The Ladies of The Real L Word
With the boom of reality shows seemingly at its peak, we typically cringe at the mere mention of a season renewal but when The Real L Word signed up for a third season last fall, we wrote down the date. Set to air Thursday, July 12th at 10 p.m., the sultry lesbians of Showtime have returned. The network has brought both new and old cast members, including Whitney Mixter and Sara Bettincourt from season one, together to take over New York. Mixter and Bettincourt sit with Inked to chat about their tumultuous on-screen Love, their camera cluttered Lives and just how reaL this season will be.
Inked Magazine: This is the 3rd season of The Real L Word – can you tell us a little about it?
Whitney Mixter: This is a really strong season. There are some familiar faces and some great new additions that really create a multi-faceted cast of women who are really committed to opening their lives up to the viewer. There’s definitely some steamy scenes, controversial topics, and new relationship dynamics that I have a feeling will really lock in the viewer.
Sara Bettencourt: It’s full of surprises, from heartbreak to unexpected hook-up’s and rivalries. The new cast and some old are creating buzz from LA all the way to NYC. To me, I think this is the most raw and exciting season yet.
Inked: How does it feel to be filming in New York?
Mixter: I’m actually from NY so it’s nice to have it tied in to the series, although honestly I’m still going to remain in LA for a bit longer.
Bettencourt: I absolutely love NYC; it feels like home to me. I love the people, food and the fast paced go-getter mentality that resides there so being there feels great.
Inked: The Real L Word first aired in 2010. Two years later, how do you think you’ve both grown from the first season?
Mixter: I’ve definitely grown a lot personally since Season 1 and I think some of it actually has to do with seeing myself on the show. It’s a rare opportunity to get to see yourself; you have the opportunity to see that things aren’t always as they appear within your own mind. I always said to myself going in to doing this show that if I was going to do it, it was going to be all or nothing so I never censored myself. I really just did let it roll out and I think it ultimately was the best decision I could make regarding it.
Bettencourt: I have grown tremendously since the first season, re-hashing old memories could really show sides of your self you realize you really need to work on. It was very challenging for me to be 100% open to the cameras and not censor myself at first but I learned quickly how imperative it is to really let it all go, be present in the moment and literally bare my soul.
Inked: Speaking of bearing your soul, let’s talk about you and Whitney. Your relationship has been plastered all over the TV set and scattered all over the media for a few years now. How did it affect your relationship and your friendship?
Mixter: Honestly it is a pretty typical relationship, even when people are watching it, because at the time it’s taking place the only people that are there are the camera crew. You learn to forget that and carry on with your business. This show has done a good job with taking a fly on the wall perspective and letting relationships naturally unfold, sometimes its good and sometimes its not but such is life.
Bettencourt: At first because it was hard for me to show my vulnerable side, being filmed really hindered my communication with Whitney and changed my interactions with her. Now it has become a norm for me and I feel really comfortable on film, you kind of just pretend as if they are not there. Our relationship is pretty typical except that more than half of the lesbians in the world know our intimate details.
Inked: Any regrets?
Mixter: Never. I feel like regrets hold you back. If you don’t like an action or decision you made, acknowledge it, decide what you would do differently and then act accordingly next time; everything is a learning experience.
Bettencourt: You can’t have regrets, all you can do is learn from mistakes and use that as fuel to do things differently in the future.
Inked: Can we look forward to any Sara/Whitney rekindling this season?
Mixter: Hmmmm…there’s definitely a possibility.
Bettencourt: Well let’s just say the roller coaster ride didn’t stop on season two.
Inked: Actually, Radaronline.com reported that you two are “engaged and that Showtime cameras will be rolling for their nuptials…” just a rumor or is there some truth to this?
Mixter: Haha…I’m not exactly sure where this came from, but they seem to know some things we don’t. I guess you’ll just have to see!
Bettencourt: Hmm, I wouldn’t mind one day maybe being her fiancé but first she’d have to pop the question… Feel free to pass the message on to her
Inked: Consider it passed Sara. Even though the show focuses on your love life, that isn’t the only passionate part of you. You’re both very passionate about your roles in the community.
Mixter: Absolutely! We are both very active within our community, speaking out for gay rights as well as LGBTQ youth. I actually was doing art therapy working with children prior to moving to Los Angeles and its something that I hold very close to my heart. We are also huge animal activists. We have worked on campaigns with PETA and intend on actually creating our own animal welfare organization in the near future.
Inked: Prior to the Real L Word you were both pursuing careers elsewhere, Whitney in special effects makeup and Sara as a dancer and stylist, are these things you continue to pursue or plan to pick up after the show?
Mixter: I’ve been so busy since things with the show have been taking off that unfortunately special effects has had to, for the most part, been put on hold. I do love the art and would totally resume it later on down the road though.
Bettencourt: Filming the show has been a project that has for the moment taken priority in my life. Yes I am still a dancer and a stylist these are two passions I will always pursue. I also have a few secret fashion projects in the works!
Inked: Can you tell us more about that? What are you doing when the cameras are off?
Mixter: When cameras are off I definitely stay busy! I love having a full plate so whether it’s traveling hosting events, throwing parties in L.A, painting, or now starting a new real estate endeavor with a team we created called ZOPA Realty, I’ve really been trying to stay on the move.
Bettencourt: I am also definitely a busy and energetic person; from a stylist to a working dancer to my fashion project to, as Whitney mentioned, launching ZOPA Realty, I am always busy. I am also addicted to working out and staying fit, after all I have to feel good on the inside to energize my full schedule.
Inked: It’s clear that your both active, especially in the arts. You’re even covered with some art yourself – Can you both tell us about your tattoos (your first, your last and your future plans for ink)?
Mixter: My first tattoo was done when I was about 14 by a homemade gun in my friend’s living room. You definitely don’t make the best decisions when you’re that age and knowing what I know now I would’ve paused on the impulse decision, but hey, I guess you live and learn. My favorite tattoo I believe is also my most recent tattoo, which is a large Ganesh on my back. I’m planning on getting my back colored in and extended all the way down to my thigh this fall so I’m siked for that.
Bettencourt: My first tattoo was a Koi fish on my hip area. My last tattoo, interestingly enough, was actually Whitney’s name on the back of my calf/ankle area above a heart with a banner through it; it is a work in progress. My favorite tattoo would have to be my entire sleeve on my right arm that was done by the extremely talented artist Adam Barton. I have two traditional roses that say mom and dad in Portuguese and above that I have a Gypsy/fortune teller holding a snake. Then above that I have a vintage Ginger sewing machine with a lot of detail incorporated throughout it all. My inner wrist reads True and above that I have Bjork’s emblem because I love her!
Inked: Do you think you tend to gravitate towards women with tattoos?
Mixter: It definitely is a good initial eye catcher…haha. I appreciate art and expression and of course being involved in tattoo culture I have an attraction to it but you can’t just be aesthetically pleasing to keep me around, substance definitely is the outweighing factor.
Bettencourt: I definitely am drawn to people with tattoos, there is something about a person who is willing to take the risk and is confident enough to wear a piece of art on their skin.
Inked: Speaking of ink, Whitney, your audition tape shows a tattoo gun and you mention that it’s something you were meddling with – have you ever done any tattoos yourself and would you ever?
Mixter: I’ve always been an artist and I love tattoos so it’s definitely been something I’ve thought about but I understand and respect how committed you need to be to the craft and right now I’m just too busy. Maybe down the road tattooing will be something that I explore but as of now I’ve tattooed a key on my inner ankle and done a creepy little bird on my sister but that’s pretty much it.
Check out Mixter, Bettincourt and the rest of The Real L Word ladies Thursday nights on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/PT.