What started as a Real Housewives spin-off has emerged into an eight-season sensation. We (and apparently, the rest of the world) can't look away from Vanderpump Rules. While the drama-filled lives of Lisa Vanderpump's employees may seem like a lawless, anything-goes mess, there are some rules the cast has to adhere to. From filming schedules to glam guidelines, we're breaking down all of the rules the Vanderpump Rules cast has to follow, ahead.
They have to film for months at a time.
The cast typically films for six months, which includes all of the summer months. Over the years, the cast has planned some of their major life events to fit into this schedule, including Brittany Cartwright and Jax Taylor's June 29 wedding in season eight.
They agree to work long hours.
According to Jax Taylor on a Reddit AMA thread, they film for up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week during the six months that the show is filmed.
They have to work at SUR...
It's true: The cast starts out as servers, managers, or bartenders at one of Lisa Vanderpump's establishments. Some eventually part ways from the restaurant group, but others stick with it. "I take my job seriously," Scheana Shay said on Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef. "And if that means waiting tables, because that's my job then that's what I'm going to do. And I just know that the show started at SUR, it’s going to end at SUR, and it has other components to it."
...But their SUR hours aren't always long.
When the cast is filming, the show takes up most of their time and working shifts at SUR isn't a top priority. "Production can't force us to work if we don't want to," Scheana Shay told Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald in 2015. "But if there is a couple weeks that go by and people aren't working, we get a phone call from Ken and Lisa."
They don't have 100 percent job security.
Jax Taylor and James Kennedy are just two cast members who have learned not to cross Lisa Vanderpump and, as a result, have been terminated from SUR.
The drama is real.
"People don't understand, yes, we do film a show together, but we also hang out together everyday. We hang out together more when we don't film than when we do film, if that makes any sense...So just like when you hang out with your brother and sister, you start to get annoyed after a while, you need a break," Jax Taylor told Us Weekly in 2019.
Production has zero tolerance for racist behavior.
When former cast member Faith Stowers revealed that Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute called the police on her as a prank, Bravo responded by terminating their contracts. The network also fired two new cast members, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, for racist tweets in the past.
They have to interact with new cast members.
Bravo brings in new cast members to shake up the drama every now and then. To help with the transition, the original cast members introduce viewers to the new faces at the start of the season, and some are seen on the stars' social media pages before the show starts airing. "I mean, some fit in, some don't," Scheana Shay told Entertainment Tonight.
The editors control how the cast is portrayed.
Only a fraction of the cast's interactions over the course of filming for six months is shown. The true power of post-production was revealed after season eight when one of the show's editors was fired for admitting that she purposefully edited Scheana Shay in an unflattering light.
Salaries range within the cast.
According to Radar Online, in 2018 the lowest-earning cast member was Scheana Shay, who made $10,000 per episode (keep in mind that there are around 22 episodes per season). Her co-star, Jax Taylor, was reportedly the top-earning OG cast member at $25,000 per episode.
Bravo (probably) pays for some of the cast trips.
Although the Vanderpump Rules producers have never gone on the record about who foots the bill for their drama-filled getaways, Andy Cohen said Bravo pays for the Real Housewives's vacations—though he did clarifiy that it depends on the vacation.
They have to film confessionals before the season wraps.
The cast doesn't get to see the episodes before providing their commentary. Lala Kent revealed in 2019 that she taped her final confessional one week before production wrapped on the season, meaning she was still in the throws of filming when she was answering production's questions.
Cast members can refuse to film with one another.
Whether it's not inviting another cast member to a party or not going to an event they're hosting, cast members can avoid filming with people they're feuding with. Jax Taylor came under fire after his co-star Billie Lee made accusations that he refused to film with her.
They pay for their own weddings—even when they're televised.
From Scheana and Shay to Brittany and Jax, Vanderpump Rules has seen several trips down the aisle. And, yes, they foot the bill...not Bravo. "I paid for my wedding. We pay for a lot of our own stuff," Scheana Shay said on Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yonte. Similarly, Jax Taylor had a few cringe-inducing moments during season eight, revealing that he paid $100,000 for his nuptials.
The marriages are legal, too.
Well, almost every wedding is. Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz shocked everyone when they revealed in season eight that they never signed their marriage license. However, everyone else who has gotten married on Vanderpump Rules is official—as far as we know.
Cast members have to be authentic.
While speaking about the new cast members, Tom Sandoval shared the most important rule for the cast to follow: "What's really a stickler for me is, when somebody comes on our show, because we're so open and honest and connected, that they be the same way. They be revealing, they open up, they connect and be honest," he told Entertainment Tonight.
They can't break the fourth wall.
Vanderpump Rules producer Bill Langworthy explained at BravoCon why this is important: "I think as much as people can get lost in the story, the better."
The cast has to do their own hair and makeup.
Good thing they've become experts at doing their own glam, which includes using powder to combat shine and opting for long-wearing foundation while filming.
They have to show up for the reunion.
Even though reunions are daunting filming days for the cast, Bravo has a blanket policy that cast members must show up and film—unless they want to risk getting fired, like some of the Real Housewives have.
Alcohol is permitted at reunions.
We're not 100 percent sure about drinking while filming, but the cast always ends the reunion with a toast.
Significant others can opt out of filming.
Until recent seasons, Lala Kent kept her boyfriend (now fiancé) Randall Emmett's identity a secret. She referred to him as "my man" and he never once showed his face. "I was so sick of calling him 'my man,' and then people started making fun of me for it," Kent told Entertainment Tonight. "I was like, 'You gotta take it up with my man, 'cause he's the one that chooses to be nameless and faceless.'"
Significant others can also become cast members.
While James Kennedy's girlfriend, Raquel Leviss, has been involved in her fair share of drama, it wasn't until season eight that Raquel landed a job as the newest SUR server and became a full-fledged Vanderpump Rules cast member.
They get to choose their reunion looks.
If you ask the cast members about their reunion look inspirations (and Bravo certainly has!), it's clear that they put some thought into their ensembles. However, producers have the final say on their outfits.
They get to choose their confessional looks, too.
"If you see something and you love it, then that's all them," producer Bill Langworthy said at BravoCon. "And if there's something you don't love as much, that's all them, too."
There isn't a casting process for the show.
The show stays authentic by pulling their cast from the staff at SUR, rather than a formal casting process. "It's just who's kinda up and ready to be on a reality show, and who pops and who's legitimately there. You know, you're not 'casting people,' so to speak," Lisa Vanderpump told Entertainment Tonight.
They can't speak off camera if they're in a fight.
According to Reality Blurb, cast members are told not to communicate with one another off-camera if there's an ongoing feud. This makes sense, since producers don't want to miss any of the drama, but we're not sure how Jax Taylor's rage texts fit into this rule...
Every cast member has a different contract.
During a panel, Jax Taylor and Lala Kent told fans that everyone has a different contract with the network. Taylor shared that his was a five-year contract, while Kent only signs up for two years at a time.
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