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Monday, October 26, 2009

VH1 Interview: Miranda (My Antonio)

Antonio called Miranda “a true original,” and he wasn’t kidding. The angel-card-reading, cuticle-oil-loving cosmopolitan “recluse” talks below about coming in second place to Brooke, whether she was really in love with Antonio, surviving a spider bite (and Yvonne!) and the life-enriching power of reality TV.

How was your time on the show?

It was really one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Just the amount of freedom I felt: freedom from myself, and daily restrictions that you tend to put on yourself. It was something new: this wild adventure.

You didn’t seem too heartbroken when Antonio chose Brooke over you.

After the first attempt at a final lei ceremony, I was so physically exhausted by my anxiety attack in the helicopter. I was so fatigued, so tired, I could hardly stand up. That night, I had a dream, and I knew he was going to pick Brooke. After I had my one-on-one with Antonio, I just knew that for whatever reason — I don’t know his reason, and we may never really know what the reason behind his choice – he was going to pick Brooke. And then when we got up to Buddha Point, and I look behind us, I see our names written in the rocks. And there’s Brooke and Antonio in the center, and then there’s Miranda off to the side. Well, I mean, it wasn’t that hard to figure out. I wasn’t going to fall to pieces.

Was there any sort of heartbreak involved?

I was sad, and I was a little disappointed. I wouldn’t really say “heartbroken.” I don’t know if “confused” is the right word. I didn’t really don’t know what I was feeling.

Did you get over it quickly?

Yeah, I did. It was weird, within 10 minutes of Antonio saying goodbye to me at Buddha Point, they gave me back my cell phone, and I called my best friend, Joey. He started crying on the phone. His dog has died when I was filming the show. So, I went from Antonio saying goodbye, to Joey really needing me. It was kind of like, “Next. OK, it’s time to move on with your life.” The circle of life, it just continues. It was kind of almost symbolic of the experience coming full circle.

You did at one point say that you thought you were falling in love with Antonio. Looking back, were you really?

Antonio is not hard to fall in love with. He’s a great guy. And when you’re with one man for 30 days, and that’s your focus and where your attention is and where your heart is, in essence…I wasn’t lying.

I didn’t know if you were just caught up in the moment.

Not really. Honestly, I’m not in love with Antonio now, but I still really respect him as a person. I don’t regret one second of our time together in Hawaii, and it’s something I’ll always treasure in my heart.

What do you think about the fact that Brooke and Antonio are no longer together?

Frankly, I’m not surprised at all. Brooke’s a good girl, and I like her. But I just felt like, with me, it’s “what you see is what you get.” I don’t really pretend to be something I’m not. The producers really do their focus and do their skew. The world thinks I’m so high maintenance, and that’s just…whatever. Not to change the subject, but in reality, I’m easy-going, down to earth, grounded, nonjudgmental, open-minded. That’s what’s important, not lipstick and cuticle oil.

There’s superficial high maintenance, and then there’s emotional high maintenance.

Exactly. I mean, of course body hygiene, grooming, beauty treatments are all important. Those are things I enjoy. Those are things that I want in a mate, in a friend, in anyone in my life. But regarding the question about Antonio and Brooke not being together, the whole show Antonio’s big line was “Brooke always has a smile on her face. Brooke is always happy.” Nobody is always happy all of the time. It’s just not natural. As human beings, we experience a gazillion emotions a day. So my perception of it was maybe that she was trying to be something that it’s impossible to be all of the time. So in that regard, he wasn’t really seeing the true Brooke. He got the true Miranda, and he really liked the true Miranda. He may still like the true Miranda.

Have you talked to him?

Just on Facebook. He friended me on Facebook. And when my dog almost died, he sent me some really nice messages and was concerned for Ollie. He knows how much Ollie means to me. It meant a lot to me that he reached out to me then. But as far as any other contact: no, we haven’t seen each other, and he hasn’t called me.

You and Brooke were particularly a particularly civil Final 2, but you had some pointed interviews about her. So what is your overall feeling on Brooke? Is she the cheerleader that you hate, that you were just getting along with because you had to?

I don’t hate anybody, so I definitely didn’t hate Brooke. She may have annoyed me, and there were times when I could see right through her. I felt that she could be judgmental of me or critical. She would be smiling, but not really smiling. I’m a very good judge of character. I’m an intuitive feeler as a person. It’s just that she’s from the South, and Southern women are raised like that: to have a smile on their face at all times. But for the most part, we understood each other.

On the show, you said how you overcame a hundred fears. It really helped you change as a person?

I had never even flown on an airplane by myself, so to step on not one but two airplanes to go to Hawaii alone was huge for me as a person. And then there were all of the things along the way with Antonio: the zip line and the helicopter and the heights. That’s on top of being in a house with fifteen different women. I’m really not used to all that estrogen.

It’s interesting, because my initial impression of you was that you were cosmopolitan and Sex and the City-like.

That’s kind of the enigma about me, because I am cosmopolitan. I live in New York City. I have two degrees in fashion. I’ve been a working actress and makeup artist for the last ten years. I love beauty and glamor. But I’m just a homebody at heart. I love building my apartment. I love entertaining in my home with my friends. I’m really rooted.

You used the word “recluse” at one point in reference to yourself.

I tease that I’m a little Greta Garbo-ish. I like to be alone, I enjoy my own company. And sometimes I do have to push myself to go out. There are times that I’d rather be home in my robe and slippers and glasses with my dog, Ollie, not having to go out. There are plenty of red carpets that I turn down for many premieres, because I’d just rather be at home.

Because you’re an actress, how much did the promise of exposure factor into your reason for doing this show?

Next to zero. That wasn’t my reason. In fact, because I’ve been acting for several years – on The Guiding Light and All My Children in various recurring parts, and I’ve worked on 30 Rock and an independent movie, Cupidity – I have my SAG and AFTRA cards. It’s not like I just woke up and said, “I want to be an actress, I’ll be on a reality show.” And some people warned me about going from acting to reality, but I just wondered, why can’t I do both? My limit myself? I actually found out about this show by going to my AFTRA meeting. They gave me a copy of Backstage and in the back was a listing for the Antonio Sabato Jr., Project.

And you had a crush on him, right?

I wasn’t a lovesick fan or anything, but yeah, my poster is still hanging up on the door of my old bedroom in my parents’ house. He’s right next to Brad Pitt, so he’s in good company.

You got along with Tully better than most of the girls, right?

Definitely. I think she’s a good girl. We’re friends. The girls were so adamant and just crazed about her presence, but what could we do? She was there. I learned a lot from Tully. She’s a very smart woman. I like to be around smart people.

Similarly, Yvonne wasn’t particularly hard on you.

I liked Yvonne, and I wanted her to like me. We had a lot more in common than maybe she knew. We both have Yorkies. Yvonne friended me on Facebook a couple of months ago. I accepted her friendship. She was a bit harsh about my spider bite, though.

Yeah, that was ridiculous.

It was ridiculous and it was actually rude. I think she just wanted to say something to dig at me and she didn’t really know what to say. You know, to say I didn’t want to sculpt that day was bulls***. I went to art school, and we got our nails done every week anyway. That was in my contract.


Yeah. Antonio likes good hands and feet, and I’m used to getting a manicure and pedicure every week. I couldn’t just go on an island and let myself fall to pieces. So I told them, “We’re gonna need a little maintenance.” But yeah, the spider bite was about the size of a quarter, and when the producers finally found out, they got me to a hospital. My priority is myself, and I wasn’t going to risk my health for any man. I never got an apology from Yvonne, and I heard that she’s still talking about it in some interview she recently did.

In all, do you have any regrets?

No. “Non, je ne regrette rien,” like Edith Piaf. My Reiki Master told me before the show that the universe wouldn’t send me anywhere that would bring me harm, and that Hawaii was a very sacred and special place, and that I’d be protected there. Ultimately I was. I left with a feeling of peace on my heart and a sense of pride at what I’d accomplished.

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