have turned....
Rinna: Isn't that so interesting? They made me come to New York and audition, and I did the whole thing — performing in front of the producer — and I got it. It's proof to never give up in life.
TVGuide.com: And the husband doing the show with you, that's icing on the cake?
Rinna: Yeah, the husband kind of got off easy. I signed to do it, and when he did Dancing with the Stars, they were like, "Wouldn't it be nice to have you and Harry do it?" It all worked out really well.
TVGuide.com: But do Lisa Rinna hair and Bob Fosse "jazz hands" mix?
Rinna: Oh, I think they do. They will now, don't you think?
TVGuide.com: Didn't I report a few months ago that Playboy had come knocking on your door again?
Rinna: Yeah.... It's so funny because we said no at the time, and just yesterday my makeup artist came up to me and said, "You know, you might want to rethink Playboy." [Laughs] Because my body's kind of in pretty good shape right now. So, I don't know. Maybe. We'll see!
Reality-TV fans can find scoop on such shows as American Idol, I Love New York and The Amazing Race: All-Stars in the the "2007 Preview" issue of TV Guide.
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.