GaydarGirls chats to Lauren Bedford Russell Part 1

When you mention ‘reality TV’ to most people, you see the subtle cringe from the mention.
Admittedly, I understand that feeling, having mocked more than one reality TV star in my time… mostly those staged reality TV shows that start with “Made in…”

Not all reality TV stars are like that, however.
Well not, Lauren Bedford Russell one of the stars on the The Real L Word.

What we saw on TV is only a minuscule of the person that she actually is and I had the great pleasure of chatting to her while she was in Melbourne (my home town) about the show, her business that is tackling equality and raising funds for Multiple Sclerosis  and her recent diagnosis with the disease.

Listen to Part 1 below and the transcript follows.

Mariella:So excited today, because I actually get to speak to Lauren Bedford Russell.

Now is there a hyphen in your name Lauren or is it just three different names?

Lauren: No, it’s my first name, middle name, last name.

Mariella: Oh cool, so Bedford is your middle name?

Lauren: Yes.

Mariella: Oh, that’s really cool.

Lauren: Yeah.

Mariella: I might throw an extra name into mine, because you know, it’s not long enough…

Now Lauren, you shot to fame after becoming a cast member of reality TV show ‘The Real L Word’, most notably there was a grassy romp. Now I think that’s a very Australian thing to say, but there was a grassy romp with fellow co-star Kiyomi.

Lauren: Mmm.

Mariella: But reality TV can only capture so much and it never really quite delved into your business, which is Lyon Fine Jewellery, is that right?

Lauren: Correct, yeah. They just had shown it in the beginning, but not too much throughout.

Mariella: Yeah, because I was really surprised, I wasn’t quite sure you had one.
But off camera you’re an accomplished and savvy business woman and you’re also an activist devoted to inspiring others, which is amazing, so you’re certainly one busy girl.

Lauren: I am, I am really busy right now.

Mariella: And on top of your business, because that’s not big enough as it is, you were followed around by cameras in the Real L Word, how did you decide to go on the show and why?

Lauren: Actually, I was friends with, a friend of mine named Amber she’s a musician, she and I were having dinner one night and she told me she was gonna go up for the show and I kind of went ‘ok, well good for you!’ and she was like ‘no, you should do it with me’. She’s a really, really cool girl, so I took it a little bit, it took me a second, but once she started asking me, it was like ‘Ok, why notWhy not just go for it, it could be good for my jewellery line. I don’t have to make a decision now, I can apply and then decide later‘ sort of thing and so I started with the application just over email and a few months later, I still hadn’t really made up my mind, who knew, if I’d gone this far, what would happen, you know?
I didn’t really make a decision until the last second and it had already been a few months and by that time I was already pretty invested in the process. So I decided to go for it.

Mariella: It must be quite hard; they follow you around everywhere, don’t they?

Lauren: Well yeah, they really do. Not every day, but they do. They’re sure to catch important days. If you’re sitting around watching TV on a Sunday, they’re not there.

Mariella: Thank god for that.

Lauren: They’re there for the important parts.

Mariella: Oh good, because you know, I’ve always thought I would make terrible TV, like absolutely terrible. It would just be me all the time, you know, eating peanut M&M’s somewhere. It’s just, who wants to see that.

Lauren: No, everyone has some interesting parts, it’s kind of a, I think everyone feels like that, but when it comes down to it you somehow, in the Lesbian world we have drama.

Mariella: You said it, not me. I am not getting involved in that!

Now it’s been a little been while since the show finished, is it about a year since it’s completed?

Lauren: Yeah, we actually started filming in February, end of February.
So it’s been about a year, so it’s a year since we started filming. We finished filming, there was a break and we had Whitney and Sara’s wedding a little bit after we finished filming, I think it was May, May or June that we really finished, so yeah. Kiyomi and I, we’re almost celebrating our year anniversary which is crazy.

Mariella: Isn’t that amazing, congratulations.

Lauren: Thank you.

Mariella: Are you gonna do another grassy romp somewhere, are we gonna get to see it on TV?

Lauren: Well the show is actually like taking another direction, so they’re doing some kind of documentary now, with really hard hit areas of the states. They’re not bringing anyone back that’s ever been previously on.

Mariella: Oh, that’s a shame.

Lauren: Yeah

Mariella: But it’s great that it does actually make it on TV though, cos I do think that gay women are very under-represented in the media nowadays. But that’s a whole different other topic isn’t it?

Lauren: Yeah definitely, there is place for a lot of different types of stories.

Mariella: Exactly

Lauren: So I think any kind of coverage is pretty good, almost any.

Mariella: Almost any, that’s it, as it’s somewhat positive.

What’s it been like since it’s finished, has it just been crazy manic since the recording ended in 2012?

Lauren: It’s been amazing, I had no idea how, kind of amazing, the track it would set my life on. I think, just because of my experience and I don’t think it’s like this for everyone, I think everyone has a different experience.

But for me, it really just opened up this whole world of helping other girls all over the world that were having problems, or need some sort of inspiration you know?
I’m on Twitter constantly, talking to people and, you know, trying to contribute I guess.
Lots of people really saw me as an inspiration and a help to them in some capacity.

<Mariella:That’s brilliant.

Lauren: Yeah.

Mariella: That’s really nice, that’s a really selfless thing to do, you’re quite active on Twitter, we were yakking away just before. That is really inspirational.

Lauren: Yeah, I try to really answer every single tweet and I don’t get them all but I try to answer everything and happily, you know, I love talking to people from around the world, it’s amazing.

You can reach Lauren on Twitter, Tumblr and find out more about Lyon Fine Jewelry.

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Mariella Mejia; works at GaydarGirls and is always on the lookout for great content, inspiring stories and restaurant recommendations – she can’t help herself.



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