So Relatable

Which Celebs Actually Watch Bravo?

An extremely unscientific investigation.

by Kelly Conaboy
Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle; Getty; Bravo

It can be hard to discern fact from fiction in today’s media landscape. People spread conspiracy theories on TikTok, AI can generate images of events that never occurred, and some celebrities claim to be “obsessed” with Bravo, when they’ve probably only watched a handful of Housewives episodes, or perhaps haven’t even watched the network… at all.

Yes, there are some stars whose Bravo fandom is both real and well-documented: Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, Chrissy Teigen. But what about the rest of them — the supposedly Potomac-loving Michelle Obamas, or the “I watch it with my wife” Jon Hamms? Are they merely claiming “Bravo viewer” status to seem likable and relatable to the masses?

Until Andy Cohen installs a lie detector in the Watch What Happens Live clubhouse, we may never know for sure. But we can speculate wildly, based on nothing but hunches and vibes.

Jon Hamm

Let’s begin with Jon Hamm. During the 2023 press tour for his movie Maggie Moore(s), Hamm spoke about his supposed Bravo fandom several times — notably on Today, the Howard Stern Show, and of course Watch What Happens Live. In each interview, he stuck to the same story: While cooking and eating dinner, he and his wife, Anna Osceola, sometimes watch either a Housewives franchise (New Jersey, Beverly Hills, or New York) or Vanderpump Rules.

The fact that the soundbite remains remarkably similar in each retelling would typically lead me to believe the story is at least partially false. However, Hamm’s claims aren’t too hard to believe, and he backs them up with specific opinions, one of which landed him in a fight with Beverly Hills housewife Erika Jayne. Plus, his James Kennedy impression was impeccable. So.

Ruling: Jon Hamm is telling the truth: He sometimes watches Bravo with his wife.

Jon Hamm on Watch What Happens Live.Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images

Zooey Deschanel

From what I can tell, New Girl’s eponymous new girl first mentioned her supposed Bravo fandom in a 2011 interview, responding to a question about what TV she watched. “I'm into a lot of reality shows,” she said. “I love the Real Housewives — especially the Beverly Hills one — and I love Top Chef and Intervention.”

I already know what you’re thinking — “the Beverly Hills one” is not how a true Housewives viewer would refer to their favorite franchise. (The preferred nomenclature is merely “Beverly Hills.”) But this was only a year into that franchise’s life, so it’s possible its status hadn’t been cemented yet. We’ll need more information to decide whether Deschanel was being dishonest.

Luckily, she brought up Bravo again on the podcast Bitch Sesh in March 2023. “I recently got into Vanderpump Rules because of Scandoval; it is quickly becoming my life,” she reportedly said. “It's all I care about. If there’s, like, a new meme, I'm like, ‘I can't wait to see it.’” Unfortunately, the full Bitch Sesh episode is not available to listen to online. But I will note that Deschanel seems to have a space alien’s idea of how a human might talk about and encounter memes, which is interesting.

More interesting still is that she’s produced at least two Bravo-related TikToks of her own: this one, in which she mentions the idea of watching Bravo when you are bored; and this one, in which she comes out as #teamAriana. Neither is particularly specific. And in a People interview in August 2023, she brought up Vanderpump yet again: "I wasn’t even a Vanderpump person, but this season was so great that I became one."

The season she’s referring to is Season 10. Aside from the hastily filmed final episode, was that season “great”? In my opinion, it was not. And I don’t think a true Bravo viewer would say otherwise.

Ruling: Zooey Deschanel has definitely seen some Bravo, and has hired a social media manager who’s aware of how powerful that can be. But she's not the major Bravo fan she’d like us to believe, possibly because all of the televisions in her home are permanently tuned to Property Brothers and she doesn’t know how to adjust them. If it’s any consolation, though, she will nod along enthusiastically whenever Bravo is being discussed.

Meryl Streep

While promoting the climate apocalypse movie Don’t Look Up, Meryl Streep told People that she escapes the crushing horror of climate-related news by watching Bravo. "It's life. It's right now. It's happening right now,” she said. “And what do I do? I go in and watch [Real] Housewives of Beverly Hills. I do that.” The confession spawned countless breathless headlines — it seemed Meryl Streep was truly just like us.

Jennifer Lawrence, her Don’t Look Up co-star and a very vocal Housewives fan, was also a part of that Zoom interview. In response to Streep’s admission, Lawrence gasped and clutched her chest. Interesting. If you ask me, if Streep actually watched Housewives, Lawrence would have already known. They would have spoken about it at length. Plus, like… it’s Meryl Streep. Come on.

Ruling: Meryl Streep does not watch Bravo.

Meryl Streep, conspicuously not watching Bravo.Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

Florence Pugh

Here’s an odd one. Florence Pugh and Lisa Rinna met at a fashion show in 2023. There, they told an interviewer that although this was their first IRL meeting, they’d actually had a DM friendship on Instagram for the previous three years, spurred by Pugh’s Housewives fandom.

Ruling: I guess Florence Pugh must watch Beverly Hills, because why else would she respond to a DM from Lisa Rinna?

Harry Styles

Speaking of Lisa Rinna, during a Beverly Hills reunion in 2021, the castmember told Andy Cohen that Harry Styles “loves this show." He loves it so much, in fact, that co-star Dorit Kemsley said he asked some of the cast to film a birthday video for him. They aired a bit of the video, in which Kemsley said: "Hearing that you have been self-quarantined and binge-watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is just about the best news I've gotten all month.”

Returning the favor, Harry Styles sent Lisa Rinna a birthday message on Instagram.

Ruling: I mean, I guess he must watch? Again, why would he DM Rinna? What hold does Rinna have over celebrities, particularly those who starred in Don’t Worry Darling?

Harry Styles’ flower is so big because it’s full of Lisa Rinna’s secrets.Karwai Tang/WireImage

Michelle Obama

On stage with Gayle King at an event promoting her 2022 book, The Light We Carry, Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the United States, made American history when she confessed to watching Real Housewives — both the Atlanta and Potomac franchises. “Oh man, you know, I wanna say Potomac,” she said, about which she preferred. “I just don’t like it when sisters are arguing with each other, I just don’t like to see that on TV.” (She added that it’s OK if white women fight.)

This one is difficult, because I can imagine both universes: one in which Michelle Obama has enjoyed both Potomac and Atlanta, and one in which she merely employs a savvy PR person who knew a confession like this would generate headlines during a crucial book sales period. I also believe that she would have an adverse reaction to the fighting — and Potomac, her chosen franchise, tends to feature less fighting than other cities, so that part checks out. A ruling here is difficult, but not impossible.

Ruling: Michelle Obama does not actively keep up with any Housewives franchises. If Housewives were brought up in conversation, she would say she is “not up to date” to avoid having to mention anything specific. However, she has watched the franchises she cited — possibly even full seasons of them — and liked to discuss her opinions with friends.

The Obamas watching the US Open (not Bravo).COREY SIPKIN/AFP via Getty Images

Taylor Swift

From what I can tell, Taylor Swift has never mentioned anything publicly about watching Bravo. But we’ve all seen the recent Coachella photo featuring Swift and New Jersey housewife Teresa Giudice. And according to gossip outlet Deux Moi, Swift allegedly did not allow any Housewives onto the list for the VIP tent during her Eras Tour. If true, this would prove that she at least knows what Real Housewives is — and that’s not nothing.

Ruling: I believe that in her youth Taylor Swift regarded Bravo reality TV as something she “did not like or understand.” As she’s matured, I believe she’s come around to watching some of it, if only to converse more easily with her friend Selena Gomez, who apparently watches Vanderpump Rules. If Taylor Swift hasn’t watched a Real Housewives franchise, she should; she would like all the subterfuge. I recommend Orange County.