Talking to Shep Rose About Southern Charm's "Cynical" Third Season

Of my many guilty pleasures on TV, Southern Charm has to be at the top of the list. Bravo's standout reality show catalogues the lives of the rich and (locally) famous residents of Charleston, SC. We're knee-deep in season three, and things are getting pretty dramatic — and by "dramatic," I mean "awesome." At the end of season two, we got the chance to chat with star Shep Rose, and he was kind enough to speak to us again about the new episodes. You may think producers blow up fights and exaggerate comments, but according to Rose, it's quite the opposite. Here's what he had to say about behind-the-scenes drama and what to expect next on the show!

Getty | Bravo

Image Source: Bravo

POPSUGAR: What has it been like from seasons one to three in terms of getting recognized more on the street?

Shep Rose: Last year I had people pull up to my house and knock on the door, which is sort of creepy. They'd be like, "You're from the show, can we take a picture?" which is unsettling. Still not that big of a deal because I can handle it . . . It's been interesting, but I thought you were going somewhere else with that question and I'm happy to entertain what I thought you were going to say.

PS: Sure!

SR: How has the mood on the set from season to season developed when we're filming, which I thought was very interesting as well. First season obviously was very new and a shock to the system and you'd just do what you were told because you didn't know and you were trying to make a good show. You just figured that the producers and the crew knew what they were doing — which they did. And so it was kind of a blur and a fun novelty. Second season is definitely more collaborative in the way that you're like, "OK, I know how this works and I know how it worked last year," and you're coming up with things to do, but you're aware of what makes a good show or might make it a little better. So it was a little more collaborative and you felt more invested in it. And this year, man, everybody's jaded. You know how the puppet strings work, you know what they're trying to get at, and you're trying to resist. Everybody was cynical; there was yelling and screaming amongst the cast and the crew. I think it is going to be a little darker because I remember not having as much fun as the first two seasons. You never know and that's probably why you see these housewives — and, frankly, us — get paid more each season because you're like, "I don't want to f*ckin' do that again," you know . . . I definitely got angry a couple times on set this year. I'm sure I could tell my side of the story and someone would agree and the producer can tell theirs and people would agree with them. And in the end, everyone was friends and everybody was cool, but it was interesting to observe.

PS: Yeah, I like to call that the Jersey Shore Effect. Each season you get pushed further and further for more drama, and I imagine that makes for a difficult set.

SR: Yeah, I'm a purveyor of comedy in my mind so when drama is suggested I'm like, "I see what you want, how can I make it so it's not embarrassing for me?" I'm not a dramatic person. I can get pissed off sometimes, but it's not necessarily a side I celebrate.


Image Source: Bravo

PS: Is there anybody in particular on the show who gets a bad rap?

SR: No, no, f*ck no. Bravo is too nice. I get mad at them, and I'm like "Ya'll are too nice to us, man." I've said it before and I'll say it again: Craig, last year, if they'd showed what really went down, like the full Monty, it would be way more eye-opening than it appeared. And me and Cameran's sarcastic and somewhat critical views on him would be way more justifiable. It is frustrating in that regard, and I feel like I'm hating on Craig and I'm not. He'd agree with me.

PS: While they may be soft on most of you, Thomas and Kathryn don't come off looking too great this season.

SR: Yeah, I mean you don't know the half of it . . . You couldn't invent characters like that. You just couldn't. I'm fascinated by them and am like, "thank God they exist." Like I don't really rip on them, or try not to, but it makes my "comic relief persona" way more defined and easy to handle on my part.

PS: How do you deal with haters? Do you even hate haters?

SR: I have such a weird thing about Twitter. I follow some really funny people, and to me it's just a simple outlet for comedy. When people get on it and get nasty towards me — which is rare, and especially rare when the show isn't airing — you can get these trolls that come at you. It's all like first or second episode, when they see something they don't like, and they're on somebody's side, and it appears that you're not on their side, which is outrageous. Anyway, so I fight back. I generally believe that I'm smarter than anyone who would go on Twitter and attack someone that they don't know. I fight back with humor and levity as much as I can and make them feel stupid and belittle them, because I really believe that if you don't punch a bully in the nose, they'll continue to do so. Now, what I've learned is if it's just too much and the avalanche is too big, I can't fight it. But I'll fight back, man, like I know you're not supposed to, but I just can't imagine — like I follow Chrissy Teigen as well and she fights back. And I'm like, "Good for you." Be pugnacious; don't be a doormat.

Getty | Robin Marchant

Image Source: Getty

PS: Getting back to the show, we're seeing you and Cameran going into business together with real estate. Is that something we're going to see more of?

SR: Yeah. It's so funny, I don't want to reveal it but I mean it's basically a disaster. The funniest disaster you'll ever watch. Please stay tuned. I wanted to be her secretary or something but what ensues is just way more than we would've expected in terms of how much fun we had and giving each other a hard time.

PS: How would you say the show has worked for or against you with your dating life?

SR: I mean for me, probably, definitely. But then again probably like a really classy girl might be repelled by the whole thing. And I understand, really, I totally do. Maybe I'm not deserving of a classy girl. But yeah, things are easier, but you know I'm 36. I don't really need like a bunch of fangirls coming home with me all the time. That's not what rings my bell. Like in my 20s, I did the whole hook-up-as-a-badge-of-honor lifestyle and it's not really how my philosophy lies these days.

PS: Do you see yourself settling down and wanting to have a serious relationship?

SR: Yeah, I guess, I hope.

PS: I think a Shep "serious relationship" storyline would be pretty awesome for the show.

SR: Oh, yeah they would love it too.

PS: It's interesting because all the guys in the show are in different states in their relationship. JD's like the consummate, married guy. Craig, who was the wild child, is now (or about to) give a promise ring to a girl.

SR: Yeah, oh my God, a promise ring. Can you believe it?

PS: He said he didn't like the term "promise ring."

SR: Last time I heard promise ring was in Saved by the Bell — I think Zach gave one to Kelly.

PS: Listen, that was a very special episode.

SR: That was a very special one. But, listen, it's textbook Craig. He's just so quirky like that.