On The Amazing Race 5, Charla Faddoul (along with her cousin Mirna Hindoyian) proved that just because she's small doesn't mean she's not a force to be reckoned with. At 4 feet tall (due to a form of dwarfism), she carried a 55-lb. side of beef half a mile and survived a run-in with an electric fence. Now she's back on Battle of the Network Reality Stars (premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET), Bravo's newly revamped version of the '70s series. TVGuide.com gave Charla a ring to talk about her stellar jousting skills and the never-say-die attitude she displayed while facing Swan winner Rachel Love-Fraser.
TVGuide.com: What are you doing these days?
I manage sporting-goods outlets. I was doing this before I got on The Amazing Race, and basically I'm doing it afterward, too. Sometimes when I have some free time I do a couple of things here and there, like Battle of the Network Reality Stars.
TVGuide.com: You also recently had free time to do an episode of The Comeback.
Did you see it? It was fun; it was a good episode.
TVGuide.com: How did it come about?
[Executive producer] Michael Patrick King called me up and asked me if I would be interested in being in The Comeback, and he said that if I accepted they were going to write a script just for me. That was very awesome. I loved it! It was very fun working with Lisa Kudrow; she's very nice.
TVGuide.com: On The Comeback, you played a version of yourself who had her own reality show [titled "The Little Assistant"]. Is that something you'd ever consider?
Yeah, I would, actually. My agent is looking into something like that for my own reality show, and she talked to some producers, so if it happens, I would love [it]. I think it would be very interesting.
TVGuide.com: Would you actually like to do a show where you're a different person's "little assistant" each week, or something else?
Anything that's interesting and fun. I like to do courageous things. It was kind of interesting to be someone's assistant [as she was on Comeback] and see what their reaction is, and how things work out and how things happen in the end.
TVGuide.com: I saw the first episode of Battle of the Network Reality Stars and thought it was great!
You did? Now you can tell me what happens. I [haven't] watched it yet.
TVGuide.com: The first episode has you jousting, but then your team decides to eliminate you anyway. What's up with that?
That jousting was tough! When I came off of [the platform], my body was literally shaking and the next day I had bruises all over my body. Literally, for a week my body was in so much pain — but I just kept going on. I was not willing to give up. A lot of people took a few hits and said, "That's it, I'm coming down," but I gave it my all. What hurt me, after doing all that, was my team voting me off. That was such a disappointment to me. I felt that they didn't see anything I did for the team.
TVGuide.com: It seemed like they totally underestimated you.
Charla: It threw me off because usually I go into something and give it my all and people don't usually say ,"Good job," [but] then [think], "We've got to get her off right now."
TVGuide.com: Did they not watch The Amazing Race? Did they not see how tough you were?
I guess not. There was a girl on that team from Temptation Island, and she didn't really do much. She was flirting with another guy and [the team] ended up letting her stay. I'm not about flirting; I'm about playing my game. In these types of games, you kind of have to flirt and play those sissy games that make it interesting for TV.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever watch the original Battle of the Network Stars?
They sent a tape and I was able to watch the version from 1976, which was the year I was born. It was interesting.
TVGuide.com: Was participating in it what you had expected?
It was a little different. [In the original] they were having so much fun. It wasn't all backstabbing, it was a completely different atmosphere. It was like Farrah Fawcett and all these big stars just having fun. [Our show] is going to be a phenomenal show for the whole six weeks that it's on, with a lot of twists and turns and exciting moments. It's all just great.