Krissy Marsh believes people will gain valuable life lessons watching The Real Housewives of Sydney, including the ladies themselves.
After making her debut as a Housewife back in 2017, Marsh learned a lot, most notably that you cannot control what other people say or think about you.
“Not everyone’s going to love you,” she shrugs. “Someone came up with calling me Chewbacca because I am big and I’m hairy. I’m like, whatever! You can’t let little things like that get you down.”
Along with her good friend Nicole O’Neil, Marsh is the only original Housewife coming back for seconds in the show’s glittering comeback this week. She believes her new castmates, Terry Biviano, Kate Adams, Caroline Gaultier, Sally Obermeder and Victoria Montano may be in for a bit of a rude awakening when they watch themselves on the show.
“I’m telling you, in that pressure cooker of reality TV, your true colours come out,” she says.
“And a lot of people look at those true colours and say: ‘Do I really like that about myself?’ So that’ll be an interesting exercise. And also, because I don’t think too much about what I say, when I watch it back I’m usually like: ‘Oh my god!’”
Leaning into her eagerness to mentor others, Marsh has penned A Little Book for a Big Life to impart the wisdom of her life experiences with others. It’s her second book, she has also self-published a cookbook.
“I really want this book to be a Bible for everyone,” she enthuses.
“You can be a divorcee and you can pick up this book and find a chapter on breakups. Or you can be a young, 13-year-old girl, who has just broken up with a boyfriend, and pick up a chapter on toxic relationships.”
Marsh certainly got to experience toxic relationships first-hand as a Housewife. The first season of the show alienated a lot of viewers because the fights between the women were too extreme. Marsh copped flak for being too flirtatious and for her candour, but says she hasn’t let that change her. If anything, it’s made her even more sure of herself heading into filming this year.
It was a different story for the newcomers, she says.
“The girls going into this season were quite wary and every time we said something (controversial or harsh) they were like: ‘We don’t want it to be like season one’,” she explains.
“But then all of a sudden, shit hits the fan (because that’s what happens when women get in a room) and I’m sitting back laughing going: ‘Okay, girls, this isn’t acting. This is real’.
“Anyone who says it’s scripted is wrong. It’s real emotions, it’s real friendships, and it’s real relationships, and that’s what makes it hard.”
Marsh says her three children have only just watched her first stint as a Housewife. And they were concerned about her decision to return.
After all, the world has changed a lot since then. These days people can pay a heavy price for saying or doing the wrong thing, but Marsh – who can be a bit of a loose cannon – isn’t going to let the threat of being cancelled stop her from being herself.
“My kids are always laughing: ‘mum you’re going to say something politically incorrect, and you’ll get cancelled!’ and if I am, I am,” she says.
“I don’t think you can always stop that from happening. For me, I control the controllables.”
Although she’s a fan of watching the New York and Beverley Hills Housewife franchises, Marsh’s longtime pal and new co-star Montano feels she was at a disadvantage with no first-hand reality TV experience.
“There is nothing like having 10 cameras in your face while trying to be authentically yourself,” she says.
“And it took me a little while to get my head around that.”
Montano says O’Neill had tried to get her to do the first season of the Housewives, but she wasn’t in the right space at the time. Now 40, Montano says she’s less preoccupied with being liked.
“I’ve never coveted being a celebrity, but I’ve always aspired to be successful and to take risks,” she says.
“That was, in essence, my personal driver. I just thought, how can I be an example of being brave and taking risks to my children if I say no to this? That being said, I do think that I’m confident and strong enough to be able to handle it.”
While she may not yet have the public profile of Marsh, O’Neill, Biviano, Obermeder or Adams (who have all worked in TV), Montano is set to become a fan favourite. With her flair for fashion and outlandish hobbies, the quick-witted Montano has a textbook Housewife lifestyle.
“I did grow up on the North Shore in what you would call an affluent family,” she explains.
“But affluence on the North Shore is very different to affluence in the eastern suburbs. And me and my husband are essentially self-made. We are not trust fund babies. I work. He works. We live. We laugh.
“So, I was certainly brought up in a world of privilege, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t live the life that my children are living today.”
Montano knows though that being a Housewife attracts scrutiny.
“We are living in Australia so it’s to be expected,” she says. “We’ve got funnel-webs, we’ve got redbacks, we’ve got great white sharks and we’ve got tall poppy syndrome. There’s nothing I can do about that. I’m doing my best and if my best isn’t good enough, I have to just bow out.
“I’m proud of the person that I am. I don’t think I’m good. I don’t think I’m bad. I just think I’m Victoria Montano and so I was happy to let everyone see the real me.”
The Real Housewives of Sydney streaming now on Binge
Originally published as RHOS stalwart Krissy Marsh says newcomers in for a “rude awakening”