Last week, we posted audio of a recent chat we had with New York. For those who missed it or couldn’t listen to it, we have the transcript below, along with some material that didn’t make it to the audio piece. In addition to her breakup with Tailor Made, Flav and Hollywood, VH1’s HBIC opens up about the pitfalls of fame, a chance encounter with Angela Bassett, her dog Princess and what she thinks of I Love Money. Did you know that she got her own spin-off because of science? Science!
What’s life like between shows?
When I’m not shooting, I spend time working out or making phone calls. I like to eat, I like to catch up on my favorite shows and I definitely need to catch up with my friends. I have a tight circle and it’s small, but I don’t need it to get any smaller!
Are your friends on the West Coast?
Yeah, from when I lived out here before Flavor of Love. I’ve lost touch with a few, because with fame, people think you owe them money. Being New York and having fame showed me who my true friends were. People automatically think I’m a millionaire and I’m going to take them on shopping sprees and float the bill every time we get dinner. A lot of good people can start to take advantage of your fame or try to make you feel guilty. I have so many people calling, friends asking to borrow money and I just tell them, “No. No. No. You wouldn’t do it if I was working at the post office, so don’t do it just because you see me on television.”
In the intro to the show, you say, “Once upon a time, there was a little girl who always wanted to be famous.” Is that true? Did you always want to be famous?
It is true. I always knew that I wanted to be able to reach a lot of people at once. When I was a child, I never knew what I would do to be famous, but now that I’m older I know what it is: I want to be an actress.
Is there any concern, because we’ve seen you on reality TV for so long and because your personality is so big, that people might not be able to see past New York to whatever role you’re playing?
I’m not concerned about it. I would think that everybody deserves a chance. I did reality television and that was just one aspect of my life. Each time America saw me on television, they just saw me looking for love. They didn’t see me seeking out my goals. Acting is my passion. It would take a close-minded person not to see past me looking for love. Hopefully people will follow me on my journey to becoming an actress.
A big part of the first episode deals with you in the gym. You’ve always been upfront about the fluctuation of your weight, and I wondered if you wanted to talk more about it.
I would love to talk about my weight. I was going through a difficult time in my life. The chain-smoking started to get to me physically. My heart was beating all over the place. I couldn’t catch my breath. I was up to a pack and a half a day. I guess it’s from an oral fixation. So I quit smoking, and then I started eating. I would smoke like 25 times a day, so I started eating like 25 times a day. I gained about 30 lbs. It was really rough, but I’m happy to say I lost a lot of that weight. I was heavy for my show, and I hope I can inspire people. For me to be that heavy was something new I was dealing with and here I am out here in Hollywood 30 lbs. heavier and a newcomer and trying to get roles. I had a lot of things working against me, to try to break the reality stigma, as well. The cards were not stacked in my favor. But I think everything happens for a reason. I’m back down to my normal weight and I’m still out here, so everything happens for a reason, I guess.
I always thought your televised love of food was refreshing in contrast to the unreasonable pressure the media puts on women’s bodies.
I love food. I really do. But even with the 30 lb. gain, I haven’t dropped all of it. I don’t think I want to. I didn’t like the way the extra weight felt, because it was uncomfortable, but I did like the way it looked. For one second of being 30 lbs. heavier, I never felt unattractive. It was working for me for a minute. I was like, “Oooh, my thighs look good!” I liked it.
Are you still not smoking?
I haven’t smoked since Nov. 9 and I’m really excited about that. My skin looks amazing because I don’t smoke anymore.
How’s it working out for your breasts? You’ve had the implants for a while now. Do they hurt? Do they ever cause back problems?
I think I’m gonna be slipping back into the doctor’s chair really soon because I want to get them redone. I want to go a little bit smaller. Just because my boobs, they look good and everything, but they’re taking the fun out of shopping sometimes. What happens is every part of a top can fit, but then when you get to the boobs, it won’t fit. I’m such a hard person to fit right now that I think I need to go down a couple of cup sizes so I can have fun shopping again.
Any other plastic surgery on the horizon?
I was thinking about getting some lipo. But now I’m no a vigorous workout plan, I’m working out up to two hours a day, so I don’t need it. I’m a little engine right now.
On the show, you say, “I’m not the best actress.” Do you want to be the best actress?
I’m not one to compare myself to other people. Also, I don’t take myself too seriously. That said, I just want to be the best Tiffany. As far as this A-list, B-list, C-list, D-list thing, I don’t want nobody classing me into any type of group. All I’m here to do is be myself and see how I can fit myself into this L.A. acting thing. I’m not trying to have these false hopes. You have to get in where you fit in, so you can still be happy and support yourself, being who you’re supposed to be.
Have you considered what you’ll do if it doesn’t work out?
If someone has a dream and they’re focused on it, they have to be realistic about that dream. You do have to ponder what happens if this doesn’t work out in your favor. I haven’t thought about it too much, though, because I know it’s going to work out for me. But I’m comfortable. Whatever happens happens. Where the wind blows, that’s where I’m supposed to be. It’s just destiny. No one knows what their destiny is, but I would like for it to be acting.
Do you ever think, “Well, at least I can always do reality TV”? Is there any thought of it as a back-up plan?
I don’t know if I could fall back on it, what do you think?
Yeah, I mean that’s basically what this show is. I know that this show is about breaking out of reality TV, but it’s still a reality show about that.
You’re right. I haven’t even thought about that. But you’re so right, this was a reality show. They had to keep reminding me that this was television. I’d forget. I’d wake up everyday and do everything normally. So yeah, you’re right. Maybe I could fall back on reality. It’s a good thing to fall back on, don’t get me wrong. I love coming on once a week. It’s awesome.
Are there any actresses you look up to?
I love Queen Latifah. She comes to mind first. I love Vivica A. Fox and a lot of older actresses like Susan Sarandon and Sharon Stone. These are people that I watch that I kind of try to pick up how they convey their characters. I like to watch passionate actresses.
Have you met any of them? Has anyone on that side of Hollywood shown you love?
I have met Angela Basset. She was so wonderful and so warm. She totally knew who I was. It was a great experience. We randomly sat next to each other on a flight, and it was my flight out to L.A. to move out here and do the show. To meet her a day before taping was a really great experience. It was like, “Welcome to Hollywood!” She invited me to her Hollywood star unveiling. I told her, “I really want to do this. I want to be a big actress,” and she was like, “Come on. Do it.”
We’ve talked before about your love of horror movies. Do you see yourself appearing in one?
I so see myself doing horror. I was offered a part in one, but my schedule conflicted, and I couldn’t get out to L.A. to shoot it. But there’ll be others!
Do you have any other genre interests? Do you see yourself fitting into drama or comedy more?
Oh my goodness, drama! I love drama! I just want to play this cracked-out, addicted mom or something. Something really crazy. Someone that really needs to get her s*** together. Somebody that has it all messed up, life tangled up. I love Lifetime, that’s my favorite movie station and there’s a lot of dramatic movies that come on. So I would just love to be a part of that.
You hire an assistant on the first episode. Are you a good boss?
It depends. I think I’m fair. Me being reasonable comes from my honesty. I just say, “Look, I need you do to everything for me, and you can’t come in here looking surprised. I told you upfront that you would be doing everything in this house.”
Any major differences between living on the West Coast versus the East?
I find that people are a lot more laid-back out here. I love New York. Nothing will ever take the place of New York to me. But I feel like I belong here. When I moved into my place, it felt like I was home. Like I finally arrived. I know that this is where I’m supposed to be in my life.
Are you away from your mom and is that tough?
I am physically, but we talk a lot. We’re still up in each other’s business. She’s doing good and I feel good being out here. Sometimes it’s healthy to have time apart. I feel complete, not like I’m missing anything, so that tells me that this time apart is good.
People.com reported recently about your breakup with Tailor Made. Do you have an official statement?
The breakup plays out on the show, but there was a lot of things that I said that I didn’t mean, and a lot of back-and-forth. For me to be the bigger person, I’ll be honest and say we’re both good people, we just weren’t good for each other. I wish him the best. I hope he finds love and happiness. I’m gonna find love and happiness when it’s time for me to.
It’s a shame, because it really did look like it was working out.
Yeah, and I really did want it to. I thought it was. When people start to fall apart or pull out or let a little fame go to their heads because they never had it before…they hear girls calling their names and they hear guys calling their names and people are buying drinks and picking up your tab, things like that you cannot let go to your head and make you feel like you don’t need me all of a sudden. That’s exactly what happened. I’m not here to dish dirt, I’m just calling a spade a spade and that’s what happened.
He just couldn’t hang?
He couldn’t hang.
Does that mean you need a Hollywood guy?
I don’t know! I’m hoping that I could date anybody, even the guy that hands out popcorn at the theater. I don’t want it to have to be an actor. But maybe that’s what it comes down to. With Tailor Made, we had a good thing going. It was a great thing going. We were dating when we weren’t supposed to date. When nobody knew who he was, we were great together. Once that show started to kick off and air and he’d be able to be out as Tailor Made, he didn’t even know me. He turned his back on me. So maybe I do need somebody famous.
So with you single now, does that open the door for a possible I Love New York 3?
You know what? You better quit! Basically right now, I’m just so caught up trying to pursue my goals and become and actress. That’s my focus. But when I get lonely and horny enough, maybe I will go back to the guys and be like, “Hey, what do you think about a Season 3?” But right now, I’m not horny, so I’m gonna act.
You’re not horny?
(Laughs) Kind of. But not enough to do that right now.
Fair enough. Did you happen to catch the way Flav ended Flavor of Love?
I did follow that. I was so surprised. First of all his son is just so adorable. When he proposed to his baby mama, I thought that was really honorable, actually. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m like, “Wow, Flav really grew up.” Seriously, that’s a big step because it means he can’t do anything with anybody else ever again in his life. So I was really shocked to see him grow up so quick on national television.
There were no hard feelings?
I didn’t really see it coming. I don’t want to dish too much dirt, but I saw him a day before the reunion show because we had a little shoot to do together. And he seemed really excited, he didn’t let off any type of vibe that he was gonna propose or anything like that. He was just like, “I’m excited about the reunion show tomorrow.” I guess I know why now!
Was that the first time you had seen him? I know there was a long period of time where the communication lines were severed.
Yes, that was the first time I saw him in a very, very long time. Believe it or not, it was a great vibe. We were holding hands the whole time. He kept staring at my boobs the whole time. He even followed me into the restroom at one point. It was just crazy. He was just really excited to see me again.
Have you paid any attention to I Love Money?
I haven’t been able to sit down and watch any television. I’m still getting my place together and I have my daughter with me.
Yes! She’s here, so I’m a full-time mom. I have to give her a lot of love and attention. But I did see Episode 1 of I Love Money, when they sent the little Mac-ster home.
He was really disrespectful of women, which surprised me because he seemed to really respect you on I Love New York 2.
Yeah. We’re still in contact. He’s a nice person. I have to admit it was very hilarious. I have TiVO, so I had to run that back again, like, “What did he just say?” (Laughs)
You got into it with quite a few people on that show. Are there any outstanding feelings or resentment for them?
I don’t have any ill feelings about anybody that I bickered with because I don’t even think about those people anymore. They’re not even an equation in my life anymore. That said, things always get back to me. I’m not a real Internet person, but I know people who are and people will text me, like, “OK, there’s a lot of crap on the Internet. This one’s talking crap about you and this one’s saying this and that.” I’m like, wow. What a sad existence. I haven’t seen some of these people in a year. Some, two years. So if my name is still on your tongue, I must be doing something right because that makes me a hot topic. None of those people are even worth talking about so I don’t even think about those people anymore. It’s really sad, actually. Why hate? Why be jealous? Cream always rises to the top. That’s scientific. I’m the cream. I rose to the top and got my own show.