So… Did You Miss Us? with Queer Eye’s Fab Five
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness #215 June 1, 2021
We are ringing in Pride Month with a very special episode of Getting Curious, recorded live from the set of Netflix’s Queer Eye. Listen in for sit-down interviews with Tan France, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, and Antoni Porowski—and guest appearances from Queer Eye’s stellar production team.
Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.
Check out Getting Curious merch at PodSwag.com.
Listen to more music from Quiñ by heading over to TheQuinCat.com.
Hear the Episode
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Tan France,
Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown & Antoni Porowski
JVN [00:00:00] This is a major episode of Getting Curious, and welcome! I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. And today, in a first of our series, in a first ever, it’s literally the first time I’ve ever recorded an episode in the field, on the set of Queer Eye, where I ask Tan France, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, and Antoni Porowski: Have you missed us?!
JVN [00:00:28] Welcome to Getting Curious, this is Jonathan Van Ness. I'm reporting live from the trailer of Queer Eye. Here we are with the five hosts of Netflix’s Emmy-winning series, the host of the-
TAN FRANCE [00:00:42] Did you forget the show?
JVN [00:00:43] What?
TAN FRANCE [00:00:44] Did you forget the name of the show? [LAUGHTER]
JVN [00:00:45] Did I not say the name?
TAN FRANCE [00:00:46] It’s called Queer Eye. You did not say the name. [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:00:50] Sir, can you tell us your name?
TAN FRANCE [00:00:52] My name is Tan France.
JVN [00:00:53] And then what’s your category on the show?
TAN FRANCE [00:00:54] Oh, uh, I’m the fashion guy on the show.
BOBBY BERK [00:00:58] He’s the gun handler. Look at those guns on that shirt.
JVN [00:01:01] Wow. [CROSSTALK] And then, and then who are you sir?
BOBBY BERK [00:01:03] Hi, I’m Bobby, I’m Bobby Design as people call me sometimes.
KARAMO BROWN [00:01:07] Bitch, yeah; Bob The Builder is your name, bitch. Bob The Builder.
TAN FRANCE [00:01:10] No, okay, wait, I’ve got one bit of information. People for the longest time thought my name was Tan Fashion!
BOBBY BERK [00:01:12] No, for real I’ve heard it too. People are, like, “Oh my God, I always thought your last name was Design.” I’m like, “Don’t you think that’s weird?”
JVN [00:01:29] Ew, so they thought my name was Jonathan Grooming? Oh no! I’m devastated
JVN [00:01:37] Sir, can you tell us your name?
KARAMO BROWN [00:01:40] It’s 2021 and no one’s, that’s, people are too scared to call me Karamo Culture. They know better than that.
BOBBY BERK [00:01:47] My dad called him Romeo the other day. He’s like, he’s like, “Will you tell that Romeo hi? God, I love him.” I go: “Do you mean Karamo?” He’s like, “Yeah.”
KARAMO BROWN [00:01:55] This is Karamo aka Romeo. I’m single, hit me up.
JVN [00:02:01] And actually what everyone came here to listen to today was the most exciting story that I almost neglected to record. And until, that's actually where we’re starting with, and I was trying to figure out how to get into it. Can you tell us your name, sir?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:02:14] So my name is Antoni. I do food on Queer Eye, but more importantly, I have a very important story to share with everybody. And I actually have a question for you, JVN. So I woke up yesterday and my nose hurts so much. It was extremely sore. And I thought that I had this tiny little pimple--
JVN [00:02:31] I'm sorry. We're just getting ready. We’re fine, it's no big deal.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:02:32] And I couldn't, and I couldn't figure out what it was. And then I was plucking my nose hairs, as one does, because I used to use a nose trimmer like Karamo’s using right now. [LAUGHTER] but that would give me ingrown hairs and so I stopped doing it so I started plucking. And always in my right nostril, I would always develop this pain. So I finally plucked one out and then I felt something. And so I decided to, like, lift my nose fold--
JVN [00:02:55] Well can you tell us what nostril this was on?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:02:56] It was in my right nostril.
JVN [00:02:58] Wow, that's your sun side, that’s your masculine side. Your sun side.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:03:02] So my masculine nostril, I flipped it open and I saw what literally looked like, it looked like a small white marble.
JVN [00:03:11] Ok, so, if you think about your nostril as a clock and the 12 o'clock is, like, the tip of your nose and the six o'clock is like--
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:03:15] It was the 10 o'clock.
JVN [00:03:18] On your right nostril. Oh wow, wow.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:03:21] So up in there. It was, like, up on top. And so I took-
JVN [00:03:26] And there was a white head?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:03:27] There was a massive white head and then, with, like, a couple of hairs around, so what I did was I took--
JVN [00:03:32] Tan, don't you leave this! Tan, where’s tan.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:03:34] I took, I took tweezers. [CROSSTALK] Can we pay attention, please?
JVN [00:03:38] Yeah, well, there's a mirror out here, Tan, for you to curl your lashes. I don't think you should get to miss the story.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:03:42] So I took tweezers and I disinfected them with a lighter, obviously, and then I put them in when they were a little too hot, so that hurt, so I let them cool down.
KARAMO BROWN [00:03:49] Do you have to disinfect tweezers with the lighter?
JVN [00:03:51] We saw it in a movie. [CROSSTALK] Yes in a movie. Yeah.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:03:56] And so I popped it, puss came shooting out and then--
BOBBY BERK [00:04:00] What did it smell like?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:04:01] It didn’t smell like very much.
JVN [00:04:03] Did you taste it?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:04:04] I did not taste it.
JVN [00:04:05] Oh, ok.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:04:07] And there was a massive seed that was, like--
JVN [00:04:08] Was that gross, Senoj? I'm sorry.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:04:09] It was the size-, it was the size of, like, you know, farro, the grain, which is, like, bigger than rice. Yeah, so a massive seed just came out. I bled, I cried-
BOBBY BERK [00:04:19] Did Kevin see any of this?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:04:20] No, he's not into this. [LAUGHTER] I tried but he was not into it.
TAN FRANCE [00:04:24] Senoj, I’m going to stand right here behind you.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:04:25] And then, I felt immediately better.
BOBBY BERK [00:04:28] I’m sure.
JVN [00:04:29] Oh, oh, oh wait, so what was the size of farro that came out?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:04:32] It was a white head. It was, like, a one little, like, it looked like a massive rice grain. It just came out that was, like, that, but the solid part of the white head.
TAN FRANCE [00:04:39] Who is that?
JVN [00:04:40] Wow.
BOBBY BERK [00:04:41] Oskar!
JVN [00:04:42] Wow. [CROSSTALK] So I just want you to know these are some of the names that we're talking about: Senoj is our makeup artist; we love Senoj. Oskar, can you tell us what your job is here on Queer Eye?
OSKAR RODRIGUEZ [00:04:53] Oh my God, I’m the COVID supervisor, I need to make sure that everybody is safe at all times, but we need to have some fun, so that's what we do.
[LAUGHTER AND CROSSTALK]
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:05:02] Oscar was mortified when he saw us trying to dance the other day.
OSKAR RODRIGUEZ [00:05:07] No, that's not entirely true.
JVN [00:05:08] So, wait, do you have [CROSSTALK] We have, we have great support here on Queer Eye. We have Oskar who is our COVID compliance officer, Senoj who is currently doing Antoni’s hair for a scene, she's getting his hairline together. Can you tell us what is the most exciting part of your job, Senoj?
SENOJ BYRD [00:05:26] [LAUGHS] Trying to wrangle all five of you together at one time.
JVN [00:05:30] But do we have very much fun?
SENOJ BYRD [00:05:31] Very much so. I speak on my side, you probably think it's more fun than I do.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:05:36] Who stresses you out the most?
KARAMO BROWN [00:05:40] Oh, that's a good question, who stresses you out, Senoj, tell us who stresses you out? [CROSSTALK]
TAN FRANCE [00:05:43] I can tell, I can say this is not Tan France ‘cause you--
SENOJ BYRD [00:05:46] I think it’s time for everyone to--
KARAMO BROWN [00:05:50] It’s not Karamo, it’s one of the white people who stresses you out the most. [LAUGHTER]
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:05:54] It’s definitely not me.
BOBBY BERK [00:05:55] It’s definitely not me.
JVN [00:05:56] It’s not me, we have the most fun.
SENOJ BYRD [00:05:58] I feel like, um, someone is calling me on set [LAUGHTER]
JVN [00:06:04] Well, that was really slick of Senoj, but so [CROSSTALK], so what I hear you saying is, is that your nose is better, right?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:06:11] My nose is so much better and it's, like, healed over pretty quickly.
JVN [00:06:15] Good. Good. So, I just had my attention brought to something, which is that I don't want to do spoilers, but [CROSSTALK] Tan just took my breath away. He has a pair of pants that have an entire star that cover his, your, your actual butthole.
TAN FRANCE [00:06:32] Sorry, I'm trying--
JVN [00:06:34] Can you comment on your, can you comment on--
BOBBY BERK [00:06:37] Oh, it's like a little landing strip on [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:06:40] Can you comment on the fact that the star is kinda a- [CROSSTALK]
TAN FRANCE [00:06:43] I’ll give you an exclusive: I’m often concerned that people don't know on my body where I might enjoy these [LAUGHTER] and so Jonathan is often trying to find my nipples or my bum, and so I've made it easier by putting a star on my [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:07:01] Tan, do you want to comment on the fact that your nipples are some of the most gorgeously placed nipples of all time. Oh, everyone, he’s going to, he’s going to show us [LAUGHTER] [CROSSTALK].
TAN FRANCE [00:07:14] I wish we had, I wish we had a way to show this.
JVN [00:07:17] They’re kind of, like, on the three o'clock of your pecs, which is kind of, like, really gorgeous.
KARAMO BROWN [00:07:22] Oh, I love that, hold on, just the funny part, this is a podcast, so no one can see, but this bitch still took down his shirt [CROSSTALK] his shirt, he’s such an exhibitionist.
JVN [00:07:33] They’re really pretty Tan, why are you [CROSSTALK]
KARAMO BROWN [00:07:35] Queer Eye exclusive. Tan France is an exhibitionist and people should know this right now.
JVN [00:07:40] Well-
TAN FRANCE [00:07:40] I pretend to be shy, but I’m really not.
KARAMO BROWN [00:07:41] He's not at all.
JVN [00:07:42] Tan [CROSSTALK] this is the cutest outfit I think I've ever seen you in. Tan, can you tell us how your how your um [LAUGHTER] how has your vertical changed over the years on Queer Eye?
TAN FRANCE [00:07:54] [CROSSTALK] Oh God that’s a good question. Um, I, it [CROSSTALK] has changed because it's gotten a lot harder to cope with outfits that people can um, ok, so real, real, real talk, after 50 episodes, it's hard to come up with something fresh considering that most of the people we’re helping are middle Americans. They don't, they don't--
BOBBY BERK [00:08:19] What are you trying to say!
TAN FRANCE [00:08:20] I'm not denigrating anybody out there. However, they're not the most experimental.
JVN [00:08:24] You live in Utah, Tan.
TAN FRANCE [00:08:25] They're not the most experimental.
BOBBY BERK [00:08:26] Not all of them are willing to wear a big star on their butthole?
TAN FRANCE [00:08:29] Yeah, sorry! [LAUGHTER].
JVN [00:08:32] Can you say that again? That was very funny.
BOBBY BERK [00:08:33] I said not all of them would be willing to wear a big star on their butthole.
JVN [00:08:37] Tan, how do you respond to that?
TAN FRANCE [00:08:38] We’re trying to kill a mosquito, oh!
TAN FRANCE [00:08:42] Um, not all Americans want to wear a star on their butt. However [LAUGHS] I’m a person of color, I get to play with fashion more so than most.
JVN [00:08:49] I love your, your fashion is the prettiest. Bobbers, we’re doing a podcast!
TAN FRANCE [00:08:56] Well, do you understand what I'm saying? It's hard [CROSSTALK] It is hard, it is hard when the people that were helping usually don't care that much about clothes. So I would love to put them in something that's really fun but most of them say, “No, I just want to wear the most basic thing you'll ever find.” It’s really difficult. You know this about, sometimes with your vertical, sometimes you want to go balls to the wall, but you can’t.
JVN [00:09:15] So you feel like you--
KARAMO BROWN [00:09:17] Sometimes you want to go balls to the star.
JVN [00:09:17] Come here, Tan. So you feel like, so you feel like, so you feel like what has changed is that you feel like you would, you just want to keep, you just want to keep it fresh is what you're saying?
TAN FRANCE [00:09:29] I want to keep it fresh but it's really hard, so I'm finding, what has changed is it's getting harder and harder to keep it fresh because I think people are constantly reminding me that this is a show about normal people who expect to wear normal clothes. And I want to be able to give them something that they’ll wear--
JVN [00:09:46] That says fashion. Oh.
TAN FRANCE [00:09:48] But no, well, that’s not true, I realize that it's not about fashion, it's about giving them something that is a better version of what they already had, what is something that they can live in and, and feel good in their, in their normal lives.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:10:00] Tan this feels very setting the record straight moment.
TAN FRANCE [00:10:01] It really is, this is my moment to set the record straight.
JVN [00:10:03] What do you say to the people who say that they want you to dress people in like the outfit that Bobby or, no, who was it, who wore the ‘Baby Hit Me One More Time’ outfit?
TAN FRANCE [00:10:12] Bobby.
BOBBY BERK [00:10:12] Me.
JVN [00:10:13] What do you say to people that say that you, that we want you to dress more people in that outfit and French tuck their entire outfit in spandex? [LAUGHTER]
TAN FRANCE [00:10:20] If I could do that to everyone, I would. But I know that you're also going to come for me--
JVN [00:10:25] I heard rumors, I, actually I heard unconfirmed rumors that you were thinking about dressing some of the heroes on season six in a full body spandex outfit, can you confirm or deny that?
TAN FRANCE [00:10:34] Who’s your source? Name your source.
JVN [00:10:35] I can't do that; I'm a journalist-adjacent- [LAUGHTER]
BOBBY BERK [00:10:39] I can, I can attest to the fact that it will smell like fish sauce when you take that off.
JVN [00:10:44] Why?
BOBBY BERK [00:10:46] Because I sweat four gallons. She can't breathe through it. He can't breathe.
JVN [00:10:52] Oh, you smell like fish sauce.
TAN FRANCE [00:10:55] I thought I was going to smell-
JVN [00:10:55] I was like, “Bobby, [LAUGHS] that’s kinda rude.”
BOBBY BERK [00:11:00] It was a mixture of the weird material smell, the material smell like fish [CROSSTALK] so I took it off.
JVN [00:11:06] Wow, I, I like, I like that.--
BOBBY BERK [00:11:10] I was going to keep it and Dewey said, “No, you're not, you’re gonna leave it right there on the floor.”
JVN [00:11:14] Bobby, can you tell us how, what has been--excluding this season because, you know, we can't do spoilers--what has been one of your most rewarding makeovers on the show?
BOBBY BERK [00:11:27] Huh, one of my most rewarding. I would say probably Jess and the Jones sisters. But Rahanna, too, oh God there are so many. But the Jones sisters I think so much because not only did it change their, their lives personally, it changed their business.
JVN [00:11:39] Oh, yeah, that's true.
BOBBY BERK [00:11:40] And it catapulted them to literally the international stage that has allowed them to build a brand and-
JVN [00:11:45] Karamo! Literally recording a podcast. Go into another room. No!
TAN FRANCE [00:11:50] We're in a one room trailer, lovely. [LAUGHTER]
JVN [00:11:53] There’s two rooms. How dare you.
BOBBY BERK [00:11:54] Karamo, Karamo why don't you go to your trailer?
TAN FRANCE [00:11:57] Flimsy partition door. Yeah, Jackie. Don’t you, don’t you flirt with me, you're on camera.
JVN [00:12:02] Um, this is only recording. That's how podcasts work, Tan.
BOBBY BERK [00:12:06] He’s like, “I took my shirt off for nothing!”
JVN [00:12:08] Ok so, wait so ok, so what about, but also, ok, so that's also cute, what about your most difficult?
BOBBY BERK [00:12:15] Oh I, you know, I think the most difficult ones would probably have been Wesley just because of the scale of it. So it wasn't just about going there to make things pretty, it was about making things functional [CROSSTALK] and as ADA-compliant as I could make it. So difficult just because of a lot of construction that we, that, normally we don't have to do.
JVN [00:12:33] Hmm, wow, wow, wow. Ok you know what, we are going to, no we’re going to take a quick break. We're going to be back with more Getting Curious right after this.
JVN [00:12:47] Tan, yes, that was a very chaotic opening of the podcast with everyone in here getting ready. Wow, let's take a deep breath. [TAKES A BREATH] That's nice, isn't it, Tan?
TAN FRANCE [00:13:02] Yeah, that’s nice. Can I hold my own mic?
JVN [00:13:04] Yeah, so Tan you’ve had a really, you've had some big developments in the last year.
TAN FRANCE [00:13:08] Yeah!
JVN [00:13:09] Can you take us back to, was it June of last year, July of last year? What, when was the month that you became a citizen last year?
TAN FRANCE [00:13:18] June.
JVN [00:13:19] It was June.
TAN FRANCE [00:13:20] 23rd, I believe.
JVN [00:13:21] So it's almost been your first year as a full on United States citizen. How does it feel a year in? Is it as bad as you thought it would be or-?
TAN FRANCE [00:13:30] No! Real talk, real talk, right.
JVN [00:13:33] You like to say real talk when you're really going to be fucking serious. So I'm curious about what's going to be said.
TAN FRANCE [00:13:38] I got so many people saying, “Oh, isn’t it a shitty time to become an American citizen?” For me honestly it wasn't. I, I really wanted to vote. And I, this isn't meant to be political at all, but I truly, legitimately wanted to vote and it just felt really important for me. So, becoming an American citizen in time to, to cast my ballot felt lovely. So I was really happy about last, doing it last year.
JVN [00:14:04] I mean, it's, it was such a pivotal year. And I love that, and it's ok for that to be overtly political. I think that's a great, great thing for that to be. So I have a question, but we, I mean, obviously it's only on these three recorders so we can, but it took, like, a really long time.
TAN FRANCE [00:14:20] 20 years.
JVN [00:14:21] Like, you guys, can, just, two zero!
TAN FRANCE [00:14:27] Two full decades. So not necessarily to become a citizen. I, I’d only been applying for about two and a half years, three years. [BACKGROUND NOISE] But, you, what many might not understand, you know this all too well because your wonderful husband also went through this process--
JVN [00:14:42] There's, like, a full on tractor trailer coming outside of our, out of out trailer right now.
TAN FRANCE [00:14:46] They just wanted to gander, they’re not actually here to work. I, I went through many different versions of visas to get to the point where I was in a position to be able to get my citizenship because mine and Rob's marriage was not legal in this country. It was in the UK, but not here.
JVN [00:15:04] When you first got married.
TAN FRANCE [00:15:05] Yeah. So we got married in the UK, but it wasn't recognized in the USA.
JVN [00:15:09] What year was that?
TAN FRANCE [00:15:11] Oh, 2009, 10. And so you can--
JVN [00:15:16] Wait, so are you telling me, are you, are you beginning to tell me that you don’t remember the exact year that you and your husband got married?
TAN FRANCE [00:15:22] Neither of us remember. We're not those kind of romantic people; we couldn't give a shit. We don't remember. We have like a couple of anniversaries. One when we got married in England, one when we got married in America. We've forgotten literally every year. We're not the kind of people that remember dates, and it doesn't bother either of us.
JVN [00:15:37] So we'll have to go back in your like photo, your photo album or something--
TAN FRANCE [00:15:40] We had to figure it out for the citizenship, and I think it was--
JVN [00:15:43] Was it the year after Beijing or was it the year of Vancouver?
TAN FRANCE [00:15:48] I don't live my life by figure skating or gymnastics so I don't know.
JVN [00:15:53] Wow.
TAN FRANCE [00:15:54] But yeah, around about 2009 I think.
JVN [00:15:57] So then you guys were married and then when you would come to the, to the US, you would just do like--
TAN FRANCE [00:16:01] But you guys had DOMA.
JVN [00:16:02] Yeah. But that didn't pass, or did it?
TAN FRANCE [00:16:05] It hadn't passed until, like, seven years ago, eight years ago. And so we, so I was allowed to get my, my green card the way you got yours for Mark, that wasn't an option for us. And so it just added so many years. And so I had to come over to this country on, like-
JVN [00:16:22] ESTAs visas then, right? Like, tourist or whatever, 90 days.
TAN FRANCE [00:16:24] No, I, yeah, [CROSSTALK]. Yeah, so they would give me up to 90 days to-, depending on how racist the guy was, who I would see at border patrol. Sometimes they’d say, “You can stay two weeks.” One time, truly, I swear to God, and I don't use that lightly, once when I was coming through Chicago, Chicago, I was meant to have three months and the guy, as he started to speak to me, said: “You are not welcome here.” And I was like, “Excuse me?” He was like, “You are not welcome here, you keep coming into this country and staying here for a full three months. You go home to your country for three months and then come back; this is not your home.” I'm like, “Holy shit!” But you can't argue with them because--
JVN [00:17:04] You know what I would have said? [SINGS] This is my home.
TAN FRANCE [00:17:11] [LAUGHS] Remember, you are a white person.
JVN [00:17:14] But what if you're, but what if you're gorgeous, like, Pakistani-British self had been, like, [SINGS] “This is my home.” I wonder if it would’ve warmed his heart if you had just done, like, a little musical number.
TAN FRANCE [00:17:26] No, he was overzealous, believe me, nothing was warming his heart.
JVN [00:17:29] If you would have shown him one of your pecs. I feel like that--
TAN FRANCE [00:17:33] I tried, I tried. My super high nipples didn’t work.
JVN [00:17:37] On our last podcast, I wonder, did I tell the story of meeting your Russian counterpart with your twin nipples?
TAN FRANCE [00:17:43] You did not; it only happened recently.
JVN [00:17:45] No, that was a long, that was like pre-, no because [CROSSTALK] well, I stopped going to Equinox after I realized that that old man was a Trump supporter. So then I stopped going.
TAN FRANCE [00:17:52] You and I shot your, or recorded Getting Curious a long time ago. Go on.
JVN [00:17:58] I just know that there was this man in the locker room who was Russian and he had nipples on the exact same place on his chest that you do.
TAN FRANCE [00:18:05] And then you called me immediately to say, “Oh my gosh, Tan, I just met your twin.” And I was, like, “You met a South Asian guy?” You’re like, “No, your nipple twin.”
JVN [00:18:13] Yes, it was your nipple twin because you have the most beautiful like, I'm so, like, I'm not really jealous about you for, but-
TAN FRANCE [00:18:21] Can you describe it to the audience if they haven’t seen--
JVN [00:18:22] Yeah so your nipples are like, Tan has these nipples that are, like, kind of, like, like, not weirdly high on your chest, they're just, like, in those perky yet muscular position. And they're kind of like, they're just, like, a little, they're exactly where I have always wished that mine were but could never be. Because there's a really, yeah they’re really, there’s, like, this, like, really--
TAN FRANCE [00:18:42] I do like my nipple placement [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:18:46] I just caressed the tip of Tanny’s nipples just now.
TAN FRANCE [00:18:50] I am wearing a sleeveless top, so it’s very--
JVN [00:18:54] [LAUGHS] With your jeans unbuttoned.
TAN FRANCE [00:18:55] Ok, no, we should describe the scene. I am here with my shoes off and my grandma socks with my, uh, no-shows, but they’re nylons.
JVN [00:19:03] And I'm in Tan’s sandals.
TAN FRANCE [00:19:04] Yeah, but my nylons are nude color, but for white people. [LAUGHTER] My jeans are unbuttoned because I just ate lunch, and I've got a really revealing shirt on, sweater on.
JVN [00:19:18] Ok, but wait, so you literally became a citizen. You got to cast your vote for gorgeous Biden and Kamala, and then, and then it was, like, the holidays, and then you were in Utah--
TAN FRANCE [00:19:29] Immediately after he won, I just felt calm again, which was so nice.
JVN [00:19:34] It took me, like, two weeks, because it, because remember we didn't know for like a long time.
TAN FRANCE [00:19:38] Yeah. But still, I just felt that God is good and he knows that we need his help right now. And so I felt it from the day I voted I was, like, “Yeah he’s--”
JVN [00:19:48] Oh I had acid reflux. On Inauguration Day, I, by 10 in the morning I was Insta-storying, it was, I was really out of my mind that day. But back to 2020 because we have no, yeah, no. So when, ok, so I've never asked you this but obviously if anyone's fucking not living under a rock they would know that you and Rob literally got pregnant.
TAN FRANCE [00:20:08] Yes. And it happened, we found out on Christmas Eve, which was the greatest gift anyone could have given us for Christmas. I'm not a Christmas kind of person, but that brought me so much happiness. And so we've been going through the process for a while. We've wanted kids for so many years now.
JVN [00:20:25] You really have, you’ve been saying that for a minute.
TAN FRANCE [00:20:27] Yeah, and so we finally made it happen. We started the process just after COVID hit because we didn't know when we'd have weeks and weeks available to us. That isn't our life, as you know, and so it just meant that we could get everything done to be in a position to be able to go through the surrogacy process. So, we found out Christmas Eve, we are now five months in.
JVN [00:20:49] Wow, wow. So, wow, Tanny Banny you're going to be a dada.
TAN FRANCE [00:20:56] Again. You are my first child.
JVN [00:20:59] I know, did you just sense the jealousy?
TAN FRANCE [00:21:01] I did. You know, ok, again, we’ll be very honest with our audience; this is what you and I are about. I called Jonathan to tell--
JVN [00:21:10] And I didn’t tell anybody early.
TAN FRANCE [00:21:13] You did a really good job.
JVN [00:21:13] I did.
TAN FRANCE [00:21:13] So his response was [LAUGHS] “Well, what about me!” [CROSSTALK] I told him that I had finally done something that I’ve wanted to do for fifteen years by having a baby and he smiled and said, “But what about me, Tanny?!”
JVN [00:21:27] Tan, that was, like, the fifth thing I said.
TAN FRANCE [00:21:30] It was not, you're a liar and you’re going to hell.
JVN [00:21:33] [LAUGHS] I said, “Ohhhhh,” I think I said, like, “Oh my God, I'm so happy for you--”
TAN FRANCE [00:21:36] “But what about me, too.”
JVN [00:21:39] So, you know the first thing I didn't say was what about me; I said, “I'm so happy for you.” [CROSSTALK] So you’re going to hell for trying to paint me in that light. None of us are going to hell. We're way too cute to go to hell, Tan. So you are gonna be a dad.
TAN FRANCE [00:21:53] I am. Hopefully this summer. Yes.
JVN [00:21:57] And what if they’re surprise triplets?
TAN FRANCE [00:21:58] We would know by now.
JVN [00:22:00] I don't think that's true. So what we just found out, what we just found out was that there's only 10 minutes until, breaking news, Tan has to be on set in ten minutes.
TAN FRANCE [00:22:12] Our lovely Senoj just let me know that I've got 10 minutes until I go back on set. What do you, what do you need to know? Hit me with it.
JVN [00:22:19] So you and Rob are going to be daddies.
TAN FRANCE [00:22:23] We sure are, but we're going to take a quick babymoon before that; we just decided.
JVN [00:22:28] You're going to?
TAN FRANCE [00:22:30] Somewhere gorgeous. Somewhere we’ve been trying to go for years, but haven't had the time.
JVN [00:22:35] Ok, wait, so re: parenting. What are you most nervous about, about becoming a parent?
TAN FRANCE [00:22:43] You know we've talked about this a lot over the last few weeks, which is that, you know, when any of your siblings, I know they’ve all had kids, but have you gone to visit them in the hospital?
JVN [00:22:54] No.
TAN FRANCE [00:22:55] Ok, so when you go to visit your sibling in a hospital and they've just had a baby, you hold the baby--
JVN [00:23:00] Your hair is going to be a mess.
TAN FRANCE [00:24:02] Yeah. [LAUGHS]
JVN [00:24:03] After you push that baby out.
TAN FRANCE [00:24:05] And then once the baby starts to cry you give them back to the parent. And both of us are like, “We can't give the baby to anyone.” When he cries, [BACKGROUND NOISE] you just take it home and you’re left to your own devices. And you have to, yeah, you’re left to your own devices. Doesn’t that sound terrifying? A little bit.
JVN [00:23:21] Sounds scary. Bobby’s just entered. Um so we were just hearing, Bobby, from Tan about what he's most nervous about to become a dad. And what he just said was-
TAN FRANCE [00:23:32] Which is that moment when the surrogate has the baby, but then the baby is technically ours now, so they hand you the baby, the baby starts to cry, and I'm worried that I'm going to look around the room saying, “Yeah, who do I give this baby to?”
JVN [00:23:46] Or maybe you could just say to the surrogate, “Do you have one more week on your contract?” Could you just?
BOBBY BERK [00:23:50] And then your pediatric nurse husband [CROSSTALK], he’s going to take the baby and it’s going to be totally fine.
JVN [00:23:58] I totally forgot. Yes. Rob is a pediatric nurse husband.
TAN FRANCE [00:24:01] Was, but yes.
JVN [00:24:02] But he’s probably still licensed or whatever.
TAN FRANCE [00:24:04] He’s gonna get it renewed real soon. But yes.
JVN [00:24:07] But he knows how to, like, burp babies and do all that baby stuff.
TAN FRANCE [00:25:10] I've had so many nieces and nephews, I feel really comfortable, but just the first night scares me a little bit. And I’m assuming that most parents feel that way.
BOBBY BERK [00:24:19] Do you have a nanny yet?
TAN FRANCE [00:24:20] No nanny yet.
JVN [00:24:21] Oh, can, can talk about it. So, we, we--
BOBBY BERK [00:24:24] Wait, I’ll say it louder. Do you have a nanny picked out yet?
JVN [00:24:26] Well I, I'm the wet nurse.
TAN FRANCE [00:24:26] Oh yeah. John is the wet nurse [LAUGHS].
JVN [00:24:30] I'm already on my hormones and on my, all my stuff, so I'm going to be the wet nurse [CROSSTALK] and I'm going to buzz, and I’m going to buzz my nipples so that, like, I won’t get, like, nipple hair in your baby's mouth or anything.
TAN FRANCE [00:24:40] And just got that bit of texture of stubble which is always lovely.
JVN [00:24:43] Oh should I wax?
TAN FRANCE [00:24:45] Wax, for sure.
JVN [00:24:47] Ew, I don't want to do that, Tan. I feel weird already. Can you imagine if I had, I mean, you know what, if it meant that it was going to keep your baby fucking fed, I would do it Tanny. It takes a village. I would literally do it if I had to. [LAUGHTER] Ew but I hear that, like, they really, like, chew on it and it gets all raw and upset and stuff. I would be, like, “Stop chewing on my fucking nipples, baby, have some formula!” So actually now that I just realized I, I would give that baby formula. I'm not, like, going to wax my nipples and, like, get an infected nipple, Tan, for your baby.
BOBBY BERK [00:25:23] Will the surrogate have milk?
TAN FRANCE [00:25:25] Yes.
JVN [00:25:26] Yeah honey.
TAN FRANCE [00:25:27] We're going to go straight onto formula.
JVN [00:25:28] Oh you’re just gonna, is that, like, a personal, do you wish- [CROSSTALK] ok, so this is really fun, this is, like, a really fun practical question. As a gay man who is having a baby with your husband, what are, like, all the invasive questions that you would prefer that people, like, don't ask you, like, have we already, like, titrated there, like, what, like? Do people keep coming up to you, like--
TAN FRANCE [00:26:49] The only weird question that people ask, it’s different when it’s you, lot, I’ve known you all for years. It's when strangers ask: “Who is the biological parent?” And I just think, that’s an awkward thing to ask.
JVN [00:26:02] You know what I wanted to ask. [CROSSTALK]
TAN FRANCE [00:26:05] Yeah go on. Ask it. Ask it, it’s me. Oh, for the first time ever, Jonathan is trying to ask a question, go, ask it!
JVN [00:26:14] Did you and Rob have, like, a dirty, nasty threeway in real life?
TAN FRANCE [00:26:18] It was all done in a facility.
JVN [00:26:21] Oh. I wish I could have been there to be your guys’ fluffers. I wish I could have been there to have been, like, doing dirty dances for you guys’, like, live entertainment.
TAN FRANCE [00:26:28] And then we can tell the child in the future: well you were inspired by Jonathan Van Ness.
BOBBY BERK [00:26:32] You were conceived with love!
JVN [00:26:34] So, so that's what happened. And then, so--
TAN FRANCE [00:26:39] And then we came to shoot Queer Eye.
JVN [00:26:40] Tan, we love you so much. We are so happy for the new developments in your life and your family and your gorgeous body and your gorgeous face and your gorgeous husband and your soon to be gorgeous baby.
TAN FRANCE [00:26:48] Thanks my love. I appreciate--
JVN [00:26:50] But I bet, I bet your baby already is gorgeous, that was, like, the worst thing I’ve ever said, I love you so much!
JVN [00:26:57] Bobby, can you step over into my office. Just to give you guys a description: Bobby was just lounging across from us. Now Tan's going inside, he's buttoning his pants, and Bobby's gonna sit next to me on this couch, he's going to get comfortable. Tan is buttoning up his pants and he's gonna, do you want your flip floppies Tan? You're so gorgeous, Tan. And Bobby, your pecs are firm. They are tight.
TAN FRANCE [00:27:26] Bobby’s been on a journey.
JVN [00:27:29] You’ve really been on a journey... with your throuple Zach.
BOBBY BERK [00:27:34] Oh, you know, it’s so funny, everyone always thinks he's our throuple. One night we had a new friend over that was a friend of a friend and we were talking about her marriage and how they hadn’t been together that long and their sex life was already starting to fizzle out. And she found out how long Dewey and I had been together and she's like, “Oh, what's the key to success,” and I was like, “Well, honestly, it’s sex life,” it’s really important. And the whole time we were sitting there telling her that she was looking over at Zach in the kitchen going, “Ah ha ha, I'm sure that's a key to a good sex life, having that muscle marinara over there as your third.” And so as we sit down to dinner, he's like, “Alright, guys, I'll see you tomorrow.” And she's like, “Wait, where's he going?” I'm like, “Home to his wife.” And she’s like, “Oh, I totally thought he was your third and that’s how you get the good sex life.” And I was like, “No, no, no, no, he's my brother.”
JVN [00:28:19] So, Bobby, here we are. We're on set, it’s season six, we have a trailer to ourselves. So, Bobbers, what is the thing, I feel like we talked a little bit about that, what is the thing that, and I don't think we talk, well, maybe we did, but I'm gonna say it again, uh actually, no, I have a better question. What is your, like, favorite thing right now about, like, interior design world? Like, what's the new, like, foliage? What's the new balayage? What's the new trend? Is it venetian plaster? Is it, is it, is it, is it concrete floors? It’s dents, it’s nooks.
BOBBY BERK [00:29:00] [LAUGHS] The big thing in home design right now is honestly work from home spaces. People converting, like, really focusing on having a separate workspace in their home. And I think that's what people are putting their money and their time into because so many people are working from home, so many people are going to continue working from home for the foreseeable future, maybe forever, so it's really decking out home offices now. There was never really something I ever got a request for in people's homes before. Now it's first thing on their list.
JVN [00:29:24] What is the biggest mistake people make when designing a new space?
BOBBY BERK [00:29:32] Um, trying to do it with a spouse. [LAUGHS]
JVN [00:29:34] Oh, so is that also, like, maybe too many cooks in the kitchen?
BOBBY BERK [00:29:38] Well, it's fine if you do it with a spouse when you have a spouse that don't care. But when you have a spouse that's really, both are very opinionated about design, it is best for you both to take a step back and hire somebody to do it, or have a friend do it, because that way you're going to save your marriage. And interior designers, we always say, “We're designers, but we're also marriage counselors.”
JVN [00:30:01] Yeah, it's a lot of, like, it is a lot of co-decision making.
BOBBY BERK [00:30:04] Yeah, and it's your home. So it's very important. So that's something that, you know, as a couple you're probably going to butt heads with, just don't do it, just bring somebody else in.
JVN [00:30:11] So is Dewy pretty, like, chill?
BOBBY BERK [00:30:14] He used to be. Now, he has so many opinions. Which is my fault!
JVN [00:30:17] Like what?
BOBBY BERK [00:30:18] It's my fault, it's, because before he had no taste, and I cultivated his, his design taste. Well I, I take that back. He had taste, he had-
JVN [00:30:25] Like air quotes. [CROSSTALK] Oh he had, like, a sense of what he thought was cute.
BOBBY BERK [00:30:31] He had never made a home before. I mean we met a week before med school, so he lived in, like, student housing, you know, he had never put together a home. So back in the day he didn't care what I did, he just let me do it. Now, though, after seeing me do it for years and being immersed in design for a long time, now he has opinions. Luckily, though, most of his opinions grew out of my personal aesthetic and my--
JVN [00:30:52] So it works together. So you guys have been together for?
BOBBY BERK [00:30:56] 18 years.
JVN [00:30:57] Wow. That's old enough to have created a voting individual.
BOBBY BERK [00:31:02] Oh God. Oh God, you're right. I could be your daddy.
JVN [00:31:07] And two thou-, no, I'm 34, but that [CROSSTALK] so you guys got together in 2003?
BOBBY BERK [00:31:14] 2003, 2004-ish, when-, it's almost 18 years.
JVN [00:31:18] In the middle of the Bush administration.
BOBBY BERK [00:31:20] Yeah, yeah, the Bush era.
JVN [00:31:22] I mean, that's actually a really interesting era in time because that was well before marriage equality was a thing.
BOBBY BERK [00:31:28] That was before it was even a twinkle in our eye, like we didn't even think that was possible.
JVN [00:31:31] So, that was my question, so when, when did you start to believe that marriage equality was a possibility?
BOBBY BERK [00:31:39] It wasn't until Obama got in office and people started actually talking about it, because before it wasn't even, I mean the administration before it was a Democratic administration, Clinton, he was like the ‘Don't ask, Don't tell’ era so it was still like we don't even really, we're not even going to talk about how we have LGBTQ people in our service serving our country. We're definitely not going to talk about them actually getting married. So it wasn't until Obama that I was, like, “Maybe, maybe this might happen.” What was it, 2012?
JVN [00:32:04] 15, well 12 I think California had like a moment before and then it was nationally in 2015. So is there, how is, how is Queer Eye and just the last four years affected your guys’ marriage?
BOBBY BERK [00:32:21] I think it's actually made us stronger, absolutely. You know, it's been great having somebody that's been with me from the start way before any of the fame and the fortune. I mean our first week dating, he paid my cell phone bill for me because it got, my phone got shut off and I couldn’t text him.
JVN [00:32:37] He's like, “I want to see that butt.” I mean, that face.
BOBBY BERK [00:32:40] He used his little student loan money to pay my cell phone bill; it was a good investment, I think.
JVN [00:32:44] Yeah, it turned out well. Where did you guys meet?
BOBBY BERK [00:32:47] In New York.
JVN [00:32:47] In New York!
BOBBY BERK [00:32:48] Yeah, we met, like, days after he moved to New York.
JVN [00:32:50] And where did you live in New York?
BOBBY BERK [00:32:52] At the time I lived down in the Financial District of Manhattan.
JVN [00:32:55] And then, and what was your guys’ first date like?
BOBBY BERK [00:32:58] It was a hookup. He came over, um, and he almost didn't come into the apartment because he was so shy.
JVN [00:33:10] Very boundried, very much respectful of boundaries.
BOBBY BERK [00:33:13] And he almost didn't come up because he had forgot his phone at home and he was so shy that he thought that if he went to the doorman and was, like, “Oh, I'm here to go to apartment 3F,” the doorman would have been like, “Oh, you're going to hook up!” So he sat outside for an hour trying to get the balls to come in to get, you know, the balls. Yeah, and luckily he did. And that was, that was, yeah, I've never gotten rid of him since.
JVN [00:33:38] When did you think, was it that time or was it a subsequent time that you were like, “Oh my gosh, I think this could be my person.”
BOBBY BERK [00:33:45] It wasn't that time, no, because I wasn't looking, I was definitely was not looking. I had just gotten out of a relationship. We didn't, I mean we started seeing each other almost every day after that, but it wasn't, like, serious for probably a good six months to a year.
JVN [00:33:59] Ok wait. Not to take such a hard core pivot. So, meanwhile, picture it, this one day, I started texting you a lot because I realized-, because I love ‘Blown Away.’ I'm a really big fan of the show, it's so good, loved season one, obsessed with season two, and then you were a guest on season two and I was, like, or was it three?
BOBBY BERK [00:34:22] It was two, yeah. So season one came out when we were filming Philly. Loved it. And I started tweeting about how much I loved it. And Netflix saw that I loved it. And so when they renewed it for season two, they're like, “Hey, do you want to come up to Canada and be a guest judge?” Like, absolutely. So I went up, I was a guest judge, I had such a good time. Netflix loved it, production company loved it, and so when they decided to do a holiday season, they asked me to host the whole thing.
JVN [00:34:48] And that's going to be on this holiday?
BOBBY BERK [00:34:50] It'll be this holiday.
JVN [00:34:51] Ok, so we love that. And I can't wait to see more.
BOBBY BERK [00:34:55] Me too. Hopefully we get renewed for season three.
JVN [00:34:58] Has it made you want to learn how to, like, glass blow stuff?
BOBBY BERK [00:35:02] I didn't learn. I wanted to, though. But hopefully if I go up there again, Catherine can teach me how to really work those glory holes.
JVN [00:35:07] I think there’s a place in Austin, I think there's a thing in Austin.
BOBBY BERK [00:35:10] Can you imagine how hot it would be in Austin to do it, because even when we did it in Canada, it was over 100 degrees in those rooms and it was negative five outside.
JVN [00:35:18] You don't love hot stuff.
BOBBY BERK [00:35:20] I hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
JVN [00:35:24] So how was your hair and makeup holding up? Was everything ok? No. So were you sweating, have you ever sweat more than that experience?
BOBBY BERK [00:35:33] So, you know the little scenes that we do up there on that balcony?
JVN [00:35:35] Yes, oh, because heat rises.
BOBBY BERK [00:35:36] Oh God, it was the same outfit that you had on for the first scene, which, the first scene it's actually, like, five degrees in there because the glory holes haven't been turned on yet. It’s super cold because it's Canada, it was the winter. And then they turn all the glory holes and it goes up to about 120. Yeah, and so you’re just soaking wet by the time, like, I almost thought I was going to pass out.
JVN [00:35:58] No! So--
BOBBY BERK [00:36:01] You just run outside and it's freezing and it’s good.
JVN [00:36:03] Ok, so coming, coming into Queer Eye. We are in season six, what, episode 50-something. What about--and we talked about, like, your most challenging, your most rewarding--how has, do you feel like interior design has, like, has the industry changed since we first started?
BOBBY BERK [00:36:27] Mmmh, I think the industry has changed a little bit in the last year because I think our industry has become very much more digital, much more virtual. Like, I recently became part of a company called ‘The Expert,’ it was launched by Jake Arnold, who is an amazing interior designer, like, he's doing Chrissy Teigen’s home right now, and it’s beautiful, beautiful stuff, but he saw a need for people who still needed interior designers, but with COVID didn't really want somebody in their home, didn't have access to a big name designer, and so, and now this company called ‘The Expert,’ it's me, it’s um, um, Leanne Ford, um every big TV designer you can think of, and not even big TV designers, but like 8100 designers, we're all on this platform now, and you can get like 30 minutes or an hour or a two hour session with us and it’s, you're able to get the opinions of award-winning interior designers in your house. And so I think that's how it's changed the most, it's become much more virtual.
JVN [00:37:25] Ok, and then I didn’t mean to, like, talk about that and then go back to the show, but I think I’m still on the show. What, what do you think that viewers of Queer Eye may not know about your job on Queer Eye? Or, like, fans of Queer Eye might not know about like what your job is on Queer Eye and, like, kind of what you do behind the scenes?
BOBBY BERK [00:37:45] Um, I don’t know, I think about it a lot, um, you know, people assume that we don't do this all in a week, the actual execution of it really does happen in three days, Tuesday to Friday. But there is planning that goes into it, you know, like--
JVN [00:38:02] But you have to, like, do measurements and--
BOBBY BERK [00:38:04] Yeah we need measurements, we, you know, like, the big pieces of furniture we have to order because you can't just--
JVN [00:38:08] ‘Cause those always take a minute.
BOBBY BERK [00:39:09] Yeah, so there is, there's preplanning. But--
JVN [00:39:12] Oh my gosh and Karamo’s back.
BOBBY BERK [00:39:15] Are those dog biscuits?
KARAMO BROWN [00:39:16] They are, they’re Scooby Doo treats.
JVN [00:39:18] Oh, we love a Scooby Doo treat.
BOBBY BERK [00:39:19] Like for dogs or for people?
JVN [00:39:21] No, for people.
BOBBY BERK [00:39:22] Let me have one.
JVN [00:39:24] Wow. Well, this is going to be great for the podcast. Let's all just have a little snack and then put it down. [CROSSTALK] No, I really needed to talk to you for, like, seven to ten minutes anyway.
BOBBY BERK [00:38:34] Oh, they’re ginger snaps.
JVN [00:38:38] So, the measurements take longer than a week, but the actual execution of these makeovers are literally in a week.
BOBBY BERK [00:38:43] Yeah, it's three days: Tuesday to Friday.
JVN [00:38:46] Ok, Bobby, this is the point in the podcast where after I interview someone I’m, like, “it’s Yogi recess if you really wanted to say something, we didn't get that moment to say honey, is there anything that you just need people to know?” That your titties are muscular, your waist is tiny, your face is beautiful. We have, is there any other exciting upcoming projects that we're allowed to know about?
BOBBY BERK [00:39:08] The new season of ‘Blown Away’ comes out in-, this fall. I have that amazing new project that I do with Nina West. So it is a new kid show hosted by Nina West. It’s a show hosted by a drag queen, and it's all about being inclusive and loving everybody and accepting everybody, and it's kind of like a mixture of, like, ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’ meets ‘Mr. Rogers’ meets like ‘Mrs. Doubtfire.’ It's just all about love and acceptance and loving people for who they are no matter how different they are. And it's, I think it's going to be really, really great.
JVN [00:39:37] Oh my God I feel like that's going to have the same effect on me that, um, ‘Sofia the First’ had where, like, my nieces would be watching it and then I was like, “Oh my God this show’s really good even though it's for kids, I can't help it.”
BOBBY BERK [00:39:46] Good, that’s what we want. We want it to be a show that also parents would like to watch, too. Do you remember, like, we loved ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse,’ but even parents, well my parents, well, my parents didn't, but that was-.
JVN [00:39:55] I think I was watching, like, ‘Power Rangers’ all the time at that age.
BOBBY BERK [00:39:57] I remember I was allowed to watch ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’ until one day the princess came over, and she was going to go change and Pee-wee goes, “Can I watch?” And my mom never let me watch again.
JVN [00:40:07] Oh, it's the spirits, honey. Can't have it, can't have it. Bobby, I love you so much. Thank you for talking to us. We love you more than anything. We love you so much.
JVN [00:40:21] Karamo, do you want to hold this gorgeous microphone? [MUSIC] [CROSSTALK] Can I please not chew into the microphone like some sort of fucking I was literally like [CHEWING NOISES].
KARAMO BROWN [00:40:30] Let's just take a moment for the fact that you're doing this right now, remotely. I'm very impressed with you. I try to, like, highlight how smart and how brilliant and how resourceful you are because I think it's good for people to know, like, you are a human being that is on a clear mission and is doing the work to make sure that mission is accomplished.
JVN [00:40:49] Um, Karamo, you have had- [CROSSTALK] Chew your Scooby Doo snack! So you are, you know, having a gorgeous year.
KARAMO BROWN [00:41:06] Very gorgeous year. Of freedom.
JVN [00:41:08] You are thriving.
KARAMO BROWN [00:41:10] Thriving. [SINGS] Living my best life.
JVN [00:41:14] You're vaccinated. Er, Antoni just walked into the trailer [LAUGHS] So Karamo, you did, you became a single man in the year 2020, [BACKGROUND SINGING] then, then you, er, then what happened? Then there was an election.
KARAMO BROWN [00:41:32] [LAUGHS] There was an election, there was a lot. My 2020 was the most chaotic 2020, year I have ever experienced. And this is from, like, almost trying to commit suicide, almost at, like, having parents that, like, this is not me, this did not happen in 2020 but I’m talking about--
JVN [00:41:47] Oh, of your life, ok got it.
KARAMO BROWN [00:41:47] Of my life, yeah.
JVN [00:41:48] I was, like, Karamo.
KARAMO BROWN [00:41:49] No, no, of my life. I would not just drop that casually. [CROSSTALK] No, but in the past like I’ve had chaotic years with suicide, going through such a, like, devastating to me, like--
JVN [00:41:59] But this was more chaotic than that.
KARAMO BROWN [00:42:00] This is more chaotic. I mean there was just so much transition and family, my, my mindset, my view for life, it was just felt, like, me fighting against me consistently to find the true me that was going to be the happiest.
JVN [00:42:12] And your, ‘cause your sons are how old now?
KARAMO BROWN [00:42:13] 21 and 24.
JVN [00:42:15] 21.
KARAMO BROWN [00:42:15] Excuse me, 22 and 24, sorry.
JVN [00:42:18] Ah! And so I mean because I think so many families just experienced, like, a complete recalibration last year. And I think another thing about you that I always kind of forget, but it's, like, you are a literal dad, you are a literal patriarch of your family. You are the glue that it's, like, a different level of pressure that, like, I, I literally, I have cats, [CROSSTALK] well I do think that, like, five cats and a dog--
KARAMO BROWN [00:42:41] If you move away, those cats are all gonna, like--
JVN [00:42:42] I mean, not to give it, five cats and dogs I do feel equals, like, a toddler. Like, probably the pressure of a three-year-old human, but like, you know, ‘cause they don’t really talk and, like, whatever, or, like, a two-year-old. See I’m not great with, whatever. But so that was a lot and I think as long as you know you were saying before, like, you know, “You're resourceful,” but you're a resourceful queen, I really commend what you do for your family because you are such a source of strength and glue in your family, which I think is gorgeous. How's your podcast?
KARAMO BROWN [00:43:07] My podcast is good. The new season’s coming out in July. You're my first guest and your episode has, every single person calls me from--it’s on Luminary, which is an app--and they call me and they say, “This is the best episode we’ve ever heard.” I'm like, you know, “Antoni, Jonathan, Bob, and Tan were on it.”
JVN [00:43:26] Ew!
KARAMO BROWN [00:43:27] So rude!
JVN [00:43:27] So rude. But I feel like [CROSSTALK], but I felt like you were really giving your best Ann Curry that day.
KARAMO BROWN [00:43:35] By the way, Jonathan, Bobby, and Antoni are in here and I just tried to give them a compliment and both of them are looking at their phones, and they’re, like, “F you.”
JVN [00:43:42] So when you're as muscular and focused--
BOBBY BERK [00:43:44] You know what keeps the show going, the fact that we can all tune each other out in this trailer.
KARAMO BROWN [00:43:50] You know what, that’s a possibility [CROSSTALK] I always, anybody needs to know, I always bring snacks. I always have snacks on me. I'm going to be that grandfather that will have a thing of snacks around me all the time.
JVN [00:44:05] Ok, let's do a lightning round of snacks. Top number one cereal?
KARAMO BROWN [00:44:11] Um, Pops.
JVN [00:44:12] Pops? Corn Pops?
KARAMO BROWN [00:44:14] Corn pops.
JVN [00:44:15] Interesting. Number one sucker candy?
KARAMO BROWN [00:44:19] Oh, Skittles or Starburst.
JVN [00:44:21] Those are more chewy, those are more chewy to me. More of a sucker.
KARAMO BROWN [00:44:26] Mmh I guess any type of, like, generic lollipop. Strawberry flavor.
JVN [00:44:29] Ok, and then what about, like, [CROSSTALK] what about, like, a cake, what's your favorite flavor of cake?
KARAMO BROWN [00:44:35] Confetti.
JVN [00:44:36] I love conf-, oh, wait lighting round, favorite food?
KARAMO BROWN [00:44:41] Steamed fish. [CROSSTALK] That’s not a lie, I love steamed fish. [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:44:49] I know, I believe that but I've never seen you--
KARAMO BROWN [00:44:52] Well, first of all, I never usually eat when we're all together. And then when we do go out, I'm, I'm the only drinker and so I'm usually drunk by the time any of you would start eating.
JVN [00:45:01] But I feel like being drunk and then, like, eating steamed fish is not a great combo.
JVN [00:45:05] We’ve got a 10-minute call, Jesus Christ loves us, honey. So you have a, podcast is going gorgeously, season three starting soon.
KARAMO BROWN [00:45:15] Season three starting soon.
JVN [00:45:17] Is that other thing--
KARAMO BROWN [00:45:18] What other thing?
JVN [00:45:19] That other thing that you told me about that one time, is that something we're talking about yet or--
KARAMO BROWN [00:45:22] Not yet, but, but I'm in the new season of ‘Dear White People’ that will be coming out--
JVN [00:45:26] Ahhhhh we love that show!
KARAMO BROWN [00:45:28] Love that show!
JVN [00:45:29] Why did I, literally I need to have my notes in front of me, so and so, ok, this is major. Is it recurring or series regular?
KARAMO BROWN [00:45:38] No, I'm in four, five episodes.
JVN [00:45:39] Bitch, I just know season three you’re going to be a series regular. Do you realize you're going to be a literal series regular on a literal show [CROSSTALK] you’re going to be a literal series regular on a scripted show [CROSSTALK], do you know that you're literally going to, do you literally know that you're probably literally going to get an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor on that literal fucking show. Do you know?
KARAMO BROWN [00:45:58] No, I do not know.
JVN [00:45:59] With the biggest heart and ability to act.
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:05] You're very sweet for that. But I'll tell you it was a lot of fun.
JVN [00:46:08] It was, right!
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:08] Yeah it was a lot of fun.
JVN [00:46:09] Was it multi-cam?
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:10] It’s, it is multi-cam.
JVN [00:46:11] Is it, but is it, like, not a live audience--
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:12] [CROSSTALK] And single-cam [CROSSTALK] No, it’s not in a studio.
JVN [00:46:18] It’s not in a studio. You’re, like, out in the world, kind of?
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:21] Yeah so we shot on, like, UCLA’s campus, you know what I mean. Like, yeah. There's all these different scenes and, like, you're out just--
JVN [00:46:27] Now, when you did that was that, was that, like, pandemic shoot?
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:30] Pandemic shoot, which is why--
JVN [00:46:32] Did you have to be in, like, a bubble?
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:33] I did. They gave us these actually--
JVN [00:46:35] Like little pod things, yeah. Do you follow Michelle Buteau on Instagram?
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:38] Yes, I love her.
JVN [00:46:39] Did you see her little ‘First Wives Club’ bubble they had her in, that zipper thing that was in there.
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:42] Amazing by the way.
JVN [00:46:43] I love her so much.
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:44] I got introduced to her when she was on your tour. She's the funniest ever, and so kind. And I just love that she's blowing up more and more and more and more and more and more.
JVN [00:46:54] But so, you, oh, because you love ‘The Circle.’
KARAMO BROWN [00:46:55] I love ‘The Circle.’
JVN [00:46:56] You loved ‘The Circle.’ So, is, are you guys going to watch it, Antoni or Bobby? Can we talk about it?.
KARAMO BROWN [00:47:02] Y'all know that Jonathan's on the new season of ‘The Circle.’
JVN [00:47:03] Ok, ok, are you gonna watch it?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:47:07] Um, I can zone out when you talk about it.
JVN [00:47:09] Ok, so, did, they just have the final episode, right, and did you watch it?
KARAMO BROWN [00:47:13] I did.
JVN [00:47:14] Fast forward through if you don’t want any season two Circle spoilers. But beware, if you're going forward there are going to be some spoilers. So, I, here's one thing I'll be candid about, I wish I would have understood the show before I did that filming. [LAUGHTER] I didn't really understand why they were having me do that mannequin challenge, because I didn't realize that the whole thing is that they were going to be lying, the people were going to be lying. I didn't understand. I thought the people were, like, all being themselves and we’re just, like, trying to, like, do a pretty mannequin head of themselves. So I wasn't totally, like, grasping the assignment.
KARAMO BROWN [00:47:42] You, you caused, like, drama and people to go home because once they didn't know about makeup, like, there was a guy that was catfishing to be a girl and the minute he was, like, “I don't know about makeup or whatever,” everyone knew that he wasn't a 21-year-old girl. So, like, you literally sent, you sent two people home.
JVN [00:47:58] Jack! So, then, so who's the other person I sent home?
KARAMO BROWN [00:48:01] I think Lance Bass got sent home that day too or, like, the person playing because, like--
JVN [00:48:06] Because someone claimed to be Lance Bass?
KARAMO BROWN [00:48:07] Yeah, someone claimed to be Lance Bass, his assistant.
JVN [00:48:10] Why would anyone think that Lance Bass literally would go on that show?
KARAMO BROWN [00:48:13] Well, because Lance, Lance's career--
JVN [00:48:17] [LAUGHS] Shut up.
KARAMO BROWN [00:48:18] No, it’s not shady because I love Lance, but like, people have nostalgia with NSYNC and so, like, he's still like doing a lot of different shows and so why wouldn't he do, like, a reality show?
JVN [00:48:29] I mean, going from hosting the gay Bachelor to being, like, a member of the cast of ‘The Circle’ honey!
KARAMO BROWN [00:48:34] It’s very possible because the thing is, is, like, see but what ruined him was that his assistant, they, they were like, “Why would you need $100,000?” And the assistant was like, “To do an NSYNC tour,” and nobody was going to buy that.
JVN [00:48:45] Say it’s for charity.
KARAMO BROWN [00:48:47] Exactly. If she would have said, “Give it to charity,” people would have bought it more. It's, like, Lance Bass is already rich.
JVN [00:48:51] So did the person who [CROSSTALK], did the person who won, were they legitimately themselves or are they playing someone else?
KARAMO BROWN [00:49:00] The person who won was a catfish. And I'm so glad they won because they actually really played the game well, but actually was a kind person, very kind--
JVN [00:49:07] What, who did they play the game as?
KARAMO BROWN [00:49:08] They played the game, it was a female playing the game that's her husband and pretending to be a single father, even though they're, her and her husband are married and have a kid. And so, but she was her authentically, and, like, even though she was playing a guy, when she would flirt with the girls, because they would flirt with her back, she was always so thoughtful about how she talked to them and communicated because she was like, “I want this woman to still feel beautiful and protected and loved.” And I was like-
BOBBY BERK [00:49:32] [SINGING] They should have known it was a woman!
JVN [00:49:36] That’s true.
KARAMO BROWN [00:49:36] “Even though you’re catfishing you’re still…” [CROSSTALK] but later they came through and they were like, “Wow, you played the game, but you were so kind about it.” It was, it was a really good show.
JVN [00:49:43] So ‘Dear White People’ season two?
KARAMO BROWN [00:49:45] Season three, yeah.
JVN [00:49:48] And then you also, your podcast, season three
KARAMO BROWN [00:49:50] Coming out, coming out, threes, threes, threes.
JVN [00:49:53] And then, ok so let's talk about Queer Eye a little bit. How do you see, I mean we've done like 50-something episodes, we’re on season six. Is there any stories or, like, people that you want to be able to, stories that you haven't able to tell that you want to or subjects you want to approach you haven't been able to or any locations that we haven't been to that you would, like, love to go to?
KARAMO BROWN [00:50:13] Um, well, we’ll start backwards if we go locations, I would really love for us to all do, look, like if, say, if we only have one more season on this show, you never know with Netflix, you know, I would say I wanted to do it in the UK. Like right, wouldn’t we all love a UK season?!
JVN [00:50:25] Yeah, my husband-
KARAMO BROWN [00:50:27] Yes! I mean, like, we have your husband, we have Tanny. Like, I would love the UK--
BOBBY BERK [00:50:31] We have my, my Irish, British ass--
JVN [00:50:33] I just have to get all my cats over there.
KARAMO BROWN [00:50:38] Yeah, we can figure that out. But I would love to do a UK season. Um, as far as, like, heroes or people that meant the most to me, I think the ones that mean the most to me are the ones that are willing to be completely vulnerable and not contrived vulnerable. And, you know, that's no shade. But like some people, if we’re going to take the veil off, they come on our show, especially now in season six, and they just, they already have an impression of what they need to do with all this. And they don't realize that the five of us read through that so quickly and that, it's like, “Don't do that, because all we're going to do is fight against that. And then we're going to spend more time when we could be really helping you, fighting against you, pretending to be doing it.”
JVN [00:51:13] Yeah, because I do feel like, I mean you have such, when we can I feel like when that wall isn't up and we don’t have to spend our time breaking through that wall, I think we can have such authentic connections--
KARAMO BROWN [00:51:23] Authentic, you just--
JVN [00:51:24] That are long-lasting.
KARAMO BROWN [00:51:25] Long-lasting,;you feel it. And then when they're not, it's like eugh [CROSSTALK] yeah. And so yeah, and then from this season there's nothing really, you know, my journey on the show has been, you know, from fake hairlines to, you know, fake hairlines to building websites. I'm so happy that they allowed that to stop. Season one they were like: “Build a website!” I'm like, “Girl, I'm here just to have a conversation.”
BOBBY BERK [00:51:47] I built that website for you!
KARAMO BROWN [00:51:50] Girl, you didn’t build that website! [LAUGHTER]
BOBBY BERK [00:51:52] I’m Bob The Builder!
JVN [00:51:54] I love, I love what you have done with, I love what you've done with culture and I love what you have done on this show. I love how you connect with people. I love that, how you've helped destigmatize asking for help, which I think is so important. So they are calling us. They're beckoning us. We're going to go back inside.
KARAMO BROWN [00:52:05] This is so much fun!
JVN [00:52:06] We'll be right back with more Getting Curious after this.
JVN [00:52:09] Hi Ant.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:52:11] Hello. Wait, so first things first, you've interviewed everyone else?
JVN [00:52:16] Uh, yeah, Bobby, Karamo, Tan, we did.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:52:19] So this is, like, a best for last situation?
JVN [00:52:21] It's a Vanessa Williams, it’s a proper Vanessa Williams one. You never know if we're going to edit it that way, though, you know how editing works.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:52:27] But I think we should.
JVN [00:52:28] Well, Karamo also requested to go last, you know, we don't want to. He's, he's ominously standing behind your shoulder.
KARAMO BROWN [00:52:36] I will fight you for the last spot. [LAUGHTER]
JVN [00:52:39] I mean, it's not like any of you are going to actually listen to this podcast. So it's, it's fine. [LAUGHTER]
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:52:44] I listen to your podcast!
JVN [00:52:45] Don't lie on my podcast. How many episodes have you listened to? [SILENCE] Right.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:52:52] I listened to the one that I was in.
JVN [00:52:53] Right. The whole thing?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:52:55] Yeah.
JVN [00:52:56] Oh, you're lying.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:52:57] Yeah, I spoke French.
JVN [00:52:59] So, Antoni, we just wrapped a gorgeous, like, makeover. We're going to go do one more little baby thing. How has Queer Eye changed your life?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:53:11] I mean, that's a loaded question. Obviously, there's, like, all of the you know, the, the kind of the obvious changes of, like, being thrust into public life and all of that, but I think it definitely has me looking at how I approach other work in terms of like, what we do, like, yes, it's a job, but it does give you a sense of meaning and purpose when you're actually helping somebody, when you take all of the clutter and all of the, you know, the gifts and [DOOR SLAMS] all of that out of the way. That was just Tan picking up his bag rudely, his Fred Segal bag and walking out.
TAN FRANCE [00:53:51] I thought I could do it so quietly.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:53:54] Well, you didn't! And, but I think it really does have me looking at, like, the way that I approach my work in terms of trying to figure out that everything, that, that there's always, like, a sense of purpose or always a sense of meaning. Sure, you know, there are endorsements and other things like that that I'm going to do, but in terms of, like, even programing, the kind of stuff that I want to do in the future and just making sure that I kind of get that same scratch itch, if that makes sense with other stuff that I tend to do.
JVN [00:54:20] And so it's basically, what I hear you saying is it's giving you an ability to, like, do more creative things that you wanted to do but you have, like, a more discerning eye because it's, like, what do you do next?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:54:29] Sure, and like, why am I doing it? Like, what are the reasons? Is it for my ego or is it actually to better something, whether it's visibility or to tell stories that haven't been told or just to put a spotlight on something specific.
JVN [00:54:42] Um, yes. Favorite, favorite food moment on Queer Eye ever?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:54:50] Favorite food moment on Queer Eye ever. Ok, season one, episode one.
JVN [00:54:54] Oh, we're going there.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:54:55] Yeah, we're going there. Um, but not where you think I'm going. So we were sitting in the back and Tom came into his new backyard that Bobby and his team just redid. And we had lemonade that set, set up for us to drink and he wanted us to drink it, but it was a full lemon juice, like, that with the ascorbic acid, like, that crappy, like, plastic bottle, real lemon juice. And it was just that. And we had to drink it. And the way your faces--
JVN [00:55:25] You didn’t. I thought Bobby and I did.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:55:28] You and Bobby took large gulps.
JVN [00:55:30] Yeah, ‘cause I thought it was lemonade
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:55:31] 120 degrees and they just said that it was lemonade and you had to pretend like you liked it. And I think that's actually when I, it was the first moment where I learned that you loved me.
JVN [00:55:42] [LAUGHTER] Because I faked it. ‘This is delicious--’
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:55:45] Your face was so contorted. It was literal, you were drinking acid [LAUGHTER]. But you still smiled lovingly at me and that’s when I knew.
JVN [00:55:54] I knew you loved me when you helped me carry my bags when my toe got ripped, when my big toenail got ripped off.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:55:58] I also continue to help you carry your bags.
JVN [00:56:00] Even when my big toenail isn't ripped off. So, what about your favorite Queer Eye moment ever, just a moment?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:56:08] Favorite Queer Eye moment? I would say when we finished Mama Tammye’s episode. We were just in Atlanta for, like, what, five and a half months, and I think Jen Lane, our lovely showrunner and EP gave us a 50 dollar bill and we were driving back to where we were staying, and we all passed by McDonald's and it wasn't enough, we had to put in our own money and we ate a disgusting amount of food and we felt so sick.
JVN [00:56:36] It was delicious, though. That was a fun bonding moment.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:56:38] And we all got to, like, enjoy it together.
JVN [00:56:41] I love a good McDonald's moment. I think Japan with you is really some of my most fun moments I had with you. I couldn't believe we were there. That was really fun.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:56:48] You taught me Mario Kart.
JVN [00:56:50] I did teach you Mario Kart. We used to play. We should play more Mario Kart.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:56:54] Well I got a Gameboy now that my cousin David sent me.
JVN [00:56:57] You have a vintage one.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:56:58] Vintage Gameboy with the original Tetris and the original Mario. It immediately takes me back to childhood and I find myself getting grumpy when someone's trying to distract me and they want something from me because I'm so in the game.
JVN [00:57:09] So, wait, so one thing that I've been talking to the other boys about is, so Queer Eye changed your life a lot, it has given you lots of opportunities you never knew you’d have. I think, I understand the loadedness of it, we don’t have to get into that, so that's cute. But of, like, the 27,000 other projects that you do have brewing, how many are you allowed to talk about?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:57:34] One.
JVN [00:57:35] One, which is?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:57:37] Very excited. I actually, we are-, just completed the script for ‘Girls and Boys,’ which we are working on with Kenya Barris and his team over at Netflix, which is a romcom about fluidity, something I feel like I've never really seen, which kind of ties back into, like, the sort of work that I kind of want to do. When you don't see yourself in something, create that something. And I have this wonderful relationship with Netflix as my, you know, work mom and dad, and so we’re exploring that together and it's super fun. And it's with Andrew Rhymer and Jeff Chan, they are writers on ‘PEN15.’
JVN [00:58:13] Love ‘PEN15!’
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:58:14] And have you ever seen ‘Plus One,’ the romcom with the lead where they go to, anyway, they're fucking brilliant and I love these two and they're so funny.
JVN [00:58:25] And it's going to be a scripted series?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:58:26] No, it’s going to be a scripted movie--
JVN [00:58:28] Feature! Get it together. Jonathan, scripted feature. What is different about, because this is your first feature that you're producing, right?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:58:37] Yes, yeah.
JVN [00:58:38] So, and at this stage in, in the production and finishing scripting, and casting and all of that, what has been the thing that’s, like, surprised you most about just how far you've gotten?
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:58:49] I don’t know if this answers the question but it does, like, I really do feel, and this isn't meant as being disparaging to anybody, but I really feel like everyone is truly figuring it out as they go. Like, even in creative calls where I'm asked to come up with answers, and I would stress out and, like, spend a week over, like, how should the film finish, or, like, what about one of the climactic points and, like, how do we address that? And I would stress because I always want to give the very best answer, but I think the solution, like, the, the solve for that is just give something and be, like, willing to make mistakes. And just, like, because everyone's just trying to figure it out, even somebody who's produced, like, 20 or 30 films and it's just, like, don't take it too seriously, even though it is a really big deal and I will continue to take it seriously in some ways.
JVN [00:59:36] But you don't want to, like, squeeze the fun or the joy out of the process. So, so that's a really big deal. Your gorgeous feature. There is, is there any facet of entertainment that you want to get into that you haven't done, like, in this stage? Like, do you want to have, like, a gorgeous, like, Mark Wahlberg moment where you-. Oh, you already did that, you’ve been an underwear model.
ANTONI POROWSKI [00:59:54] I definitely, and so I’m, it’s true.
JVN [01:00:00] I mean twice.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:00:02] So I, here's the thing, like, I'm still I want to honor kind of, like, this, this incredible opportunity that I've had with Queer Eye and the food space is something that's incredibly important to me and that I love, I have a second cookbook coming out this fall, which I'm really excited about, which you may or may not have a little cameo in.
JVN [01:00:19] So what is it? Is it, is it violin? Is it, is it touring musician? Is it so, so is it, is, is it a series?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:00:26] Oh, scripted I think is something that, you know, was my original passion. It's why I originally moved to New York. I'm also very interested in what's going on with Poland right now. And we were just talking about that earlier. But, like, I'm taking Polish lessons every week and kind of, like, reworking on, like, that muscle memory and it's going--
JVN [01:00:41] Are you going to become a senator in Poland?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:00:43] I will not become a senator in Poland; I think you have to be a Polish citizen for that. But I want to, like, I think it's important to develop content there so that people like us can see the [CROSSTALK] a lot of that going on right now.
JVN [01:00:54] Yeah. How is that for you? I mean, you're, you are literally Polish.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:00:58] I'm so, I'm, I mean--
JVN [01:00:00] Well, you're Canadian-Polish.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:01:01] I’m Canadian-Polish, yeah, but first generation. I'm the first one of my family born outside of Poland, so everyone was born there.
JVN [01:01:06] So is it kind of, like, a, does that give you, gives you anxiety, no? Like, just being worried about what, because there's a lot, well what's going on in Poland?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:01:13] I mean, basically, like, it's a whole mess. There's this leading political party called the PiS, which is basically America pre-Biden.
JVN [01:01:25] There's, like, MAGA. It's like Poland MAGA.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:01:27] It’s very MAGA, but it’s also like at the same time--
JVN [01:01:29] PAGA, oh wait MAPA, Make Poland, that doesn't work as great, yeah.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:01:34] It's the first draft. But there's also, like, I don't know if you were, if you heard about, like, the ‘Strajk Kobiet,’ the women's strike, which, like, abortions are banned right now, and I think Poland in terms of women's rights and LGBTQI+ rights, it's kind of a shit show and it's kind of, like, very medieval age what’s going on right now.
JVN [01:01:53] It’s giving us, like, early ‘Handmaid's Tale,’ like season [CROSSTALK]
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:01:55] Exactly. I watched episode four yesterday.
JVN [01:01:58] I did too; it’s really good.
[INTERRUPTION / REQUEST TO MOVE LOCATION]
JVN [01:02:05] Let’s go in the bathroom, Antoni!
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:02:07] Yep, let’s go to the bathroom.
JVN [01:02:08] We’re going to the bathroom to continue our interview. So now we’re going into a very small bathroom.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:02:13] With a weirdly scented candle called ‘Beach Getaway.’
JVN [01:02:16] ‘Beach Getaway.’ I’m gonna blow it out!
[CANDLE BLOWING NOISES]
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:02:18] Thank you.
JVN [01:02:19] Because we are, yeah, this is quieter. What, what has been the most rewarding part of Queer Eye or no, no, what has been the most rewarding part of being Antoni Porowski and, in the way that you've been Antoni Porowski and in the way that you are Antoni Porowski, what's your most rewarding part of this job, of your career?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:02:44] I think the rewarding part started out as something that was causing me a lot of stress, where suddenly I felt like I had a sense of duty or responsibility to other people and just to kind of, like, do the right thing professionally and make sure that I'm constantly advancing, and, like, leading back to your question about the type of work that I want to do and just whether it's spreading visibility through storytelling and all that and, like, wanting to get involved through Poland, it was something that stressed the hell out of me, because if dealt, it had me kind of, like, look at my Polish identity and the fact that I feel like it's something that I've neglected for a while, but instead of kind of looked at it as, like, an opportunity to kind of, like, lean into that full force, and it was like nothing that I ever planned for my life. Like, this wasn't the way that I kind of scripted it out in my brain as, like, my own little personal music video. But now I'm seeing it as, it's like with anything that happens in life that kind of shocks you and surprises you, you suddenly can switch it and you can't change the situation. My therapist always says, like, “You can either do nothing, you can change, try to change the situation, or you can leave or it's like a combination of--”
JVN [01:03:48] Oh I love that, Eckhart Tolle says that, which is fierce.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:03:51] Or you can change the way you look at the situation, which is most often what it is.
JVN [01:03:55] What is something that you learned about anything in 2021 so far that you think is really interesting?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:04:02] Something I've learned in 2021. Um, oh, the first thing that came to mind is I'm, so I'm going to be a homeowner and it is the most stressful thing. They're much more, for anybody listening, I'm sure you're like, there are things that are a lot more stressful than that [LAUGHS], but for somebody like me, who literally up until the age of 27 or 28 would like walk around with a backpack with, like, a spare set of clothes, like I just like being a nomad and not owning things and like not having possessions to have, like to feel that responsible and having a dog now it's just like very, I feel like I've been growing up and I've just that that's been something that I didn't realize, I thought I would enjoy it more, not that I don't enjoy it, but it's like the things that keep me up at night.
JVN [01:04:51] Yeah, well ‘cause I think the other thing, too, like, I mean, I never thought that I would like own a home or, like, be in a position to do that, but it's like it's a gigantic investment, like you're putting, like, all of this money that you, like, were given a lot of yourself to get. So do think it's like, it's, like, a nuance, it’s, there are more stressful things, but it is like, it's like an adult type of stress that you just are, like, “Ahhh!”
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:05:12] Yes, yes, it's like just having ownership and being responsible for something, I think is what it kind of boils down to.
JVN [01:05:18] What do you think people would be surprised to know about you that you think maybe people don't know? You have really sensitive nnn--
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:05:25] Everyone knows that I have very sensitive nipples because that's been documented on Instagram very heavily during every single press tour that we've ever had.
JVN [01:05:32] So what’s something else that people may not know but you think that's, like that’s interest?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:05:36] Oh I snore. Which has been brought to my attention--
JVN [01:05:43] Oh. By Kev Kev?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:05:44] In the past but at the same, yeah, because I do this thing where at five o'clock in the morning I wake up automatically no matter what. I turn on my back and then it gets bad. But it has gotten better since I've been doing my nine hours of traditional Chinese medicine--
JVN [01:05:57] Tell us a little bit about this.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:05:58] Ok, so I have this incredible, like, I don't even want to call him a masseur because it's so, like, it's--
JVN [01:06:05] It’s Chinese medicine.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:06:06] It's traditional Chinese medicine. So we're working with, like your Qi system and the different seasons when it's active and when it's not active and like the Meridians. And to be honest, like 98% of it I don't really understand, but I see how much it's, like, changed the way--
JVN [01:06:20] What has it benefited? Like, better sleep?
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:06:23] I sleep more intensely and like a regular eight hours. And also after I work out, like I love to be active and like running, and I used to always think like, “Oh, my muscles hurt so much,” at the end of the week because I'm straining myself so hard. And it was always like connective tissue and joints, it wasn't actually muscle. And right now, like, my recovery is very different and it's a lot less painful because now he's kind of, like, spent the past four months, like, moving connective tissue and stuff around. And it's been like a hell of a commitment. And as I've told you, like one of the most painful things I've ever endured, but--
JVN [01:06:55] I only like nice touchies.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:06:57] This is not nice touchies, none of it is nice. There's not even a pat on the back when, after the three hour session.
JVN [01:07:03] Ok, so this is getting to the part of our interview where it's, like, what, is there anything that you are just really wanting the people to know that I have not asked? It is, what is it that you think I'm gorgeous, that you think, what, what are you excited for? Anything that we haven't talked about.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:07:21] You know what, I'm really excited about this season. It's really nice to, I was, like, a little stressed, I think, of the first couple of weeks just being around so many people after I've been kind of a hermit for the past year with my boyfriend and my dog, which has been really lovely in so many ways. But I think a lot of me, I, like, lied to myself and told myself, like, “Oh, how nice this is,” every single day but I really miss that human contact like, that extrovert side of me has definitely been neglected. And so being back on set, like I feel like a new pep in my step.
JVN [01:07:49] I was really relieved, feeling like, it's like when you haven't seen a really good friend for a long time and you’re, like, “I hope it’s not awkward when we see each other for the first time.” I did feel like we really picked up right where we all left off and it didn't really feel awkward coming back, which was, I was really happy about.
ANTONI POROWSKI [01:08:00] For me, it’s even more extreme. It's like, have you seen the Extra Gum commercial? The one we're like everyone's coming back and like, making out with each other and lot of, like, that's what's going on in my brain and my heart, like, every day now.
JVN [01:08:12] Oh I love that! Well, thanks for talking to us Antoni, we love you. We love you Ant.
JVN [01:08:19] Karamo, do you want to step in my office?
KARAMO BROWN [01:08:22] Sure!
JVN [01:08:23] It's really just a blue couch.
KARAMO BROWN [01:08:23] Wait, am I last?
JVN [01:08:25] No.
KARAMO BROWN [01:08:26] Oh, I like to be last.
JVN [01:08:28] Well, I mean, I could always edit you last.
KARAMO BROWN [01:12:29] Yeah, edit me last. You’ve been listening to Getting Curious with me, Jonathan Van Ness. This week’s episode was recorded on the set of Netflix’s Queer Eye with Tan France, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, and Antoni Porowski.
You’ll find links to their work in the episode description of whatever you’re listening to the show on.
Our theme music is “Freak” by Quiñ - thank you so much, Quiñ, for letting us use it. If you enjoyed our show, please introduce a friend and show them how to subscribe. Don’t be selfish; you’ve gotta tell people how to find that little thing on your phone, the little icon that says ‘Podcasts,’ or get over there on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts, there’s so many places that you can really find it.
Also, you can follow us on Instagram & Twitter @CuriousWithJVN. Our socials are really doing such good work, keeping track of our past guests, letting you know about their new projects, even keeping our eyes out on other news things that are keeping us interested, keeping us occupied, our brain space moving. So you can follow us on @CuriouswithJVN for all of that. Our socials are run and curated by Emily Bossak.
Our editor on the show is Andrew Carson and our transcriptionist is Alida Wuenscher.
Getting Curious is produced by me, Erica Getto, and Emily Bossak.