EXCLUSIVE: Lydia McLaughlin on Returning to 'RHOC' After Extended 'Maternity Leave' & Battling Shannon Beador
By Brice Sander
This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.
If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.
Lydia McLaughlin On Why She Couldn't Watch 'RHOC' After Leaving,…
Felicity Huffman Speaks Out on College Admissions Scandal: Why S…
Bethenny Frankel Weighs in on Ramona Singer Racial Slur Controve…
Karen Huger Shades 'RHOP’ Co-Stars With Grand Dame University 'C…
Watch A$AP Rocky Say His 2 Kids With Rihanna Are Their 'Best' Co…
Todd Chrisley Reacts to Appeal Update in Fraud Case While Impris…
Andy Cohen Reveals What Dating Apps He's On (Exclusive)
Jeezy Addresses Divorce From Jeannie Mai and Why Therapy Couldn’…
Why Fantasia Barrino Almost Turned Down 'The Color Purple' Role …
'Sister Wives': Janelle Shares She'll Be Ready to Date Again Aft…
'Yellowstone': Watch John Dutton's Best Quotes, From Words of Wi…
Erin Andrews Gets Emotional Remembering the Moment She Was Secre…
Kim Kardashian's Hairstylist Chris Appleton Files to Divorce Luk…
'Sister Wives': Kody Brown Admits He Was Never in Love With Any …
Jessica Simpson on New Music, Her Kids and Why She Feels Like an…
Tamar Braxton and JR Robinson Reconcile After 'Healing' Journey
Tour Da Brat and Judy's Nursery: Inside Their Life as New Moms (…
'DWTS': Xochitl Gomez Reacts to Getting First Perfect Score of S…
Jacob Elordi Shares 'Euphoria' Season 3 Update and How Often He …
Lydia McLaughlin is ready for the roller coaster that is Real Housewives once again.
“I feel like I took a maternity leave,” she jokes with ET. “Now, I’m back, and I’m better than ever!”
The 36-year-old walked away from Real Housewives of Orange County after one season back in 2013, but returned for season 12, which premiered last week.
“So, four years ago, I did the show and, honestly, I just thought that it was acting,” she admits. “And that just wasn't the case … I went in really naive … it was just a lot for me to really process. And I don't think I was totally ready.”
“I just felt like it was a little darker and real than I knew,” she adds. “That was really hard for me … it was really good for me to walk away.”
Not long after Lydia walked away from the Bravo hit, she and husband Doug welcomed their third son, Roman. Now that he’s a toddler, Lydia says it was time to return to RHOC.
“I'm totally in this different stage of my life,” she shares. “I was less worried about, like, how are they going to edit me? Or, what's going to happen? And I was more just, like, I don't even care. I'm back. I'm just going to have fun and be myself.”
“Life is about growing and evolving and learning,” she continues. “So, even if you're screaming at someone on national TV, there's a lesson to learn there, right?”
While Lydia can’t recall if she does any screaming, she promises plenty of screaming coming her way this season.
The reality star says she knew what to expect in terms of how production works this time around, but had no clue what the other ladies would bring to the experience. She didn’t tune into the show after leaving it.
“Once you're on the show and you leave, you can't watch it,” Lydia says. “ It's too weird. It's like seeing your boyfriend, and then you break up, and then they're, like, making out with a girl. Like, you don't want to watch that, you know? So, like, Shannon [Beador], Kelly [Dodd]? I had never seen them before.”
Lydia confesses she thought she and Shannon would hit it off right away, noting her mother, Judy Stirling -- who will make several glitter-filled appearances this season -- continued to watch the show after Lydia left, and loved Shannon.
“I'm friends with Vicki [Gunvalson] and that makes her mad,” Lydia teases of her first meeting with Shannon, which goes down on episode two. The two get into it after Lydia casually remarks that Shannon reminds her of Vicki, who, of course, is Shannon’s worst enemy.
“Now, maybe I would understand that,” Lydia remarks. “But at the time? I'm like, you are this crazy middle-aged woman yelling at me at a kid’s birthday party!”
While Lydia hasn’t seen the full season yet, she promises it will be “captivating.”
“It's a wild ride,” she says. “Honestly, we would film, and I would go home to Doug, my husband, and be like, 'I can't believe that happened!' Like, some things happen that you're like, there's no way you could have even planned that.”