“Everyone has an opinion about everything,” Jessel Taank exclusively said of her costars in the new issue of Us Weekly. “‘What? You like watermelon gum? Ew, why? That’s gross.’ Like, it’s bubble gum. … The fact that we are all so different, that’s the magic sauce here.”
According to Ubah Hassan, she and her castmates quickly developed a sibling-like relationship — meaning they meshed well but also fought. “Especially the trip that we took for seven days,” Ubah, 39, recalled. “There’s a lot of yelling and screaming, and then there’s a lot of fun.”
Erin Lichy, meanwhile, echoed Jessel’s assessment, saying that her new friends are always willing to speak their minds. “Honestly, when we go out together, we are all so proud of each other because we can just riff,” Erin, 36, told Us. “It’s like comedy hour and it’s so fun, and we hang out all the time. We went out the other night, and it’s just constant banter and laughter. That’s our common ground, the comedy aspect. … We all bond over being strong women, honestly. We all are very opinionated and we are not afraid to say what we think.”
In addition to Ubah, Erin and Jessel, the new cast includes Brynn Whitfield, Jenna Lyons and Sai De Silva. Fashion fans may recognize Jenna, 55, from her work as the creative director and president of J. Crew, where she worked until 2017.
Jenna told Us that she wanted to join the show in part to increase LGBTQ+ visibility on television. “There really isn’t a lot of gay representation on TV, outside of Ellen [DeGeneres] and Rachel Maddow,” she explained. “I wanted to connect with people [and] have them care about who I am and my business.”
While fashion is a notoriously difficult industry, Jenna admitted that she still wasn’t quite prepared for the pressure cooker of reality TV. “I thought things wouldn’t ‘get to me,’ but I was totally wrong,” she confessed. “I got mad, I cried. It all happened.”
Erin, for her part, thinks some of the women were initially “apprehensive” to get close to Jenna because of her style maven status, but Erin said she and Jenna became fast friends.
“I thought she was lovely just from the very start, and we really bonded and we got very close,” Erin told Us. “We both have houses out east. She lives about 10 minutes from me. … In the fall, we grabbed dinner, and in the winter, I introduced her to my friends, and they all loved her. She’s been honestly very supportive. She’s just always there if I need her, and that means a lot to me.”
Season 14 of The Real Housewives of New York City premieres on Bravo Sunday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET. Episodes will be available to stream the next day via Peacock. For more with the cast, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi