'Selling the OC' star Alex Hall breaks down some behind-the-scenes secrets from filming season 1 of the Netflix show.
Alex Hall is processing the transition from realtor to reality TV realtor. The 32-year-old mom of two stars on Netflix's Selling the OC, a spinoff of the mega-hit Selling Sunset, and is arguably the new series' answer to Chrishell Stause.
"I'm receiving the positive feedback really, really well," she tells ET just 24 hours after the eight-episode season launched into the world. "Not so much the negative. Yeah, I mean, it is what it is. I guess it's just all part of the package that we signed up for. It's just been a whirlwind of emotions and it's been a roller coaster up and down, up and down, up and down."
There's a surprising conversation unfolding on social media, at least for Alex. A quick Twitter search shows the audience seemingly split on who's the hero and who's the villain (or, villains) of this story; half the audience says Alexandra Jarvis and Alexandra Rose are the show's mean girls. The other half says Alex Hall takes the Queen B (as in b***h) title.
"It's interesting, because we [the cast] were able to watch the show a couple of weeks ago," Alex shares. "There was never a debate on whether or not I'm the villain, or they're the villain, because we all know the backstory and our reasonings and our intentions. And so, to see it unfold that way, with the viewers who just don't know, and they're just seeing it for the first time and they don't know any of the behind the scenes like we did, or we do, I'm really just... it's shocking. It's honestly just shocking."
Some viewers are pointing toward Alex's treatment of the Alexandras as the main factor here. Throughout the season, she constantly questions why they're involving themselves in the group. Alex says that questioning was warranted because, as far as she knew, they were not cast members on Selling the OC. They were just other agents at The Oppenheim Group's Newport Beach office.
"They're very opportunistic," she says of her unexpected co-stars. "Jarvis and Rose weren't even original cast on the show. And so a lot of me saying, 'Why are you here?' is not to be rude -- and not that they don't deserve to be there. Of course, they deserve to be in the office. They are top producers. No disrespect there. It's, 'We're filming. Why are you here?' Because production has ... reassured us, 'They're not cast. Don't worry...' And so I'm like, 'Why are you here?' All you're doing is trying to start drama."
"I [now] understand why they're a part of the show," she admits. "They understood their assignment."
"They were like, 'We're going to do whatever we've got to do because we want to be on the show,' and they saw an opportunity and they took it," she surmises. "And unfortunately it's just... yeah, you saw how it all aired out."
While Alex found herself wading through the group's drama, she didn't realize how central she was to so much of it until watching the episodes.
"It was like, 'Alex Hall. Alex Hall. Alex Hall,'" she notes. "I'm like, 'Oh my god. How do so many people have so much to say about me, when I have such little interaction with so many of these people?' That is what blew me away the most."
Jarvis and Rose were two of Alex's biggest critics all season long, saying they had no interest in working with her, labeling her a "diva" and "desperate to be center of attention," as well as calling her out for loving to "run her mouth."
"I do, I love to talk," Alex fires back. "I love to run my mouth. True. Yes, I do. I love to talk. We're on a reality show. They casted us all, individually, for a reason. And it's not that I love to hear the sound of my own voice. I know that's just an expression, but I have the gift of gab."
As for the diva/attention-seeking comments, Alex calls those assumptions "false."
"I think I command attention," she says, flipping the insult. "I don't think that I seek to be the center of attention. I think that is just part of me and my personality and what I attract. It's not intentional."
Alex threw her own labels at the Alexandras, too, calling them bullies for the way they operate in the group. They tossed the word right back at Alex.
"That term does get, and I'm guilty of it too, it does get thrown around so much," Alex confesses. "And the term that we're using it in the show, it's not true bullying. But when I refer to Jarvis and Rose as bullies, it's because they come in with the intention of calling somebody out or shaming. And they corner you, they put you in this corner."
"It's very irritating because Jarvis and Rose aren't a part of the other side of the office, like me and Polly [Brindle] and Tyler [Stanaland] and Austin [Victoria] and Brandi [Marshall]," she notes. "So they don't know what's actually going on. They just come in and they get the snippets from production. Like, 'Hey, talk about this...' And it's like, 'Ugh, why are you talking about this? You don't know the story. You weren't there.' Yeah. It's frustrating."
Rose also called Alex a "snake," a term she's happy to return Rose's way.
"She's a snake, they're the snakes," Alex says. "Backstory: they steal listings from people. They listen to your phone calls in the office and they hear what properties you're talking about, and then they'll go and door-knock on those properties. That's a snake, OK? I say it how it is. I'm direct. I always have pure intentions. And just because I'm loud and outspoken and opinionated and passionate, does not mean I'm a snake. It's very, very different. I'm not sneaky."
Alex says she really tried to give Jarvis and Rose a chance, but they're the ones who blew it.
"I always give everybody the benefit of the doubt, right? Innocent until proven guilty," she explains, "and I gave them an opportunity, and I wanted to be friends and cordial, and I had nothing against them. But after seeing the show and seeing just the rabbit hole that they went down, just to try to get airtime? We are not aligned in that regard. I mean, I wish them the best in success and whatnot, but our morals and our personalities probably just don't align."
Over the course of the season, Kayla Cardona seemed to shift allegiance from Alex (and her side of the office) to Jarvis and Rose. The team change played out after some of the agents called out Kayla for crossing a line with Tyler, who is married to actress Brittany Snow.
"Obviously, the whole Tyler thing, her trying to lure him into her car at the end of every night, that whole thing was very, very unsettling to me," Alex says. "And it put a huge rift in our work relationship, unfortunately. And on top of that, she became very entitled and it's hard enough to work with somebody in this business -- and then having cameras in your face, and just getting to know each other -- it's very difficult."
Kayla actually sought mentorship from Alex, bringing her onto her first major listing as a co-agent. Alex felt the need to step in often as Kayla worked on the deal to ensure it was done to O Group standards, which struck Kayla the wrong way. She told the Alexandras she felt "betrayed" by Alex.
"I don't think that I betrayed her," Alex says. "I think, up until the very end, I was helpful and I gave her everything that I had. But at the end of the day, she seemingly is just the type of person that is going to go wherever she's going to hear what she wants to hear."
"It's only what's beneficial to her in that moment," she adds. "[It's] wishy washy. She starts out hating Jarvis and Rose, and then throughout, she likes them. Then she hates them again. Then she likes them again. It's like, at least we're consistent."
Alex says her drama with Kayla is actually the most upsetting part of the season for her, in particular comments Kayla's client made about Alex, calling her "aggressive" and comparing her to a used car salesman.
"Out of all the things on the season, that was a dagger through my heart, because I've never -- and I'm one of the most seasoned agents in the office and I've been working real estate longer than I think maybe everybody in the office," she explains, "and for that, I have never been called a car salesman in my life."
Alex claims there's a lot more to the story of Kayla and her client, saying Kayla had a "prior relationship" with the man, and it seemed more like they were dating than colleagues.
"She was going out to dinners with him and he was wanting to take her out, and I came in and I said, 'Listen, you're going to do what you want to do, but my professional opinion is don't mix business with pleasure until after business is closed,'" she recalls. "'If you want to go out with him and you like him, he's a nice guy, fine, but do it once we close out. Sell the house first, so you're taken seriously.' And I came in and I just put a damper on his whole play. And he was like, 'Well, who the hell is this?'"
"He was thinking, 'I kind of just want to date you and I'm giving you my listing,' and it actually shows at the very end, he was not a serious [seller]," she continues, noting that he asked to increase the listing price by $300K out of nowhere. "I don't think he liked me because I was business, and I wasn't as naive as Kayla is in this setting, because I've been there. I've done that, where you waste your time on these guys who pretend they want to sell and all they really want to do is take you out to dinner."
Alex credits Kayla with listening to her advice, though; she didn't go on any more dates with the client after Alex joined the listing.
Part of Kayla claiming "betrayal" was related to a phone call Alex took over with the client, because Kayla was struggling to actually close the deal.
"I mean, rule No. 1 is you never call a client unprepared," Alex scoffs. "Kayla was unprepared, and I think she wanted to be the big girl and the boss ... but she doesn't have the tools. And so that's why I was like, 'Just sit back and let me show you and learn,' rather than trying to dive in with both feet and making mistakes."
As Kayla confided in the Alexandras over her personal and professional problems, a comparison seemed to be drawn between her situation and Tyler and Alex's relationship with Tyler. While on a company beach outing, Alex gave Tyler a "nosey," a sort of wet-willy on steroids in which one person covers the other's nose with their mouth and blows air onto the receiver's (er, victim's?) face.
"Most people have never seen that before," Alex admits. "So a nosey is, it's not a sexual act whatsoever. It started with my mom doing it to our family dog, if you will. This is how disgusting it is. And then it graduated to doing it to us, her children. Now I do it to my kids. It's just a funny thing to do, and we're a very tactile, touchy feely group."
"It's nothing sexual," she reiterates. "You're not like, 'Oh, I want to f**k you. Let me put my wet finger in your ear.' No, you're like, 'Ew.' It's teasing. It's just a teasy type thing. And the irony there is that Jarvis, again, wasn't at the beach when that happened. And it happened multiple times. It wasn't just at the beach. I mean, we have a couple of drinks. We just start... we're silly."
Alex says she has "no interest in Tyler" and compares their relationship to that of a brother and sister; she says Tyler and Kayla have no friendship, just a work relationship.
"I adore him, I think he is the sweetest thing," she says. "Do I think he needs to get a little bit more of a backbone? Absolutely. And I've had that conversation with him, but he kind of just wants to please everybody. You kind of see that. He's just a nice guy. Nope. No interest in Tyler whatsoever. And the difference there, between what I had done and what Kayla had done, which was not try to kiss Tyler. She tried to have sex with him on multiple occasions, and made him very uncomfortable. And he had asked her to stop multiple times. She didn't. She continued. And with our situation, to me, there's just no comparison. There's really just no comparison."
Alex also considers Gio Helou to be a bit of a brother-type. He became her first foe of the season, calling out Alex for snubbing his wife at a company party.
"Gio and I, we're good," she promises. "We get it. Gio understood the assignment from day one. He was there. He was going to put on a show. And props to him ... he did exactly what he was trying to do, and it was to start drama. And in my [eyes], when they play it back, I'm like, 'I didn't snub her. I said hi.' And so even Gio and I had talked about that after, and he was like, after we saw the show, Gio was like, 'What the hell? It looked like she snubbed you!' And I was like, 'Yeah, because you got too caught up in the fake reality...' It didn't happen."
Gio made a few comments at Alex's expense over the course of the season, largely to Jarvis and Rose. He said she's "threatened" by him personally and professionally ("No," she replies), wouldn't work with her unless he was desperate ("Bulls**t," per Alex) and called her "an atomic bomb who blows things out of proportion."
"I feel like I'm getting gaslit a little bit in these conversations with him, because I'm loud," she says. "I talk with my hands. I'm Italian. My tonality, I could see how I would seem like I blow things out of proportion. But if you actually listen to what I'm saying, I don't think that I'm blowing anything out of proportion. I'm passionate. I'm very passionate, especially when I feel like something's being misconstrued or somebody's trying to spill false accusations."
The two got into a shouting match during the group's beach day over the "snub" situation with Gio's wife, with Gio playing up his wife's hurt feelings in front of the larger cast.
"I mean, they portrayed me how I am, that is me," she reflects. "What you see, that is me. So I couldn't change or want to change anything. I just wish that there was a little bit more context to a lot of the scenes, like the beach scene with Gio. He had continually tried to start drama with me, prior to that, like grasping at straws."
"I was just fed up and I wanted to draw the line in the sand and say, 'Listen. Don't f**k with me. This is done,'" she continues. "And, obviously, alcohol was involved, but I wouldn't have changed it. I just wish that you guys would be able to see a little bit more of the details behind some of the scenes."
"I just want to continue to remember that this is a show," she replies when asked her greatest lesson learned from navigating this new chapter so far. "It's a reality show and things are going to be skewed, and at the end of the day, the best we can hope for is to put out a good show. And I am trying to catapult my career and my business and secure a future for my children. And so that's really the ultimate goal. The lesson is just continuing, I guess, to be myself. And remember that it's a show and try to leave the show where the show is and not bring it home with me."
"I would like to show everything that you guys didn't get to see in [season 1]," she adds of a potential season 2. "And I hope that the characters develop, and I hope that you guys can see the depth and the layers into all of the other characters, including myself, including Polly and Brandi and Jarvis and Rose and Kayla, and I think that time will tell and eventually, they can't play the poker face forever."
All episodes of Selling the OC are now streaming on Netflix.