When it comes to Southern Charm squad members, even five seasons in, Whitney Sudler-Smith remains a bit of a mystery. And Patricia Altschul's little boy, who dreamed up the concept for Southern Charm, admits that even he can't believe how popular the series about his tight-knit group of pals in Charleston has become. "It was kind of a weird pipe dream and it's kind of ballooned into this monster," he recently told The Daily Dish. "But I think we're all pleased. It's really a great show."
And that success has ballooned into the addition of Southern Charm New Orleans, which airs its season finale on Sunday. "I had been going down there a lot, and I knew there was a show there. ... I met tons of people there, and then slowly developed it. There was Tamica Lee, we decided it would be a great show to focus in and around her family, group of friends, and the show just kind of took off from there," he recalled. "And then the more we developed it, the more it kind of became a Southern Charm and that brand — but it all kind of fit together organically." He also noted this about the NOLA crew: "I love this cast. I think they're the best-looking cast on TV, hands down."
When Whitney isn't mixing it up down in Charleston, he shared with The Daily Dish how he passes his time with many creative endeavors. "I am hardworking, No. 1. I have a production company [with] various shows in development or producing," he said. "I've been playing in rock bands throughout my whole life, and I can shred heavy metal guitar, and I used to be in bands. And I had long hair and played in a lot of heavy metal bands. I play guitar every day. I'll say it's my hobby now, but I'm addicted to guitar, and I play at least an hour a day. And I'm classically trained."
Whitney has been living on the West Coast for quite some time now, always with the intent to break into show business. "I moved here in the '90s to pursue music and screenwriting — two ridiculous careers," he said, recalling a piece of wisdom Paul Newman once shared with him during an encounter at a racetrack years ago when he revealed his Hollywood dreams to the screen legend. "He looked at me and said 'tough racket, kid' and turned away and didn't look at me the rest of the time. That kind of sums up my film and music career."
Still, that didn't stop Whitney. "Since then, I pursued screenwriting in the '90s to various degrees of success and then got into directing. Once I kind of laid roots here, I kind of never left. You have your ups and downs in any kind of career but especially in a film career. In the past 10, 12 years, it kind of picked back up — getting a production company together. We're doing a lot of other stuff. I have an office I got to from time-to-time. It's busy here, for sure."
Still, Whitney admits he can't stay in one place for too long. "I'm there about a third of the time in Charleston. Back-and-forth a lot. I have a hate-like relationship with L.A. So I need to move around a lot. ... So I love going back to Charleston. I'll always be bicoastal. You stay in one place too long, you go crazy."
Check out throwback pics of Whitney, below.