What Kind Of Boss Is Lisa Vanderpump? We Asked Her Employees

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Lisa Vanderpump is known for being a boss — which is a good thing, she says, because she’s “not such a great employee.”

“I haven’t had many bosses. I’m better at being a boss of my own and having the autonomy to do what I want,” she tells TODAY.com. 

After starring on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Vanderpump launched Bravo’s first-ever “RHOBH” spinoff following the staff of her restaurants. “Vanderpump Rules” became a juggernaut of its own, recently rollicked by a little something called #Scandoval, a cheating scandal that had pop culture transfixed for a solid year.

“Vanderpump Villa,” out April 1 on Hulu, repeats the “Vanderpump” format, in that it’s about Vanderpump and her staff. This time, the action unfolds at a chateau in a France, not a restaurant in L.A.

“‘Vanderpump Rules’ ostensibly was about a group of friends that have been friends for years. That’s why I cast it that way,” Vanderpump says. “But this is about people all coming together from all walks of life, but authentically doing their job.”

Vanderpump says she heard from thousands of people “wanting to go to the south of France,” so she had to be selective.

“They had to know what they’re going to do because we hit the ground running,” she says.

Lisa Vanderpump and Harlan Doolittle on "Vanderpump Villa."
Lisa Vanderpump and Harlan Doolittle on “Vanderpump Villa.” Gilles Mingasson / Hulu

The new 12-person staff (and cast) features housekeepers, managers, event planners, mixologists, servers and chefs from around the world, all newcomers to the “Vanderpump” universe.

The Chateau is also a newcomer. Part of the plot entails whether Vanderpump will add this to her list of ventures. Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd have owned multiple bars and restaurants, some of which have been featured on Bravo. Next to open are Wolf by Vanderpump in Lake Tahoe and Pinky’s by Vanderpump in Las Vegas.

Drama on “The Villa” is heightened, Vanderpump says, because the cast not only works together — they also live together.

“It’s much more immersive,” say says. “I mean, it’s me living with these people, it’s them living together. So it never switches off. And it becomes much more intense, much quicker.”

Housekeeper and cast member Emily Kovacs tells TODAY.com that having Vanderpump on set was daunting.

“You know, you hear the name, Lisa Vanderpump. And she has such notoriety behind it. It just adds a whole other layer of pressure,” she says. “This woman is so successful in this career and I want to try so hard to impress her. Before you even walk in on your first day of the job you already know so much about your boss.”

Despite the initial anxiety she had, working with one of TV’s most famous bosses was a positive experience, she says.

“You talk to her and she eases all your nerves, just with her mothering nature. It was such an experience to learn from her and to work for her. You can truly tell she cares the way she treats us even when no one’s around, or no one’s looking,” Kovacs says.

Lisa Vanderpump on "Vanderpump Rules."
Lisa Vanderpump on “Vanderpump Rules.”Nicole Weingart / Bravo

Mixologist and cast member Andre Mitchell agrees Lisa’s interest in her staff.

“She was really invested in our day to day — what did we like, how do we respond to things. She was invested. She didn’t approach all of us the same,” Mitchell says.

In all her televised business ventures, from “Vanderpump” to “Villa,” Lisa Vanderpump is always looking for someone as capable as … well, herself.

“I would love to work for Lisa Vanderpump,” Vanderpump says. “Because I’m such an aesthete, if I met somebody that had the same vision as me … for me, that’s one of the most frustrating things. To have this vision, and to find people that can understand it that can take the pressure off me.”

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