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Elizabeth Chambers Prioritized Authenticity and Mental Health While Filming ‘Grand Cayman’ Docusoap (Exclusive)

Elizabeth Chambers is at a place in her life where she’s prioritizing what means the most to her — and that authenticity shines through on her new reality TV series, Grand Cayman: Secrets in Paradise.

During an exclusive interview with Us Weekly at her BIRD Bakery location in Grand Cayman, Chambers, 41, opened up about how she approached documenting aspects of her life while still protecting her inner peace.

“You have to just maintain perspective. Keeping your peace and mental health is the most important thing I have to say,” she told Us. “I am so grateful for all the things — obviously, for my physical health — but I’m very mentally balanced and I’m grateful for that.”

Chambers noted that the new project marks the new chapter in her life.

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“I am 41 and I know exactly what I’ve done, who I am, what’s important to me [and] who my people are. That doesn’t necessarily happen or exist when you’re 24 or 26,” she noted. “But I just know I am in such a grounded space in my life that I’m like, ‘OK, we can take some risks now. We’ve done things really well. We’re in an amazing place, so let’s take a little bit more risk and go from there.'”

Elizabeth Chambers Prioritized Authenticity and Mental Health While Filming Grand Cayman Docusoap 434
Elizabeth Chambers. Disney/Jeff Daly

Freeform’s Grand Cayman: Secrets in Paradise, which premieres on Tuesday, April 9, follows a group of locals and expats (the cast includes Selita Ebanks, Courtney McTaggart, Chelsea Flynn, Craig Jervis, Connor Bunney, Cass Lacelle, Julian Foster, Aaron Bernardo, Teri Bilewitch, Dillon Claassens, Victoria Coleman and Trevor Coleman) who try to navigate their relationships, friendships and careers in the Cayman Islands. Chambers is front and center in the docusoap as her efforts to open a new BIRD Bakery are documented on screen.

“It was just kind of the perfect opportunity for which I’m very grateful,” Chambers told Us “Because we were here and I was opening my own business. And we all know that there is no place like television or a platform when it comes to companies and building brands. So I thought, ‘Why not document it?’ That’s really what drew me to the show.”

While Chambers focuses on her business, viewers will also get the chance to see Grand Cayman through the eyes of both locals and newcomers as they navigate life on a small island with plenty of fun — and fights.

“I’m really excited for people to be entertained by whatever drama exists,” Chambers hinted to Us.

Chambers, meanwhile, got to show the hard work that goes into building a business, adding, “We could really — in a very authentic way — show the build out process, show the recipes, show us opening a business. How rare is it that you can actually film it in real time? So that was really attractive for me.”

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The entrepreneur is also looking forward to viewers getting to see the place her and her kids call home: Grand Cayman.

Elizabeth Chambers Prioritized Authenticity and Mental Health While Filming Grand Cayman Docusoap 435

“We’ve been here four years now, which is crazy, but now they’ll always have one of our [BIRD] locations here, which I think is really special,” Chambers, who shares daughter Harper and son Ford with ex-husband Armie Hammer, told Us. “I’m most excited for people to see a glimpse of the Cayman Islands. It’s so beautiful. I love showing the culture [and] showing the island.”

Grand Cayman: Secrets in Paradise shows the ups and downs that came with bringing her newest BIRD location to life.

“It is not easy to open a business here. It’s not America. My other locations are in the United States — in Texas in two locations and then opening my third location in Colorado — [and] that was a learning curve. Nevermind a whole new country, nevermind a whole new country that’s an island in the middle of the sea.”

Chambers called the experience quite “challenging,” saying, “From the paperwork in the beginning and finding the right community and partner — which I found in Frank Schilling, who’s somebody who definitely has a big picture vision like I do. You have to find the right partner and it has to be very copacetic and very aligned.”

She continued: “Frank is a larger than life person who doesn’t believe in the word no. And I’m very much the same in terms of how I do business. I know what I want. We’re going to get there. It’s going to be incredible. He’s also super positive, which I have to have in that space. I cannot be around negative people. I think we’re very, very similar in the way that we do business.”

Ultimately all the pieces fell into place for BIRD‘s fourth opening.

“It was the perfect partnership and then the timing worked out so well,” Chambers shared. “[Now we are] just continuing to grow and to thrive and to challenge ourselves and to give the island what they need and what they deserve because we’re innovating here and there’s nothing really like BIRD and Mykonos Steak Club & Bakery here.”

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Chambers considers this just the beginning for her BIRD empire, which has been growing more and more in the last 12 years.

“This was my baby and I’m like, ‘Oh gosh, we’re about to become a teenager and all these things are happening,'” she said. “But yeah, BIRD was my first baby. And to see it be this successful — it’s my ultimate happy place other than my kids.”

In addition to offering a glimpse into her career on the series, Chambers took on a producer role.

Elizabeth Chambers Prioritized Authenticity and Mental Health While Filming Grand Cayman Docusoap 432
Disney/Jeff Daly

“I think when you are producing a project and you have the background and history of being talent, you know what you want and you know how to give the production,” she detailed to Us. “It’s not about you. It’s not about your performance, it’s not about you. It’s about the bigger picture and it’s about entertainment and it’s about creating a story line that’s really fun for people. So it’s bigger picture and it’s more creative.”

Chambers has used her experience in the entertainment industry to keep evolving professionally.

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“I’m doing another show right now that’s more true crime and I’m a producer on that as well. I think it’s always nice to be part of that collaborative process and have more of a say after decades working on TV,” she shared. “I’ve really always been the talent and it’s nice to have a say in the creative process and to really be part of that journey.”

After filming one season of Grand Cayman: Secrets in Paradise, Chambers learned a lot about not only the reality TV space but herself as well.

“I would say certainly this is not my reality. This show is not my reality that exists for me on my day-to-day basis. My day-to-day is flying in and out doing my other show with my kids. But it was fun,” she told Us. “I think the lesson is, ‘Be true to yourself and don’t do anything or say anything that you will regret.’ Of course, that’s not necessarily what’s always shown on screen, but ultimately it’s just knowing yourself and having those boundaries and being authentic in the process.”

Grand Cayman: Secrets in Paradise premieres on Freeform Tuesday, April 9, at 10 p.m. ET before moving to its regular slot at 9:30 p.m. ET and is available to stream on Hulu the next day.

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