Stephanie Hollman, 39, thinks fans will love the new season of The Real Housewives of Dallas. Especially because the show will feel much “lighter” without OG star LeeAnne Locken, 53, who announced her departure from the series after Season 4 wrapped. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any heavy moments either. In this EXCLUSIVE new interview with HollywoodLife, during an Instagram Live on Jan. 4, Stephanie revealed all — from the return of familiar faces to drama that will transpire during “the best season yet”.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Let’s start out with a fun one since you have such great style — What was your favorite confessional look this season?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: My first one. It’s a silver, one shouldered dress. It’s my favorite, probably out of every season, my favorite look.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Talk to me about filming during quarantine and what was that like?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: We took a lot of tests and it was different because you are literally just with your small group of friends so pretty much the people who are on the show and husbands which is very different but also kind of nice because you don’t have a lot of the outside stuff when you’re filming. You’re wearing a mask or a shield on all of the time which is also very different. Then you forget that you have a mask or a shield on your face, so you take a shot and you hit your shield instead of your mouth. It was different. Something I will never forget, but it was a fun time. It was a fun ride.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: How’s D’Andra [Simmons]? How scary was that after she ended up in the hospital due to COVID? Not that you guys are filming right now, but still!
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: It was absolutely crazy. She was really, really sick. I just messaged her about 30 minutes ago. She says she’s feeling better. Still weak, but I’m so glad that she’s out of the hospital and feeling better because she was really, really sick.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: How is it looking back because there was still a lot of unknown? Some of the OC ladies too said, “Oh, I wish I didn’t say that” or “I didn’t take that too seriously,” so how do you guys feel?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: You definitely didn’t know what you were getting into and there wasn’t a lot of knowledge on the virus, so now I’m starting to know a lot more people that have gotten the virus and it can be really, really scary. I know some people who had it that were asymptomatic and I had some friends who were very, very sick. I actually had a family member who passed during the end of filming from COVID. All of the girls were very careful because we also had a crew that we had to be responsible for, so I appreciate all of the crew, everybody, the crew, the cast, for everybody to get serious. I feel like we did our best to just hangout with each other and try to stay in our little bubble.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Our girl LeeAnne Locken was not on this season so what was it like not having her around?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: This year, it was a lot lighter, so I will say it was a lighter season. I think the two new girls are really great. They’re fantastic additions and I honestly really think that everyone is going to love this season. I know people were a little nervous, us going in with out her, but I think it’s going to be a really fantastic year.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Do you still hear from her or talk to her or know anyone else who does?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I have not heard from her in awhile. I think Kameron maybe talks to her, but I have not really seen her but I don’t know if anyone’s really seeing much of anybody really, but I hope she’s doing well. I don’t wish her any ill will.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Brandi said her piece and Tiffany was like, ‘No, that’s not enough for me girl.’ She brought up the comment [the racist video] we hit it head on from the beginning, but that didn’t seem to be enough for Tiffany who took her out back to have a more private conversation, so what were your thoughts when that was happening and did you feel that was necessary?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I do think it was a good thing for Brandi to address the group because she hadn’t talked to Tiffany or Jennifer or people that she hadn’t really talked to, I think that was a good thing. I 100% think that they needed to talk, so I don’t think them having a conversation was a bad thing. I think if they didn’t talk, it would’ve been really awkward for all of us because it’s like a big elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: I was really taken aback when Brandi admitted that she was suicidal which you would have no idea because I just know her from social media which is not a real place to get to know somebody. When she did admit that to you, and you guys have been really, really good friends for years. What did you think and did you have any idea at all?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I knew she was suicidal because she would call me and tell me that she was feeling like she needed to end her life. It was very scary, a very emotional time. Sorry — it’s still [*begins crying*] very hard to talk about. So her husband and I were very happy that she decided to go into a place where she could work on her mental health. She went somewhere where she was doing therapy all day every day and I think at the time, she needed to wrap her mind around everything going on and I think that she would tell you that it was probably a good thing for her because obviously she was able to look back on what she did and realize that it hurt people and she had a lot of remorse for that and I think she was also able to work on herself and she got a lot out of it and people will see that this season. I think it’s going to be a lot — She has a lot of strength for doing that but I think it was an important conversation that she should’ve had.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: How have you been supporting her and how proud of her are you as her friend?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I am so proud of her for putting herself out there and for facing something that is really, really hard to share. I’m actually really proud of her. She hasn’t really been on social media that much. She’s about to have a baby soon, she is really taking care of her mental health and her baby right now which I fully support and that’s kind of what I tell her, you do what you need to do for the health of yourself and your baby and if it’s not really looking at social media or getting on, then take your time and do it when it feels right to you.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: But she is in a better place it sounds like?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: She’s in a much better place. I think sometimes when it shows, when you watch a show and you lived it, it can really bring up some tough times and then whenever you have people that tell you everything that they feel about you, it’s hard. No matter what way you look at it, it’s just hard.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Can you talk about that moment when she did come to you because I assume it happened before the cameras did start rolling? What was that conversation like? Where was it? How did you react?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: Most of it was over the phone, but she would call me and just tell me that she just felt like she shouldn’t be here. It was just so sad, so hard and like I said, pretty much, that week or the following week she took care of herself and sought some help.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Apparently, we’re going to be hearing about your marriage this season! I’m sure it took a little bit of a toll being at home so much, so would you attribute a lot of the issues that you and Travis had to that? Was it your normal quarantine quarrelling?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: We are definitely like that. We definitely bicker back and forth in real life. He will say something, I will snap back. Bickering is probably part of our love language which isn’t maybe the most amazing thing, but this year, I really wanted to go back to my roots on something I love, which is social work and social service, so I wanted to start my own foundation and I kind of did that through the use of our company and things that we had which went into Travis’ territory which he was not always supportive of because it would put a lot of work on his shoulders so there was definitely some tension.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Was it hard to show that side of your life because I feel like you and Travis are so solid on camera and he seems to enjoy doing the show. There’s very few house husbands who really love it!
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: The thing I love the most about doing this with Travis and the thing I hate the most about doing this with Travis is he does not care what people think of him which is a great thing on a reality show! You either love him or hate him, he is who he is. I don’t know. If he made me made or made me feel a certain way, I tried to be honest about how I was feeling and we were together a lot during quarantine and he annoyed me sometimes. I’m sure I did the same thing to him. I don’t know. I’m on a reality show so I feel you have to show that part or it would be weird if he was rude and I would sit there and be like, ‘OK!’
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Can you believe that you’ve been doing this now 5 seasons? You can officially say you’re an OG!
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I cannot believe it. Season 1, I thought maybe I would be lucky if I got a second season. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here for 4 or 5 seasons, no way.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Why is that?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I’m not one of those people that throws glasses. I always just felt like you had to be very forceful and I’ve never been that person, so I ‘m shocked that I’m still here but I’m grateful. I’m grateful that people accept me for who I am.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: I know the premiere is tomorrow night, but are you already looking forward to the reunion and who are you excited to face?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I hate the reunion so I’m never excited for the reunion. It’s a hard day! It’s never fun. You just sit in the make-up chair and know it’s going to be the hardest day of your life. It’s 12 hours of torture. I’m not really excited to fight with somebody at the reunion, but sometimes as you watch the episode, you do get excited because you’re like, ‘I can’t believe you said that in your interview!’ Ask me again in a few months and I will tell you who I am excited to see. If I need to apologize, I’ll apologize, and if I don’t need to apologize, I’ll just be really stubborn!
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Obviously there’s always drama and there’s always fighting, so are there cast members that you currently are not speaking to and what can you tease?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: I’m speaking to pretty much everybody. We all get on each other’s nerves throughout the season. There are moments when probably everybody gets on everyone’s nerves, but there’s a lot of drama. There are some really, really funny moments which I always love, but one thing I love about this year is I think that every single person, they really brought it with their personal stories which I think is important and I really think you’re going to get to know the heart of people which I love.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Is there one person you’re not talking to though?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: Honestly, no! Maybe there are certain people I talk to all the time and certain people I message occasionally, like, ‘How are you doing?’ I’ve had some seasons where you can’t even look at the person’s social media without getting a feeling. I don’t have that this year, so it’s kind of nice.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: But we can still expect a lot of drama even though LeeAnne Locken is not present?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: There’s a ton of drama! It goes from one drama — If you love drama, you’re going to be super happy because there’s a lot, yes.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: If you can sum up the season for the fans really quickly, how would you sum it up? Also, do we see Cary Deuber this season?
STEPHANIE HOLLMAN: You know what, not in a group scene. I don’t know if she shows up in somebody else’s one on one scene, but, not in any group scene, no, you do not see her. And to sum up the season, it is fun, it is heavy, it is a lot of heavy conversations, a ton of drama. I honestly think it’s our best season yet. I’m going to put it out there — It’s our best season.
Want more? The Real Housewives of Dallas premieres on Tues. Jan. 5 at 9pm EST on Bravo.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.