It is not often you get to take someone as fun as Cortney Van Olphen out to see the band 1975 play. She is the sister of American actress and reality star Scheana Shay, who is infamous for her antics in one of the most popular U.S. shows, Vanderpump Rules.
My sister Karen is a huge fan of the reality show, and so is my best pal, actress Denise Welch, who had arranged my night out with Cortney. Denise became friends with Scheana since meeting her in L.A.
On hearing Scheana is jetting into London and that she is boy crazy and can’t get enough of the gay boys and loves our accents, I just had to get an interview!
Scheanna does not disappoint.
Welcome to London! How are you finding the U.K.? Tell us what you have been up to since you arrived here?
It is my second time here, and it has truly been an amazing, whirlwind trip, and your accents! I just love how you all sound; it is what has drawn me to the U.K. in the first instance.
The history is just breath-taking, with the mix of modern, it’s sensational. If I had to compare it to the U.S., it’s a bit like New York, only with more historic buildings.
We have fitted so much in! We loved Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle. Today we have just got off a boat trip down the Thames; it was awesome!
My sister Cortney is here too, and my mum and my aunt. We have had a blast; we rented an Air BnB, it is hard to believe that we are just around the corner from the Troubadour, where music greats like Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel played.
Plus, I got to see my favourite singer Bryce Vine at Scala, in Kings Cross. He’s also a friend from home and had a number one single with Drew Barrymore.
I missed, by a day or so, seeing The 1975 at the O2. I am great friends with Matt Healy, the lead singer’s mum, actress Denise Welch. We met in Los Angles, and to my amazement, she is such a fan of the show and knew all about me.
My sister Cortney did get to see them. My whole family, including my mum, are fans.
How did you get into Vanderpump Rules?
I worked at the sister restaurant to SUR, Villa Blanca. I had not really seen much of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but obviously, with Lisa Vanderpump starring in it, SUR featured quite a bit. On the second season of the show they asked me to work, and along with a few others, to move to SUR and feature in the show a bit. It was a privilege to work at SUR.
Well, the rest is history! I always promised myself with having a degree in broadcast journalism and having trained as an actress that the reality route was not on the cards, but I am really glad how it has all panned out.
I know you still have to wait tables at SUR whilst on the show, how hard is that now that you’re so famous?
Well, I don’t wait tables anymore – I meet and greet. There are so many people who come because of the show and want a picture or a selfie with you. It would be hard to be the main server, but I know what the specials are every night and I don’t take tips.
We know you love the gay boys, who was your first gay friend? Have you ever had a crush on a gay man?
Well as they say I am “BOY CRAZY”! I even have my own line of hats coming with that [slogan] on it.
Oh my God! I have had crushes on so many. I grew up with parents that believed that everyone was equal. Gay boys are so hot, I just made out with my pal Bret in a game of truth or dare in Palm Springs. Cedric Marinez from Season One…I was heartbroken when he was gay. “Are you sure?” I kept asking him.
Have you ever slept with a woman, and what do you find attractive in another woman, even if it’s not physical?
Yes, I have, but mentally it would not work with a woman.
Where are your favourite gay hangouts in L.A.?
We have so many great gay bars, come over – I’ll take you out! My favourite is The Abbey in West Hollywood. I have so many happy memories there. It started off as a gay coffee bar but has moved on to become the best gay bar in town.
You’re dating Brook Davies. He’s a hunk! What is the most romantic thing he has done for you?
Brook, he is originally a Kiwi but moved to Brisbane when he was three. He surprised me with a trip to Bali. I had no idea! We stayed in the most beautiful Air BnB, it was just magical. He is a keeper.
You’re a bit of a gay icon. What do you do in America to help others understand diversity and the LGBTQ community?
Well, I am not one of those “oh I’ll do a bit at Pride or when it looks good”. I am constantly involved in everything I can to support the community.
Honestly, it is beyond my comprehension that anyone would be anti-gay or not have equal rights. We just were never brought up like that; it is hard to get my head around how people can behave in a judgemental way toward some of my favourite people. You have to come to my home in Palm Springs – it’s a great scene there. (At this point your correspondent would book flight were in not for the lockdown!)
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
You know it’s not that I don’t like that question, it is just not one that fits into my way of thinking. Who knows? I have my podcast, my clothing line, acting, and so much more ahead of me.
Really! Let’s enjoy the moment and what will be will be. (Laughs)
It is Mother’s Day in the U.K. soon, and your mum, Erika is amazing. How do you come to have such a good relationship, and what will you be doing for her on Mother’s Day in the U.S.?
It is around the same time as Mum and my birthdays, so we are going to the Kentucky Derby, we cannot wait!
Japanese or Chinese?
One thing you would change if you were the president of the U.S.?
The current president permanently.
Favourite place in L.A.
What’s your biggest turn off?
What is a must on a cosy night in?