Hannah Berner and Paige DeSorbo on Their 'Fantasy' Pregnancy Pact and Giggly Squad Bond (Exclusive)
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"You're, like, hanging out with the giggly squad..."
When those eight words flew out of Kyle Cooke's mouth on season 4 of Bravo's Summer House, a brand was born... he just didn't know it.
"He brings it up a lot that he's in charge of the name, and he said something recently where he called me 'the peanut gallery.' I said, 'You better watch out because I might start another podcast,'" Paige DeSorbo shares with ET, Zooming in alongside her Giggly Squad co-host/former Summer House castmate, Hannah Berner.
It's been three years since Kyle unwittingly called Paige and Hannah by the name they'd turn into a podcast, merch line and digital community amid the pandemic. What kicked off as nightly Instagram Live chats between the besties has now evolved into something neither of them could've predicted.
"I feel like when Hannah and I first met, it was kind of, OK, we know that there's something here that's a lot bigger than what we're currently doing," Paige says in retrospect. "I think our friendship has just evolved into so many different levels, and I would confidently say that Hannah and I are the closest we've ever been right now."
"I feel just lucky that I'm able to work with my best friend who also inspires me and challenges me," Hannah chimes in. "So honestly I think because we survived reality TV, we're like, 'What else can the universe throw at us? Come through!'"
This year's been a banner one for the duo, between business -- they launched their first live shows and have more set for this September -- and personal lives. Hannah tied the knot with comedian Des Bishop in May, while Paige is soon to celebrate her one-year anniversary with Southern Charm star Craig Conover. "He's getting up there!" Paige quips. "We haven't seen many last this long, so we're all very intrigued."
While Paige and Craig aren't quite ready yet, Paige predicts Hannah will be pregnant before the end of the year.
"It is widely known that I am chaotic with my birth control," Hannah confesses. "I am forgetful, don't know what's happening. So who knows? I'm not planning on it. It's hard with stand-up [comedy], because I'm traveling so much, but because I don't have a nine to five, I feel like whatever happens, I'll figure it out, but we have no plan."
"Paige and I do have this dream that we're going to have kids at similar times, or maybe I'll have a kid but the next kid, we'll figure it out," she adds, "but that my girl's going to be really girly and hers is going to be a tomboy who plays tennis. They're going to like their aunts better. We have a whole fantasy thing. It's honestly too long for this interview."
Before Paige can meet Hannah in the parenting ring, she and Craig might need to live in the same city. The two are still doing long-distance, with Craig in Charleston, South Carolina, and Paige in New York City. Craig recently confessed to feeling like the distance was making things harder for them, but Paige says he was just in his feels over being not invited on her family vacation to Italy.
"We have a segment called 'What Made Craig Cry This Week?'" Hannah cracks. "We're just kidding. We're just kidding, but I love that Craig is in touch with his feelings because Paige and I aren't."
"He really does ground me, and it's OK to cry sometimes," Paige admits. "We have this whole thing where he will always be like, 'Paige, I love you and you're my best friend,' and I just say, 'I love you' back, and I didn't realize that he really needed me to say that he was my best friend. Obviously, Craig is one of my best friends..."
"He knows he is," she declares, "but I always say, 'Hannah, that's my best friend.' I didn't realize he was very hurt about it, so now I have to say, 'Craig, I love you and you're my best friend.'"
"Are you kidnapped? Are you OK?" Hannah quickly asks after hearing Paige's story. "What is this?"
"He's just a sensitive man!" Paige exclaims. That sensitivity is something that's been on display over the course of Craig's eight seasons on Southern Charm. Paige filmed the South Carolina-set series for the first time last fall, the episodes just now airing. She says she was caught off guard by the cast's fighting style, seeing as it's not quite as up-front as the Summer House crew's way of going about things. She's not sure she could hang with the Charmers full-time.
"I feel like I have put myself out there a lot the past two years and I feel like I've shown a lot of facets of my life," Paige explains. "I will say, the way I come off on Southern Charm, I feel a lot more myself and I think maybe it's because a lot of my conversations are just with my boyfriend. So I feel very myself and at ease and vulnerable, but to be a full-time cast member on Southern Charm seems like a lot to take on, and I am certainly not ready to move states anytime soon."
However, she does like their filming schedule better.
"I think the biggest adjustment was, with Summer House, you're in there 72 straight hours," she notes. "You're never not filmed and [Southern Charm] is more about their everyday life, and I found it honestly a lot easier. They'd film on some days and then they'd be off for a couple days because they're filming other cast members, and so their schedule was a lot different, but I think that was probably the biggest adjustment because I'm used to going in, filming for three days and then I'm like, 'Please don't talk to me for five.' So that was definitely, definitely different."
Paige is currently in Summer House filming mode, shooting season 7 of the Bravo hit. ET recently confirmed that there's a bit of a cast shake-up at play, with season 6's Luke Gulbranson, Alex Wach and Andrea Denver all exiting the show. In their place are some newbies. Bravo has yet to reveal who those newcomers are, but social media sleuths claim writer/influencer Gabby Prescod, model Chris Leoni and writer/entrepreneur Samantha Feher are joining the group.
"I love all new people," Paige gushes. "I think that whenever any show gets a couple new cast members, it changes up the whole energy. It changes up the dynamic. It's funny because I was just DMing with Jules [Daoud, from Summer House season 4] the other day -- I've stayed in touch with whoever has been on our show or left our show -- so I love new people. I just think it's fun to get to know new people in the audience, see their personality and then how it meshes with a lot of us who have known each other now for five years. So I'm all for new people all the time."
As for other familiar faces, Paige (sort of) assures fans that Southern Charm's Austen Kroll will not be coming back for season 7 of Summer House after his drama-filled weekend stay in season 6.
"I feel like that might be a little bit awkward," she says, "and I feel like if he was, he would block all of us. If we said, 'Hey, come for the weekend...' he'd be like, 'Lose my number.'"
Hannah also won't be coming around the house anytime soon. Nearly two years after walking away from the show, Hannah says she's at peace with it.
"I feel such a space from it, and I've done a lot of therapy on getting out of reality TV," she shares. "They really should have a post-reality TV rehab where they put all of you before you enter real life."
Hannah's final season of Summer House -- season 5 -- was a pressure keg, with non-stop filming for months as the cast quarantined together during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Emotions were high, especially as Hannah feuded with Kyle and ultimately fell out with one-time close friend Amanda Batula, Kyle's now-wife.
"I felt horrible the whole season and I was feeling like I was in survivor mode, defensive, I was scared," Hannah says. "I think it was a great, entertaining season, but I do feel like no matter if a season was positive or negative, I got so much positive-ness from it. Because now, I'm selling out my stand-up tour, I have the most incredible podcast with Paige and there's just a lot of fun things going on. I also was able to spend a lot of time with my husband."
"The universe was like, 'Hey, there's something else calling your name...'" she reflects, "and when I was 26 and single, Summer House was such a blast, and I do sometimes miss the friendships because these were people I was friends with for four plus years. I think the show and the cameras and the internet made things a lot worse than they were in reality."
Even with an entire season (and spinoff) shot and aired without her, Hannah still gets hate from "fans" of the show, but she says therapy's helped her process and navigate the onslaught of online attention.
"I've worked on forgiving myself, forgiving others and just reality TV can be a lot of fighting and negativity," she shares, "so really replacing a lot of stuff with positive stuff and just wishing all the people on the show the best, and I wouldn't be where I am today without the show, so I really only have positive feelings towards it."
And now, Paige turns to Hannah for advice about dealing with haters of her own. As soon as she coupled up with Craig, the negativity toward Paige amplified -- much to her surprise.
"It's been fun," she snarks. "People will always be like, 'Well, don't look at the comments...' and you're like, OK, well that's kind of an unrealistic thing, because half of my job is on Instagram. So I'm going to see some of the comments and I'm always responding to girls in my DMs on where I got things or styling questions. So I'm always looking, so it's very hard to avoid. Yes, sometimes I will be like, 'This person hates me for X, Y and Z reasons and that's not even true and that's not who I am...' and I'll find myself spiraling and Craig will be like, 'If you don't cut it out, I'm calling Hannah.'"
"There are a lot of times that I'll call Hannah and I will just apologize to her because I'm like, 'I don't think anyone really realized how much you went through for frivolous things,'" she continues. "I texted Jules the other day and I was like, 'I don't think I ever really apologized to you for how mean some of the people on our cast were to you,' and I hadn't spoken to her in a year."
"I don't think people realize that, yeah, we're humans," she says. "I'm like, 'If you say a mean thing, it's going to hurt our feelings,' but it's something you just learn to cope with and you have different things that you do to deal with it."
"Des gave me some good advice," Hannah interjects. "He said when he was the most successful in his career was when he got the most hate, and I don't think it's a coincidence that Paige is a f**king star, and you're going to get hate. ... I would challenge reality TV in general to not always come for the woman, not always attack, and then when a woman's upset, question why and think maybe, let's think a little deeper. Maybe she's upset for a reason, or maybe there's a reason people are coming for her. Next time a girl is doing well, don't try to take her down."
"As long as our moms still love us, and our boyfriends and husbands, then we don't really care," Paige says.
"I do think that it's finding your people and all we can do is be ourselves," Hannah remarks, noting she's found plenty of positivity over on TikTok by sharing her stand-up routines. "And I do think Paige has grown so much and I feel like she's so herself right now, and I love her energy. She's killing the game."
As for what's next for this pairing, they're interested in possibly finding another TV project to work on together -- just probably not Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City reboot.
"They do a lot of fighting," Paige notes.
"And a lot of expensive soirees," Hannah adds.
"Yeah, I can't afford that," Paige replies, to which Hannah says, "Craig needs to sell some pillows."
For more from the Giggly Squad, visit their website to check out live-show dates and find the latest merch drops. You can also keep up with them both on Instagram, @HannahBerner and @Paige_DeSorbo.
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