[09/03/10 - 10:48 AM]
Interview: "Mel B: It's a Scary World" Star Mel B
By Jim Halterman (TFC)

While she may be best known from her time as Scary Spice in the infamous British group The Spice Girls, a "Dancing With The Stars" runner-up, hosting "Dance Your Ass Off" or for the many tabloid stories surrounding the paternity of one of her kids with megastar Eddie Murphy, Mel B (aka Melanie Brown) is taking charge of things this time around with her own reality show premiering this weekend on The Style Network. In "Mel B: It's a Scary World," the singer/dancer/actress takes an executive producer role at putting together the series along with husband/fellow executive producer Stephen Belafonte as they show the inside workings of their busy careers as well as life at home with kids Phoenix and Angel. Our Jim Halterman was able to get a few minutes with the busy Mel B to talk about the challenges of opening her life up for cameras, how she owns up to her past in the Spice Girls as well as what the ingredients are that make her marriage with Belafonte work so well.

Jim Halterman: You've done a lot of work in front of the camera but was this a different experience having them in your home?

Mel B: I have a job and my husband has a job so they were just following us around. It's not like we had to make anything up or we had to act. It was actually quite easy, to be honest. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it. It was just a very natural thing to do.

JH: You and Stephen are also Executive Producers on the show. Were there any lines that the cameras could not cross?

Mel B: Well, we don't film coverage in our bedroom late night if you know what I mean. [Laughs.] Apart from that, we were just hanging out and living our lives.

JH: You also have cameras during your family therapy session. Was that a big decision to really show that much?

Mel B: We decided if we were going to do it we were just going to show life how it is and that means, therapy, date night, our arguments, me crying... we showed everything. We wanted to make sure we're giving you guys the actual facts about all our family and what our lives are.

JH: Stephen seems so comfortable in front of the camera. Safe to assume it was an easy adjustment for him, too?

Mel B: He does produce movies like with 'Thank You For Smoking' and 'Bad Lieutenant' with Eva Mendes and Nicolas Cage so he's used to being on the set. The cameras were just a part of that so he's very comfortable with them in our home.

JH: What do you hope people take from the show?

Mel B: I guess you can just watch it and make your own opinion. At the end of the day I'm a busy working Mom and I juggle my motherhood with my career with my married life. It's just a big mixture of everything.

JH: The press loves putting you on their pages? What is the biggest misconception people about you?

Mel B: Oh, I have no idea! I don't pay much attention to any of that.

JH: In the first episode we see you being schooled on your computer. Are you getting more savvy with it?

Mel B: Yeah, I am! I just joined Twitter last week. @OfficialMelB. I've been tweeting a lot and I'm a little bit obsessed. It's the only way I can have direct contact with my fans so I love updating them with all my stuff. I've only been on there a week and I almost have 50,000 followers so that's not too bad.

JH: Do you watch a lot of reality TV?

Mel B: I do watch quite a few shows. Kim [Kardashian] is a really good friend of mine. I like watching 'Jerseylicious.' I've gotten into the 'Jersey Shore' a little bit. I think they're all fun.

JH: When you created your show was there a model that you and Stephen went by?

Mel B: We shot a pilot and just shot our lives as it went along. We thought 'Let's just get the cameras in and roll' and whatever happens, happens. My husband and I work and many of the business ventures we've been working on over the last two years have started to gel, which is always a good thing.

JH: What else do we see during the first season of 'Scary World?'

Mel B: You see me back in the studio working on my album. I get a really big surprise guest artist to be on my single with me. There's so much stuff! Three kids and my husband? There's a lot going on!

JH: Speaking of your kids, are there things with parenthood that still surprise you?

Mel B: Oh, my kids come out with things every single day that make me laugh or make me think twice. Even though you're teaching your kids, you learn from kids, too.

JH: You and Stephen laugh and seem like you're best of friends on the show. What makes the relationship work?

Mel B: We have good communication and don't forget I've known Stephan for eight years so he is my best friend. We're the same age, we're both mixed and have a white mom and a black dad. There are so many things that tie us together and we have a great relationship. But, don't get me wrong there are times he gets on my nerves and I want to strangle him.

JH: You clearly own up to your past with the Spice Girls. Are you still in touch with the other girls?

Mel B: Yeah, if you look at my tweets we tweet each other! Mel C, Victoria and Emma. It's quite fun, actually.

JH: You did so well on 'Dancing With The Stars' a few seasons back. Do you see that as an effort to get people to see a different side to you?

Mel B: Well, you're being filmed as soon as you walk into rehearsal and they edit whatever they see. I was just being me so I didn't really have to hold back. I had fun doing it.

JH: The season of 'Dance Your Ass Off' just finished up on Oxygen. How was your experience as the host?

Mel B: I had so much fun! I hung out with the contestants, I got to rewrite my scripts. It was so much fun doing that show and I hope we get picked up for a third season.

JH: What was the biggest surprise that you experienced in doing the show?

Mel B: People were losing so much weight! They were losing over a hundred pounds, which is crazy!

JH: The business is always so tough to break into whether you're doing music or acting. What's your advice for someone who is wanting to give the entertainment business a shot?

Mel B: It's always good to have a back-up plan and to have many options so always keep many options. So no matter what your passion is, whether it be music or acting, just keep doing it. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

"Mel B: It's A Scary World" premieres Sunday at 9/8c on the Style Network.

  [september 2010]  


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