Harry Hamlin Loves Lisa Rinna and He's Proving it on a New Reality TV Show

Filed under: Celeb Parents, Celeb News & Interviews

harry hamlin lisa rinna picture

Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna put their marriage on display with a new reality show. Credit: Kevin Winter, Getty Images

He was a heartthrob on "L.A. Law." She was a bit disturbed on "Melrose Place." In real life, he's reserved and cerebral. She's outrageous and spontaneous. But after 18 years together (including 13 years of marriage), Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, a modern day Desi and Lucy, truly seem to adore each other.

And now you can get a peek into their lives, along with their daughters Delilah, 12, and Amelia, 9, in the new TV Land reality show "Harry Loves Lisa," premiering Oct. 6.

ParentDish recently caught up with the duo for the inside scoop on how they've beat the odds on making a Hollywood romance survive, their adventures on "Dancing With the Stars" and, of course, Rinna's much-talked about lips.

ParentDish: Why did you decide to do the show?
Harry Hamlin:
We wanted to do something together and creative and we have retail stores (including Belle Gray in Sherman Oaks, Calif.) I build and design them and Lisa stocks them. Weird things would continue to happen and I think Lisa and I turned to each other on numerous occasions and said, "You know if this was on a TV show no one would believe it."

Lisa Rinna: I think we thought that we could make an interesting show and it was sort of like, if you can't beat them, join them. We're two actors who are living together waiting for the phone to ring and we just created this show and we'll see what happens.

PD: Did you watch other reality shows to get ideas?
Well, I got ideas of how I didn't want it to be. Harry's never watched a reality show -- he has to take it at face value that what we're doing is good. He doesn't really watch TV. I watch everything. I'm a pop junkie fanatic.

HH: We're totally opposite. For example, Lisa's totally plugged into pop culture and I've never seen an episode of "Friends" or "Seinfeld."

PD: Wow.
Isn't that amazing? It doesn't interest him. I grew up with a mom who bought every celebrity magazine. It's in my DNA. But now the celebrity culture is out of control. It's like it's on steroids.

PD: Harry, what do you do when Lisa is watching TV?
HH: Well, I might watch CNN or the History Channel.

PD: Boooring.
LR: I know. We are so opposite.

I have a lot of other interests. I haven't watched any reality shows, but there's no way in this day and age to not be exposed to them. So I'm aware of what's out there and I've heard of "The Situation" and I know most of those reality shows lean on blood dripping down the walls and the broken chairs and screaming, and our show is about a family that is functional, we're not dysfunctional.

LR: Well, we are. Everyone's dysfunctional. I think we're more relatable. Those shows tend to be, "Oh, my God, I'm so glad my life's not like that." They make you feel better because they're so out of control. Those people are so f---ed up, you go, "Phew, I'm OK." What I really love about our show is we go, "Hey let me show you something relatable, something you can laugh at, go 'Oh my God I just did that with my kid. I can't believe they did that.' " There's humor behind it, it's funny. I think it makes you feel good as opposed to making you feel dirty.

HH: We hope that we sold it on the idea of it being a half hour comedy and we're hoping that people see it and don't feel like they have to take a shower after.

PD: Are your kids in the show?
Our kids are in it. I tried to leave them out of it as much as possible because I don't think that's necessarily a real good thing to do, to have your kids go down that road, but they're so cute, they're so good, that the network begged us for more.

HH: We don't focus on them. There are no stories that are about the kids. We have kids, so it would be unrealistic to deny we have them. They come in and out because they come in and out. There's no focus.

PD: Harry, you sound so serious. I feel like you're a college professor and you're going to fail me.
LR: When I first met him, I was scared of him. He's intense and he's a thoughtful thinker and I'm so opposite. I'm loud, I'm big, I'm certainly not as refined or reserved, but when you see us and you see Harry on camera, a whole other side of him comes out.

PD: Lisa, have you ever done an interview where you haven't been asked about your lips?
LR: If you can believe it, yes. It's been 24 years; it's been a very, very long time. It's become part of me. I don't think twice about them. I came out and was very honest about it. I can't stand it when celebrities lie about surgery. I'm a very honest person and that can hurt you, also.

PD: You both did "Dancing with the Stars." Lisa you've been very vocal on how it changed your life.
It certainly changed my body, we all know that. It gave me a confidence. If you're able to take a challenge like that, that's so outside the box, and be able to do it, it just made me believe in myself more. It makes me take risks in my life that I may never have taken before. It's a pretty powerful show to do, I must say -- as glitzy and glamorous and all the things that you see. It's powerful emotionally and for your soul because there's something about dance and the connection of your soul and with another partner. It's hard to describe but it's a very moving experience.

PD: Do you guys go dancing?
It's funny because when we go to a wedding all of a sudden all eyes are on us. Sometimes I let loose and let the "Dancing with the Stars" girl come out and I think it embarrasses the hell out of Harry.

PD: Do you embarrass Harry a lot?
I think I do, don't you Harry?

HH: Well, embarrassing not in the sense of humiliating me, but no, I find it charming. All of a sudden, she'll get into a zone and start doing stuff that is very native, let's put it that way.

LR: I like that!

HH: And that's one of the reasons I fell in love with her. I would never go to that place.

PD: Harry, are your girls scared of you when you tell them off?
Are you kidding me? I can scream at the top of my lungs and they just laugh.

PD: Can you believe the drama involved with girls?
Here's the thing. I grew up in a household full of boys. The toilet seat was always up. I never even knew that the toilet seat could be left down. I was always absolutely terrified and mystified of women and girls, but now that I have these two girls going through all the things human beings go through that we used to keep secret, I see that they're human beings. I think I'm much less intimidated having seen two girls grow up in my household.

LR: I will tell you something: He puts the toilet seat down. I don't know how.

You trained me.

LR: Did I? Maybe because I will not put up with the toilet seat up.

HH: I think one night, years and years ago, I forgot to put the seat down and you went to the bathroom at 3 in the morning and I heard this scream because you went right into the toilet.

LR: I'm so glad I trained him.

PD: You've been together for 18 years. That's like 50 in Hollywood years.
LR: We know a lot of people who stay married for reasons we're not sure of.

HH: Relationships have their ups and downs, but, for the most part, we still really enjoy hanging out together.

LR: We make sure we make time like go spend a night at a hotel. We carve out time for us as a couple.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.