« My way of living in Charleston is really different from that of my white friends or my black friends, » she said.
Ahead of the Southern Charm Season 7 premiere, Bonaparte talks to PEOPLE about being the first actor in the color series, saying, « It will be good for viewers to see my version of Charleston »
« I’m no newbie to being the different person in the room on every level So that’s nothing new to me, » she said « That’s how I navigate my life no matter what «
Bonaparte is of Iranian descent but spent most of her childhood in Canada and South America On a work trip to Charleston almost two decades ago, she met her husband and the couple decided to go into the hospitality business together, opening various clubs and restaurants in the city
« In my experience Charleston has changed a lot over the past 20 years but my way of living in Charleston is really different from that of my white friends or my black friends, » she says « I think it will be good for viewers to see that there is a diverse group of people who are having uncomfortable conversations, and this is where all the good things and the healing begin »
In the Season 7 trailer, Bonaparte is seen confronting Kathryn Dennis after being accused of racism for using a monkey emoji during an exchange with Black radio host Tamika Gadsden (Dennis, 29, apologized for the racially insensitive incident, acknowledging that « using a monkey emoji in my text was offensive »)
“It just had to be fixed,” Bonaparte says of the conversation with Dennis “It was important because we were building a friendship, and I felt like I was very gracious during the year there were some kinds of grievances from me against her, and I kept giving her thanks.And at this point I was like, ‘Enough is enough, and I have to tell you what I feel about what you decided to write, say, do ‘ »
Although Bonaparte says the conversation was difficult at times, she doesn’t think Dennis came from a bad place
« I had never seen anything like it from her, » she said « So it was the decent thing to do, listen to her and guide her through it »
But hard conversations aside, Bonaparte says she was excited to officially join the cast after making small appearances on the show over the years.
« I have known everyone The people who are on the show are my real friends in real life, » she said « I was pleasantly surprised and had a great time So I am glad I did «
Southern Charm, Shep Rose, Craig Conover, Bravo, Cameran Eubanks, Kathryn Dennis
News from around the world – United States – Leva Bonaparte on Being the first member of the Southern cast Charm à Color: ‘I’m No Rookie’
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