August 23, 2012 7:50 pm WSLonline…
Ms. Leakes’s move into acting started with a fan of her scorched-earth style on reality TV: influential producer Ryan Murphy, who co-created “The New Normal” and first cast her as a recurring guest on his hit series “Glee.”
She’s currently working on the show in Los Angeles with a “Real Housewives” crew in tow. She convinced Mr. Murphy to tape an appearance for the show recently, but keeps the cameras confined to her dressing room on the “New Normal” set. “If [fellow actors] see me walking around with a reality-show camera, they won’t take me seriously,” says Ms. Leakes.
As an actor she stays in character on set, and has asked to be addressed as “Rocky” even when she’s not doing a scene. She wanted to change her signature platinum-blonde coiffure for the role, but the producers nixed the idea. NOTE: Don’t think Nene has anything to be worried about re fellow cast members “taking her seriously!” Surprised she’s not demanding no eye contact and to be called “Miss Leakes”!!
A year and a half ago, she took on a new manager, Steven Grossman of the Collective, a Los Angeles-based firm whose clients range from film stars to YouTube sensations. To boost her crossover appeal, he says, they set out to shift the perception of her from “bitchy and mean” to “sassy and confident.”
It’s unlikely that her leap into network roles will open the door for other reality TV stars to follow. “A lot of them want to be famous actors; very few people have the talent. NeNe has an exceptional personality,” says Shari Levine, Bravo’s senior vice president of production. NOTE: Ms. Levine simply says Nene has “an exceptional PERSONALITY”…
When asked how her transition to acting sits with her “Real Housewives” co-stars, she keeps the coals stoked. “They have all said ‘congratulations’ and ‘we’re proud of you.’
Do I feel it from everybody? That’s another story.”
NOTE: Nene continues to play “Nene”… not an acting stretch! Will the “New Normal” make it through its first season? Good for Nene that she has that “reality” show to fall back on!