The Real Housewives of Vancouver's Ronnie Seterdahl Negus shows humour beneath tough attitude
Real Housewives of Vancouver co-star Ronnie Seterdahl Negus didn't get involved with the Canadian reality series for self gratification.
"I obviously don't need the money," she said, without a hint of irony. Of all the housewives, she's probably the least in need of financial help, with four homes in West Vancouver, a private jet and a 200-acre Napa Valley vineyard to her name.
Her main purpose of accepting a Houswives role, she said, was to support and raise awareness for the BC Centre for Ability. Despite the possibility of embarrassment, Negus said she went into the show with a devil-may-care approach.
"Shit, I'm 43, and God willing, in 30 years I'll be 73," she said. "I mean, why not? I went into it with a 'let's do this and never look back' attitude."
Jokester of the bunch
In person, Negus doesn't speak very much, and avoids eye contact when uninterested: Although she may come across as slightly tough and pushy on the show, Negus insisted in an interview with VO that she is known for being a jokester.
"I think I've brought a lot of humor to the show. I'm always kind of doing some sort of practical joke or something that people wouldn't expect from me -- but hey, after a few glasses of wine and the rest is out the window," she said, possibly referring to the birthday gift she gave Christina, a scene that appears in the season premier.
Negus explained that the Fortune 500 magazine was for Christina to use as a directory of wealthy bachelors to pick her next husband from - it was meant to be a gag gift, not a direct stab, labeling her a 'gold digger'.
"My Chinese zodiac is the monkey, monkeys like to have a good time, and we like to play practical jokes, and I'm pretty true to the monkey," Negus said mischievously. "Now, monkeys can become pretty bent out of shape if everybody else doesn't think that their jokes are that funny".
Real Housewives' real hardships
Negus said that she initially rejected the offer to be in the reality spotlight as a member of the Housewives cast.
"I was worried that people might say things about me, or think things about me that aren't necessarily true," she said in a reserved tone.
It took the advice of a dear friend to change her attitude towards the show and outlook on life in general.
"He said to me, 'are you going to let what other people say about you, or think about you, dictate your life experience?'"
Like the other housewives in the show, Negus didn't accept a role on the reality drama for her own benefit: she's in it to raise funds for a good cause.
"My nine-year-old daughter of our five children has special needs, so I thought: if I am going to do this and feel good about it, how can I do that? And the answer was clear: that was to give a 100 per cent of my proceeds to charity, to the BC Centre for Ability, a center that is hugely involved with youth, children and adults with special needs. So I did this for them."
"When I fall and stumble (in the show) -- and I do -- it's those moments that I remember, 'I'm doing this for the right reasons'," she said.
How she feels about Real Housewives critics
The cast members are not in the dark about the rolling tide of negative comments that are circulating over the 'fake' image the women portray on the show.
"No one has even seen the show yet, it amazes me!," Negus said rigidly, acknowledging the harsh judgements the women have been receiving.
"I don't know how many people even know that I have a special needs daughter and that I'm giving every dime that I make on the show to charity," she added frankly.
She blames the tweeting 'haters' for giving the Vancouver Housewives a "bad rap" and hopes that interviews like this one will shed a new light on the women.
"When they get to know us, it may help change their thoughts," she said, folding her arms across her chest.