Yes, after years of avoiding it, Lala Kent's fiance, Randall Emmett, is finally making his Vanderpump Rules debut on Tuesday night.
"I begged him first of all, like, 'Please, people have to see our relationship is real life!'" Lala tells ET during the couple’s first-ever joint, sit-down interview at Lisa Vanderpump’s eatery, SUR.
"I should have done it a long time ago, probably," Randall admits, with a laugh. "For years, she asked and it just got to a point where the things being said about me weren't that nice, and about our relationship, weren't that nice, the way things were coming across and we were like, 'OK, let's try it out.' Like a little dabble and, honestly, look -- I wouldn't see her all summer, you know, she'd ... always be gone, so it was nice to hang out and spend time with her and do a little bit of this."
Lala, 29, and Randall, 48, started seeing each other around the time she made her own Vanderpump Rules debut in 2015, but Randall had no interest in becoming a public figure. He asked Lala to keep his identity a secret, which led to seasons of Lala simply referring to Randall as "my man," which became infuriating to her co-stars and to Lala herself.
"I was so sick of calling him 'my man,' and then people started making fun of me for it," she remarks. "I was like, 'You gotta take it up with my man, 'cause he's the one that chooses to be nameless and faceless.'"
"In all fairness to me, you gotta remember, I've worked behind the scenes for a long time, producing movies," Randall -- who produced the Academy Award-nominated film The Irishman -- notes. "When I started dating Lala, I never thought anybody would have any interest in me … I just thought, 'OK, I'm dating. I fell in love with her.' I didn't think anybody cared about me. So, as it became this thing, it was worse that I was 'no name.'"
After the couple got engaged in 2018, they went more public, stepping out together for events; but still, Randall refused to be filmed for the show. Still, the world finally knew who he was -- which led to lots of hate online.
"I spiraled for the first two years, I couldn't handle it," Randall recalls. "I would call her up and say, 'This is ridiculous!' And she would say, 'This is not real life. You need to get thicker skin,' which is funny for me because I think I have pretty thick skin. But she would say, 'Toughen up, let it go' and 'that's not our real life.'"
"I was upset, but today I know what our relationship is," he adds. "And if someone is that miserable that they need to type behind their computer something nasty then that's on them."
With a wedding looming and Randall becoming more and more integrated with the Pump Rules group, he finally succumbed to appearing before reality TV cameras. It's a self-admittedly strange experience for the Hollywood veteran, though, because he was actually a fan of the show before he ever met Lala.
"Season one through five, it was the biggest s**t show ever, it was the greatest!" he proclaims. "I mean, who didn't love this show? And reality, for a lot of us, is like an escape, when you work in the industry we all work in out here, it's intense and you just need to check out and have some fun. But then, I fell in love with somebody on the show and she had only been on the show one episode. They had only aired one or two episodes when she came on, so I didn't know she was going to be Lala 'the thing.'"
“I really don't watch the show [much now] because they were mean to me for many years, but I support her," he continues. "I am interested to see how [me on the show] plays out, but petrified at the same time. I am a fan and have always been. It's surreal now because a lot of them have become my friends and are in my wedding party."
Randall says he'll never accept being labeled a "Bravo-lebrity" -- he’d prefer people focus on his film work (he's about to direct his first feature, starring Megan Fox and Bruce Willis) -- but he is getting more and more used to the spotlight. To ease him even more into public life, the couple launched a podcast, aptly named Give Them Lala… With Randall.
"We had been wanting people to see what we are like together for a minute," Lala says. "And what better way than to just have our voices and just the banter we have back and forth? Plus, we're breaking him in slowly … I'm like, 'You'll find your footing by just being out there with the podcast for now.'"
"It's basically a full manipulation, is what’s going on," Randall jokes. "I don't think I'll ever be comfortable in front of the camera, definitely comfortable behind the camera … [but] honestly, I've had a lot of fun. Doing something with your partner is a lot of fun."
And it is a real partnership. While there's been much speculation and whispered talk that Lala and Randall’s relationship is a "sugar daddy" situation, the couple promises their reality couldn't be further from that.
"I wish I was chic enough to have a sugar daddy, I'm totally not," Lala says. "You know, that means you gotta be glammed-up all the time. I go to bed with this man in flannels and huge furry socks … I go to bed with Vicks all over my body every night."
"It's disgusting,” Randall interjects. "It's like snorting Vicks. It's like she's a walking Vicks stick … but I love her and I love everything about her. I just want her to tone down the Vicks a little bit. It's harsh."
Randall's also quick to note that everything Lala’s accomplished -- from winding up on Vanderpump Rules to launching her successful Give Them Lala beauty brand -- was all done without him.
"I think people have a real misconception about how hard the cast works and how successful they are," Randall says. "They do very well."
Lala’s successes go beyond business, though. The reality star is nearly a year and a half sober, an accomplishment that brought both her and Randall to tears during the interview.
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'Vanderpump Rules': Lala Kent Breaks Down Her Whole Love Story With Randall Emmett (Exclusive)
"I know what I put him through during my drinking," she says, choking up. "I just remember going into his office the morning I woke up and said, 'I'm not living like this anymore,' and telling him I'm an alcoholic, I need you to support me in this because I'm reaching out and getting help. For the first time ever, I looked at him, I felt hopeful. I felt like the thought of that, it's up to me to never feel the way I've been feeling again, I felt empowered and I saw light finally. I hadn't felt that in a really long time."
"The morning of Oct. 22, I opened my eyes and said to myself, 'B***h, you're an alcoholic,'" Lala remembers. "And the second that I thought that -- I had never even thought that to myself -- it felt like a ton of bricks had just been lifted off my chest. It was by far the best feeling I had ever felt in my entire life."
On the day Lala hit one year sober in October 2019, she led an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, which Randall attended.
"It was the most beautiful moment I had with her I think, it beats everything," he says. "The engagement is the highest level, but her running a meeting and talking about her sobriety and all the things she had overcome, it was awesome."
"You were worried, she was," Randall recalls. "I remember you did say to me, you said, 'Well, I don't even know if I'm going to be interesting…' and I said, 'Lala, you are interesting every minute of the day, you don't need any alcohol to be interesting' and now she's as witty as she gets."
"I was shocked," Lala admits of being able to do the show without a drink. "[I'm] definitely quicker, and I go home and I don't regret anything I said, which is the best part because before, I'd drink and wake up and wish I wouldn't have said that if I was sober. Now, I wake up and I'm like, 'I said that and I meant it.' Feels good, but I was worried about that, too."
While Lala’s drinking only appeared to be social on the show, she was actually consuming alcohol from the moment she woke up to the moment she went to sleep, a secret only Randall knew about.
"Lisa Vanderpump said to me, 'I had no idea that you were drinking like this…' and I was like, 'Lisa, I have never filmed with you sober,'" she confesses. "Not once."
Lala says season 8 has been the season she's been most interested in watching back, because it will be the first time she sees her sober self onscreen. She says it's like everyone, including herself, is getting to meet Lala for the first time.
"For so long I'd look in the mirror and be like, 'Who even are you? What do you stand for? What are your goals in life?'" she remarks. "And today, a year and four months sober, I can be like, this is what I stand for, this is what I believe in. I can tell you what I did yesterday, that feels so good."
The couple’s wedding day falls pretty much on Lala's year-and-a-half sobriety anniversary, this April. While Vanderpump Rules cameras won't be around to film the special day -- they want to keep it private -- the cast of the show will be there, including James Kennedy, who, to borrow a phrase from Lala, she's "gone toes with" over the years. In fact, Lala says, had you asked her a year ago if James would snag an invite to her wedding, she would have said, no.
"When I heard that he wanted to venture into the life of sobriety, I know what that’s like to be drunk and do things that are out of character," she says. "So, when I heard he wanted to explore not drinking, for me, it was a clean slate. Every time he's done anything where he's messed up, he's been drunk. So, I have a soft spot for anyone who acts out when they're under the influence and then decides to better their life by fixing the problem."
Making amends is part of Lala's recovery, which included working on her relationship with Randall’s ex-wife, You star Ambyr Childers. Randall and Ambyr share two daughters together, London, 10, and Rylee, 6. At the start of Randall and Lala's romance, things were tense between Randall and Ambyr, who were still working out the terms of their separation.
"I give them both, her and their mom, a lot of credit for putting the kids first," Randall says.
"There were a lot of bumps in the road and then, I just think -- there was one thing, one text message that really resonated with their mom, and that's when everything just-- now I can't even imagine going back to the place we were at at one point in time," Lala shares.
"I'm the outsider now!" Randall exclaims, joking that Lala and Ambyr talk more than he talks to either of them.
After they say "I do," Lala and Randall plan to expand their family, though they've yet to agree on the number of kids they would like to have together; Randall wants one, while Lala wants two.
"I say two because I keep thinking about when we have Christmas," she says. "OK, I can picture it, we have my stepbabies, his girls, and then they get to off to their mom's house together and then our kid will be like, 'This sucks, just me and my mom and dad?' How horrible!"
Once they tie the knot, the countdown will be on for kids. Lala is part of the Vanderpump Rules "pregnancy pact." She, Katie Maloney-Schwartz, Brittany Cartwright and Stassi Schroeder all plan to get pregnant within a few years of each other, so that their kids can all grow up together. Brittany and her husband, Jax Taylor, plan to get pregnant within the next year.
"We all have families that live somewhere different, so, to us, if we have babies together, they'll be like cousins," Lala says. "They'll all be in the same age group and we can celebrate birthdays together. So, I know it sounds corny and like a Lifetime movie, but that's what we're doing, because this one over here [Randall] is, like, 'We can wait a couple of years, like, you're young,' but you're not, so let's get it poppin'."
As Lala moves into this next stage of her life, she admits she's open to even more changes, including a possible reality TV "graduation" to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She admits she’s a bit frustrated that the Vanderpump Rules cast has expanded to a whopping 19 members, which means less time to show all aspects of her life on camera.
"I would love to be on Real Housewives," she proclaims. "I think that's an amazing franchise, and it focuses on their lives and what they're doing in all of their lives, and I would love a show that's like, 'Oh, you have a beauty line that's very successful, let's talk about it.' That sounds fun to me. So, call me! You know where to find me." (Vanderpump Rules and RHOBH are produced by the same company.)
For the time being, you can see Lala and Randall on Vanderpump Rules every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. The couple's podcast, Give Them Lala… With Randall, also drops new episodes weekly, wherever you listen to podcasts.
Watch the extended interview with Lala and Randall above, which includes Randall revealing what The Irishman director Martin Scorsese really thinks about Lala and Vanderpump Rules.