Craig Conover on the worlds of ‘Southern Charm’ and ‘Summer House’ converging

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Craig Conover is nearly a decade into his tenure on Bravo, but the Southern Charm star has never been more engrained in the network’s reality TV landscape.

Conover, who has been on the Charleston-set show since its first season aired in 2014, also now appears on Winter House and as a recurring guest on Summer House. Bravo’s increasing efforts to cross over their shows and Conover’s romance with fellow “Bravolebrity” Paige DeSorbo have both contributed to his increased screen time. This new phase of reality TV stardom and the process of writing his upcoming book, Pillow Talk: What’s Wrong With My Sewing, out March 29, have had him in a reflective mood.

“I just think that there’s been so much growth. It’s come slowly, but I think a majority of it has come in the last few years. It’s funny, because [being on reality TV] a wild process. A lot of times it sucks or you have to leave the country when your show’s on at times, but then other times it’s really fun. It was a remarkable experience to be a part of. It was something that I was never going to pursue, especially living in Charleston,” Conover reflected on the most recent episode of In The Know’s pop culture interview series, We Should Talk. “Deep down, I always wondered what this life would feel like, so I was really excited to get the chance. … Seeing how far it’s come now, I just never imagined it. But I think I was a good fit for it.”

Pillow Talk: What’s Wrong With My Sewing?, by Craig Conover, $26.09

Credit: Amazon

Listen to Southern Charm star Craig Conover’s full episode of We Should Talk here, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:

On not speaking with Austen Kroll for three months after filming Summer House Season 6: I don’t know the answer for him, but then he goes and does dumb stuff on Summer House and I find out about that. We actually didn’t talk for, like, three months after he went on Summer House, because he was working through some stuff. We make up in the beginning of Southern Charm, but everyone goes through their own stuff and that stuff affects you. Fortunately, he’s pulled out, so he doesn’t watch or read [anything] anymore either, but there’s a reason him and I are best friends. It doesn’t always translate [on TV], because it’s not a great look to come out and be like, “Well, this is what really happened.” But he’s fallen victim to some girls that are great at this but then, unfortunately, you have Ciara [Miller,] who’s the sweetest person ever and like a little sister to me, and that’s the reason [Austen and I] didn’t talk. When I found out what he did to her on Summer House, that wasn’t the person I was friends with.

On clearing certain stories with loved ones before publishing his book: That was very important to me, to run it by people. It would take me being 65 or 70 to do the tell-all but, especially the chapters with my ex-girlfriend, Naomie [Olindo] — she was actually interviewed for it, because I was like, “I just don’t feel comfortable telling our story without your input.” So, she spoke with my writer and myself for a couple hours. That made me a lot more comfortable when reading our first edits. Then my buddy, Cory, who’s in the book a lot, was interviewed. My parents were, too. Those are the only [four] because the stories were more personal. Shep [Rose] might not be happy about a little bit, but we’ll deal with it!

On Summer House focusing on the dramatic parts of his relationship with Paige DeSorbo: When I’m in a relationship on shows is when I find myself not watching anymore or not reading anymore. When it’s just me, you can take the edit from the chin and say, “Whatever,” [because] you don’t have anyone else to look out for. … Paige and I had an incredible summer and, when I visited, it was really like, “Let’s have some of our Winter House friends come!” We had a fun of fun and stuff, and I understand that there has to be a rollercoaster and a swing, and I’m really happy to be on that upswing now, but the beginning was a little tough because it doesn’t do much to show us laughing and having fun all the time. You only have a certain amount of time to put into the episode, so some viewers [have a negative view of our relationship] — and I don’t fault them, because if I watched what they were being shown I would have the same opinion. It’s amazing, the swing. You can go from up here to down here to up here to down here and, instead of putting myself through that, a lot of times, for my psyche, it’s just easier to stay out of it until it’s on a good upswing again.

On ex-girlfriend Naomie Olindo rejoining Southern Charm: She kind of scorched earth when she left and burned bridges, and she apologized to everyone before filming started. She basically apologized and said everything that viewers would’ve wanted to say to me, and I thought it would be a good addition to our show, adding to this season. It was just handled appropriately, so we’ll see what happens this season. There was some crow eaten, and she admitted a lot of stuff that we all knew was true, which [was that] she didn’t not want to do the show anymore, she just wasn’t allowed to by her boyfriend. It was all a bunch of bullcrap, what she was saying. No one ever walks away from TV — there’s always a reason. I was happy to hear the honesty, and as long as you’re honest about it, it’s like, “All right, come on back!”

Watch In The Know’s full interview with Craig Conover below, and pre-order his book Pillow Talk: What’s Wrong with My Sewing?here:

If you enjoyed this interview, check out In The Know’s recent chat about “Summer House” with Lindsay Hubbard here!

More from In The Know:

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Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: