Lisa Rinna Talks New Lifetime Movie & How Real Housewives Helped Prepare Her for Role

Lisa Rinna in Mommy Meanest (2024)
Courtesy of Lifetime

Lisa Rinna and her daughter, 25-year-old Delilah Hamlin, are taking mother-daughter bonding to a whole new level by acting together in an upcoming Lifetime thriller called Mommy Meanest (premiering Saturday, May 11).

Based on true events, it tells the disturbing story of a teenage girl who starts getting cyberbullied because she’s spending more time with her boyfriend before leaving for college. Eventually, she discovers that the person who is harassing her is closer than she had ever imagined: her own mother.

Lisa Rinna and her daughter in Mommy Meanest (2024)

Courtesy of Lifetime

In addition to bringing to life such a bizarre story, the movie also illustrates the potentially unhealthy and dangerous side effects of the presence of social media in our lives, something Lisa Rinna has had to deal with a lot as a public figure. I recently got talk to her about these dangers, and her time on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

What scares you most about social media as a parent and a celebrity?

I think everything. There are some very positive things about it, but there are some really, really negative things that, of course, I’ve been part of, my kids have been part of, and my husband‘s been part of. It’s pretty easy for people to sit behind their computers and say things that they would never, ever say to somebody’s face. My husband’s advice is: Don’t look at it, don’t ever read it. Which is great advice, but it’s not always something that you can do.

I think that it’s just made us very thick-skinned in a good way and a bad way. I’ve had death threats. I’ve had crazy, crazy stuff happen the last year I was on the show and I saw it go from being pretty benign in the beginning to really quite nasty and dangerous at the end.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS, from left: Dorit Kemsley, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, 'Reunion, Parts 1-4', (Season 11, ep. 1121-1124, aired Oct. 13, 20, 27 & Nov. 3, 2021).

photo: Nicole Weingart / ©Bravo / courtesy Everett Collection

What reservations did you have, if any, on being vilified as playing the mother in this film?

Obviously I’m playing a character, but it’s somebody that really did this to her daughter for whatever reason. And I think it was really interesting to research what would drive somebody to go to those lengths to keep control of their child.

It’s kind of scary, also.

Yeah, it’s terrifying. It was a real challenge, I think, to play this character and not make her over-the-top crazy because this woman thinks she’s doing the right thing. She thinks she’s doing the very best thing for her child. Every mother can relate to that. I really had to find her empathy for her in order to play her because she’s quite sick.

Were you able to do that?

I probably wouldn’t have had the same understanding if I hadn’t worked with people who were so sociopathic and so narcissistic. And that’s the truth. I understand what drives them. And so, I’m able to have more empathy, because at first, you just think they’re out of their mind, but there’s always something that drives someone, whether it’s their childhood history or trauma-based things that have happened in their lives. After working on the [Real Housewives of Beverly Hills] for eight years, I really have an understanding.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS, from left: Sutton Stracke, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, 'The Crown Isn't So Heavy', (Season 10, ep. 1001, aired April 15, 2020).

Kathy Boos/Bravo/Courtesy Everett Collection

I do too, unfortunately. Do you think people are acting more extreme because of the internet? It feels worse lately. People are so volatile.

Absolutely. Social media will probably end the world. I mean, at the end of the day, sadly, between that and ai…it’s a terrible combo and actually shouldn’t be laughed about. I think that we’re at a place right now, it’s like a tipping point, and I don’t really know what that all means, but I know that this woman has come out of that in this moment. I think it drove her insane.

This film is about cyberbullying, and I think you could say that there’s some bullying that happens on The Real Housewives. How do you feel about your time on that show, now that it’s over?

I did the best I could in a situation like that, and I think everybody does. Because nobody really expects what is going to happen when you get on a show like that. You really don’t, until you’re in it.

We recently talked to your husband as well about his new show, In the Kitchen With Harry Hamlin. Will you be making an appearance on that?

Harry Hamlin and Renee Guilbault in In The Kitchen With Harry Hamlin (Season 1, Episode 1).

Photo Credit: Michael Moriatis/IFC/AMC

I do make an appearance on it. I hear the show is so cute. People are just so positive about it and that makes me really happy.

What’s it like balancing your schedules now with so many projects going on at once? Do you schedule date nights?

Yeah, we do. Definitely when we get to see each other. It’s hard because he’s filming in New Orleans, and I just miss him. We have to be in different parts of the country. We try not to go more than two, three weeks without seeing each other.

I read somewhere that your late mother came to you in a dream and encouraged you to be happy and leave The Real Housewives. What are you doing now that makes you happy and what’s next for you?

Well, I am really, really so thrilled with getting to do everything that I love in life and not having to sacrifice myself in any way, shape, or form for any job that I’m doing. I have freedom. I’m getting to act again. I’m writing another book. I mean, I’m just getting to do whatever I want on my terms, how I want to do it. And I think that everybody wants to get to that point.



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