Bravotv.com: Do you agree with Juliet that there's a lot of talking behind people's backs in London?
Marissa Hermer: I am often surprised how often I hear friends gossiping about their friends -- especially when they are talking about people who, in my mind, are closer to them and more in their inner circle than I am -- and yet they feel like they can trust me with information. That said, I don’t feel people chat about others any more than they do in the states -- this happens around the world and not just in London. In my professional life I don’t share gossip (if I began to tell the stories of things I see at the Boujis nightclub dance floor, I could write a book!) and as a company we are all bound by a strict code not to talk to the press or share stories about our celebrity, royal, and VIP guests -- and I hold myself to this same code in my personal life as well. My parents always told me "Loose Lips Sink Ships," and I personally try to only say things that I would say directly to the person I’m referring to -- of course, this doesn’t always happen, but it is something that I try to do -- otherwise we will be sinking ships all over the place!
Bravotv.com: Why do you think Juliet had such a problem with you defending Caprice?
Marissa: When I’m upset over something or someone, I usually want my friends to agree with me and join me in my ranting about them -- you want your friends to be supporting you. I think this is why Juliet had a problem with me defending Caprice -- Juliet wanted me to agree with her when she said Caprice was being rude in leaving Mapperton early to go back to London. Clearly, Juliet was still upset that Caprice took Annabelle’s side in the Bumpkin Fourth of July Knickergate drama of Juliet vs. Annabelle, and so EVEN though it was weeks later when I was defending Caprice for leaving early, Juliet felt like I wasn’t personally siding with her. I had no idea that Juliet was still upset about this limo ride conversation, since I thought everyone had moved on. But I still defend Caprice for leaving Mapperton early -- it was an extremely hot weekend with temperatures above 90F degrees (hot for England), we were up at 6AM from London to travel 3 hours to Mapperton, and then had a long day of shooting and croquet and then a formal dinner. I was tired and I wasn’t 7 months pregnant, so I can only imagine that had I been 7 months pregnant, I would want to get back to air-conditioning and my bed! Maybe I’m being too empathetic here, and maybe it is because I am the one who has the youngest children and so can remember what if feels like to be 7 months pregnant -- it isn’t always easy -- especially being pregnant on a long, hot day. What Juliet didn’t see is that I wasn’t taking Caprice’s side in this situation, but rather I was understanding why anyone in Caprice’s situation would be tired and want to get back to an air-conditioned room!
Bravotv.com: Why did you break down and leave during brunch?
Marissa: As I said to Noelle when I walked out of the brunch room, I had had enough of Juliet. As Caroline said in the episode, Juliet creates a scene wherever she goes. I have seen this scene and this drama unfold for years -- it gets exhausting and is exasperating -- but I am always the one to defend her to our friends and to the people whom she offends. Because I do like Juliet -- she has so many wonderful character traits and is a ball of energy and fun -- and I love these sides to her and want my other friends to see these sides to her. But when Juliet then turned the drama on me in Noelle’s bedroom, especially after the years of defending her and actually being a real friend to her, I had enough. When Juliet first arrived in London, I took her under my wing in every sense of the word -- I introduced her to many of my friends, hosting dinners so she could meet people, took her to many of the social parties I went to and I introduced her to my fashion contacts so she could find a job when she wanted to work. I’ve never asked for a thank you, nor should I -- this is just what people do, or what I do when fellow Americans move to London or friends in general reach out to me. I know it can be hard to move to a new country -- I was in that same position years ago, and so if I’m able to help someone make her own transition a little easier, I always do everything I can do help. This is just part of who I am. That same innate empathetic character trait I have that Juliet loved when it was useful to her when she didn’t know anyone in London is now the character trait she criticizes in me, because it also means that I don’t always agree with her -- that I will continue to empathize with people and it might not always be her. When she mocked me in Noelle’s bedroom, saying about Caprice: "She’s perfect. She’s lovely. She’s wonderful and can do no wrong," I felt that Juliet wasn’t listening to me, because had she been listening, clearly she would have seen that wasn’t what I was saying. I think Caprice should have left us all a note saying she was leaving early to go back to London or called us to say she was exhausted and wanted to go back to see her partner and get a foot rub. It wasn’t THAT POLITE of her to take off without saying anything (especially as we were waiting for her in the morning), but I can understand why she wanted to get home. So at brunch I had a breakdown because between Juliet attacking me in Noelle’s bedroom and then minutes later at brunch wanting to toast and pretend like nothing had happened, it was all a bit too much. I can’t just brush it under the table, that isn’t how I roll. I am honest, but when I’m pushed, then I retaliate accordingly. I’m hardly perfect (just ask my husband!) and though Juliet calls me a people pleaser, clearly that's not the case, since when I don’t agree with her or join in on all her bar fights, I don’t please her. There are consequences to actions and accusations, and I can’t just make up and toast and pretend to be fine when I’m not. I never sugar coat my feelings, and if I had been able to, I would have in this situation, because unlike Juliet, I hate making a scene. Although I tried to hold it together, I couldn’t, so I left the room to break down rather than do it at the brunch table.