Phaedra Parks On Being Fifty, Faithful and Fearless

On a recent trip to Los Angeles to promote Season 2 of her latest tv series The Traitors, the Emmy-winning, murder mystery reality competition show now streaming on Peacock, Bravo TV personality Phaedra Parks missed her flight when her Gucci luggage wouldn’t close at TSA. Once in LA, the designer showroom where she went to pick up her dress caught on fire.

But the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star didn’t bat an eye…lash.

“I think I’m a very calm person because I think everything has been ordained,” said Parks.

Parks was certainly calm, cool, and collected while celebrating her milestone 50th birthday last November in Las Vegas. On the eve of Bravo Con, several of her closest friends and cast members (and me!) joined her for a private, exclusive dinner at Bellagio’s Yellowtail Restaurant by celebrity Chef Akira Back.

With Teresa Giudice. Photo By Ava Lane.

Turning 50 with tasty (Olmeca Altos) tequila and swanky (High Low Hostess) swag bags, this diva showed no intention of slowing down.

“Turning 50 actually revitalized me.”

The accomplished Atlanta attorney says she is blessed to have so much on her docket; not only is she a mother of two, a Reiki practitioner and mortician, yes…mortician, but she also remains one of the most popular “Bravolebrities” on television today.

After eight seasons on “RHOA,” and a season each of Married to Medicine and Ultimate Girls Trip, she’s now appearing on The Traitors with a cast of “faithfuls” and “traitors,” including stars of Survivor, The Bachelor, and Big Brother.

“I never thought I was going to be a TV personality,” admits Parks. “I thought I would be on television fighting for others as an insurance commissioner, not as an entertainer.”

Parks says she found out just four days before the second season began filming in a Scottish castle that she would be joining the cast. (Her mom convinced her!) Once host Alan Cumming chose her to be a traitor, she embraced the role in true Phaedra Parks style.

“I actually care about a lot of these people…but they must die,” said Parks.

We’re now halfway through the season, but Phaedra took time out to talk with me about being fifty, fearless, and faithful.


DELUXE VERSION: It has been two months since you celebrated your birthday in Las Vegas. How do you feel about being 50?

PHAEDRA PARKS: Being 50, you understand who you are. You are happy in your own skin by this age. You’ve done a lot of things that worked, and you’ve done a lot of things that obviously failed and so your decision-making is better. You’ve just lived life.

DVM: Is there a secret sauce to your ageless beauty?

PHAEDRA: While I’m not opposed to people going under the knife, I am going to fight that tooth and nail until I can’t. I love machines because there are so many cutting-edge new ones. Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center has them all! Every machine I’ve ever used at BHRC has given me remarkable results. It’s just certain things at a certain age, like the little fat under your bra strap. Oh my God, no amount of exercising will remove that. They’ve got a machine there that will take it off instantly. I mean, who could not love that?

With BHRC Founder/ CEO DAN HOLTZ. Photo By Ava Lane.

DVM:  Are you just as fearless now as you have always been?

PHAEDRA: So many people put themselves in a box, but anything that I like, I will try it. Fear controls most of us but I have really lived my life fearlessly and have done things that people probably dreamed about doing but were afraid to do.

DVM:  So, you didn’t hesitate when invited to be on The Traitors Season 2?

PHAEDRA: Anytime you say castle, Scotland, beauty, glamor, lush, you know you got my attention. Walking down that spiral staircase every morning…ooh, it was giving Dynasty.

DVM: Why do you think host Alan Cumming picked you to be a “traitor”?

PHAEDRA: I call myself an “angel traitor” because I don’t have the obvious attributes of a traitor. I’m, of course, extremely intelligent, but at the same time, I’m super caring and a huge advocate for people. I’m not your ruthless traitor; I’m an “angel mommy traitor,” and even though I’m a traitor, I pray with people, I help people do their hair, their makeup. Everyone has to die, but I want them to look good as they’re dying.

DVM:  Speaking of looking good, did you meet your match working with the very fashion-forward Alan Cumming?

PHAEDRA: Alan Cumming is the most professional actor in the world. I mean, he is just brilliant. I definitely met my match. I do think we complimented each other very well, but my God, he is the Met Gala.

DVM: How much did your Real Housewives of Atlanta background help you?

PHAEDRA: Being a Real Housewife teaches you how to deal with cutthroat people and how to stay in the game, even when the game’s not going. Housewives is probably the toughest show in the world to be on because the women are monsters. They are serial killers, so, if you can survive Housewives, you could survive a pit of snakes.

DVM: Was the show everything you expected?

PHAEDRA: What I didn’t realize is that this show has such a physical element and a lot of exercise. You are running through the Highlands, getting hit in the head, getting caught in bear traps. It has that Survivor [element] to it, which is not really Housewives, because, you know, the only heavy lifting we do is champagne glasses.

DVM: As of the fifth episode, you are still in it to win it. How were you feeling during the filming?

PHAEDRA: The show is very intense, and the further in the show you get, the more ruthless and intense it becomes. But even when it’s intense, it is still so much fun because you really make friends and connections with people, if not for the mere reason that you’re stuck in this castle in the middle of nowhere.

DVM: How does The Traitors compare to your other television show appearances?

PHAEDRA: Hands down, it was the best experience I’ve ever had in television. The production team were the most professional and organized production team I have ever worked with, they have mental health counseling and psychiatrists with you every single day, and it was shot in Scotland. They really take care of their talent.

DVM:  Will audiences see you doing more challenge-oriented shows like this?

PHAEDRA: I’m looking forward to doing more shows like Traitors and shows that really push me outside of my comfort zone, because I think that’s where I really can shine when I’m doing things that people have never seen me do. You have never seen me walking across a river, jumping on planes, and running through a forest, so it lets people see the other side of me. Now trust and believe, my lashes never fell off during any of these events.

DVM: One show we have yet to see you in is the 4th season of “Ultimate Girls Trip.” [Bravo shelved the season due to a lawsuit and sexual assault allegations against cast member Brandi Glanville.] Do you think it will ever air?

PHAEDRA: It is my hope that it will be shown this year because showing the footage will obviously set the record straight and you’ll see that Brandi Glanville did nothing inappropriate. I’ve challenged them to air Ultimate Girls Trip Season 4 because it was an excellent installation of the Girls Trip series. I hate that it took that tragic turn, but Brandi did nothing wrong. My heart just breaks for her because not all people are built as tough as others, and this has really taken a toll on her.

The panel at 2024 Sundance Film Festivals Caspian Agency’s Impact Lounge. L to R: Adriane Schwartz, Justin Peck, Jon Gosselin, Phaedra Parks, and CEO James Mawhinney

DVM: Is that why you were recently on panel during the Sundance Film Festival?

PHAEDRA: I’ve had a very, very horrific experience with the media, so, is really going to change the face of it by allowing people to not only regain control of their imaging and their reputation but to take control of the narrative. In the world now, everyone’s concerned with microwave news, and no one is doing investigations and basic fact-checking to see if these things are correct.

DVM: You wear so many hats: Mom, attorney, Reiki Master, mortician, TV personality. Why?

PHAEDRA: I think variety is the spice of life and to be able to do so many things that I love and to do them well is simply amazing. The things that I have thought were very strange, I ran after, chased down, and conquered.

DVM:  So, a little luggage mishap and a store catching fire won’t stop you?

PHAEDRA: I never question anything. I’m like, if God takes something smaller, it means he’s going to bring me something bigger.”

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