‘The Real Friends of WeHo’ Introduce Themselves & Tease the Drama in Store

'The Real Friends of WeHO' cast
Premiere
MTV

The Real Friends of WeHo comes to MTV on Friday, January 20, right after RuPaul’s Drag Race. Starring in the Real Housewives-inspired series are celebrity stylist Brad Goreski, entertainer and choreographer Todrick Hall, Insecure actor Curtis Hamilton, entertainment journalist Jaymes Vaughan, influencer Joey Zauzig, and Buttah Skin CEO Dorión Renaud.

Unlike reality shows like The Kardashians and The Real Housewives, the stars of this series aren’t family or close friends when the show begins. Instead, The Real Friends of WeHo documents the six stars as they get to know one another in Hollywood’s bustling WeHo gay scene. The cast spoke with TV Insider ahead of the series premiere (with the exception of Renaud, who was not available for interviews) to give a glimpse into what to expect.

Hall tells TV Insider he was the only one in the cast who knew “three or four” of the guys when filming began. But the first episode will make clear to viewers that in WeHo, there’s “one degree of gay separation” between everyone, as Vaughan jokes.

Goreski sees their not knowing each other as an asset. “Part of the really interesting part of the show is watching people getting to know each other. We start going really deep with each other almost immediately and sharing stories and being really vulnerable,” he shares. “At the end of it, I was really happy to have five new friends. For me, that’s what makes this show different from all the rest, because you’re watching us [become friends].”

MTV

“I’ll hit you with the flip side of that,” Vaughan (whose husband, Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett, is also featured throughout the season — yes, his hair still looks sexy pushed back) replies in their joint talk. “There’s definitely one degree of gay separation — that’s how we all knew each other. Being an entertainment journalist, I was fans of these people. It was interesting for me to step into this as a fan of these people, and then all of a sudden I’m with these people. It was an interesting dance to see how I fit.”

“I think where we are now is so much cooler than where we started,” he adds. “We have a safety with each other now that I don’t think we had at the start. We have a real thing now. I think it would make it even better when it comes back for us to be in that place vs. starting off not really knowing everybody as a friend just yet.”

Making friends was far from the only reason they all signed on. Hall saw the platform as an avenue to address recent controversies in which the Celebrity Big Brother alum has been embroiled.

The “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” singer was previously accused of not paying dancers in his music videos. He also previously told fans that he bought a mansion in Los Angeles, but in truth he was in a rent-to-buy situation, drawing in further criticism online. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Hall fell behind in his $30,000 monthly rent. In September 2022, Hall was ordered to pay $102,000 in back rent in a default judgment of a lawsuit filed by the home’s owner. The lawsuit was filed in March 2022. Hall addresses all of this in the WeHo series premiere, telling TV Insider this is the last time he intends to publicly discuss the topics.

Hamilton is using the series as his avenue to come out. The Kings of Napa actor’s casting in the reality show revealed to the world that he’s gay. While he tells us the decision was a scary one, he’s ultimately (rightly!) proud he did it.

Get to know the stars of The Real Friends of WeHo in the cast gallery below, which also features their ideas for Real Housewives-like taglines. (You know we had to ask.)

The Real Friends of WeHo, Series Premiere, Friday, January 20, 9/8c, MTV

Brad Goreski of 'The Real Friends of WeHO'
MTV

Brad Goreski

Goreski is one of Hollywood’s most coveted stylists working with a bevy of actresses and high end clientele, including Demi Moore, Rashida Jones, Kaley Cuoco, and more.

Why He Said Yes to Doing the Show: To show his evolution.

Goreski says: “[Real Friends of WeHo] is a gradual progression starting off with The Rachel Zoe Project when I was an assistant, and then my own show It’s a Brad Brad World, which shows me setting up my business. And then this shows me almost a decade later, career going great, still married to the same wonderful man, Gary, and showing my world again and what I’m up to. It was so much fun throwing myself into this mix of this wonderful group of guys. We had so much fun filming the show.”

“With age comes a different sensibility,” he adds. “I feel like I know myself really well now, and I have a lot of experience to share, which I do on the show with my cast members and in my confessionals. It felt like the perfect moment to do another show and also to do one that’s an ensemble.”

What to Expect: Frequent appearances from husband Gary Janetti and possible cameos from famous clients.

His Real Housewives Tagline: “Trends come and go, but I’m never out of style.”

Todrick Hall of 'The Real Friends of WeHO'

Todrick Hall

Hall is a multi-hyphenate performer who has worked with Beyoncé, RuPaul, Taylor Swift, and more. He was a contestant on American Idol Season 9.

Why He Said Yes to Doing the Show: To clear the air and move forward.

Hall says: “I think that anybody that sometimes feels like you don’t have a voice, or you don’t know how to tackle something that’s so huge, feels great whenever there’s an opportunity for them to let their part of the narrative be heard. I think if people are invested in not liking someone, there’s nothing you can say to exonerate yourself. And that was not ever really my goal. I just wanted to speak my truth on a platform where I could say that I’ve addressed it, because I don’t intend to continue addressing it.”

What to Expect: Countless drag queen cameos.

His Real Housewives Tagline: “I don’t need to follow the Yellow Brick Road, ’cause I paved my own.” (The safe one.)

“I check all the boxes, ’cause I don’t write no checks,” or “Hope you’re paying attention, ’cause I’m not paying my dancers.” (The spicy ones.)

“If we were to do that, I would have to do something shady towards myself,” Hall explains of his tagline ideas, “because I’m kind of in a chapter in my life now where I’m starring in Self-Deprecation: The Musical. I think it would be really funny for me to make a joke about myself.”

Curtis Hamilton of 'The Real Friends of WeHO'
MTV

Curtis Hamilton

Hamilton is a celebrated film and television actor known for his roles in projects such as Surviving Compton and Charming The Hearts of Men as well as The Kings of Napa and Insecure.

Why He Said Yes to Doing the Show: To live his truth and represent.

Hamilton says: “I’m proud that I did it [came out through the show]. I haven’t gotten any negative comments on my Instagram, and I really appreciate that from the people. This is my story. I’m ready to be a voice for my community. It’s really hard to be living your truth but being a public figure and not being real. I don’t see a lot of representation of me. I love all the shows we have, like Drag Race. I just felt like this was the time for me to speak [my truth], and hopefully there’s people out there like me that I can inspire.”

What to Expect: Lots of unpacking of his coming out journey.

His Real Housewives Tagline: “If we got beef on this show, we got beef in real life.”

Jaymes Vaughan of 'The Real Friends of WeHO'
MTV

Jaymes Vaughan

Vaughan is an entertainment news host who recently stepped away from his television career to launch OUTbound, a global LGBTQ+ Cruise company that he runs with husband Jonathan Bennett. He’s considering a return entertainment news.

Why He Said Yes to Doing the Show: To let people see his personal side.

Vaughan says: “It was the weirdest adjustment for me. I’m usually where you are right now. I would sit down with my real friends to have conversations, and I found myself interviewing people instead of being like, ‘Forget the cameras are here and just be in the moment.’ I really made a conscious effort [to show the real me]. I’m not going to wear makeup, I’m not going to worry about what I look like. If the camera’s at a bad angle I don’t like, we’re just gonna go for it. I really tried to use this to just be gritty and real.”

“I went back and forth a million times thinking, ‘Should I do this, or not?'” he adds, noting husband Jonathan was offered a spot first. “When they told me Brad Goreski is doing it, I felt safe to do it, because Brad wouldn’t do something crazy. The name Brad Goreski is what made me do this show.”

What to Expect: Frequent appearances from Jonathan as Vaughan reintroduces himself to the world in a new way.

His Real Housewives tagline: “When the drama comes, I go OUTbound.”

Joey Zauzig of 'The Real Friends of WeHO'
MTV

Joey Zauzig

Zauzig is successful social media influencer and entrepreneur dubbed “the internet’s best friend” by Good Morning America in 2022.

Why He Said Yes to Doing the Show: To show there’s depth to influencers.

Zauzig says: “I think I’m working against [preconceived notions about influencers] every day. That’s just a big part of my life that I’ve had to deal with. That’s why I really focus on my good friends and getting to know these guys throughout the season and letting people know me for me, not just ‘Joey the Influencer.’ I want to show people that there’s more to it. And throughout the season, you get to see what it is to be a working influencer and someone who is passionate about what they do.”

What to Expect: Some ongoing drama with Dorión.

His Real Housewives Tagline: “Life’s a lot better when you’re under my influence, bitch. Period.”

Dorión Renaud of 'The Real Friends of WeHO'
MTV

Dorión Renaud

Renaud is the CEO of Buttah, one of the top Black-owned skincare companies in the world. He’s soon taking Buttah to new heights by launching the line in department stores nationwide.

What to Expect: Renaud and Zauzig will squabble in the premiere. Renaud didn’t participate in the premiere junket, but he did throw some shade at the show on social media.

“The Fake Friends of WeHo,” he wrote in a January 5 Instagram story. “And I barely know any of these people. BTW I live in The Valley. But tune in thanks @MTV.”

“Buttah Skin is my only Real Friend lol,” he tweeted the same day.