For Venita Aspen, joining ‘Southern Charm’ has been an “absolutely wild” experience.
After joining as a friend to the cast in Season Seven, the model and influencer quickly became a fan-favorite.
Being on the show was a bigger commitment than Aspen thought, as she “didn’t realize how much of my life it [filming] was actually going to take over,” Aspen told TODAY. She joked that she “now eats, sleeps, breathes Bravo.”
For Season Eight, Aspen was elevated to a full-time role, joining veterans Leva Bonaparte, Craig Conover, Kathryn Dennis, Austen Kroll, Madison LeCroy and Shep Rose alongside fellow newbies Taylor Ann Green, Olivia Flowers, Marcie Hobbs and Chleb Ravenell, and returnee, Naomie Olindo.
Friends Patricia Altschul, Whitney Sudler-Smith and John Pringle are also in the mix for the season, making for the the show's largest-ever cast.
Season Eight airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo, and each episode will stream the next day on Peacock.
TODAY sat down with Aspen to hear about joining the show full-time, the drama thus far, and all that’s to come.
Aspen unpacks Season 8 drama, including fights at her birthday party
It's taken less than three episodes for Aspen’s castmates to get into it, with longtime pals Conover and Kroll sparring for all to see. Aspen noted that if she had to pick a side, she’s “Team Craig."
“I feel like he’s standing up for himself with this group of men. They’ve been picking on him the last couple of years, and now he’s finally like, ‘Okay, I’m done with that, y’all are gonna respect me and not just think you can walk all over me,'" she said.
Episode Four will show the ladies of the group celebrating Aspen’s birthday, and the episode preview shows LeCroy telling Aspen that she invited Flowers and Dennis to the event - two ladies that Aspen has already sparred with.
The preview also shows Altschul suggesting that they all have a “clean slate” going forward. The event quickly turns into chaos, as Bonaparte says, “there might be people that have issues,” and Aspen seemingly calls out Flowers and Dennis.
Before the preview ends, Dennis says, “Well, that’s very condescending, Venita,” to which Aspen replies, “It’s not.” Olindo jumps in, saying “Kathryn, you know she didn’t,” to which Dennis says “shut the f--- up, Naomie.”
Aspen teased her birthday to TODAY, saying that “there will be moments of chaos. There will be moments of happiness, there will be moments of sadness and screaming.”
Aspen says tension is to come with Bonaparte and Olindo
Thus far, Season Eight has shown Aspen bonding with pals Bonaparte and Olindo, but the Season Eight trailer and social media have told a different story.
Although Aspen said Olindo joining has been “fun,” things seem to get a tad tense between the pair in the Season Eight trailer. In the scene, Olindo says, “Venita, shut up,” and Aspen responds, “You’ve got this whole love for me, but now you’re telling me to shut up?”
Aspen told TODAY that the moment “was a mistake on her [Olindo’s] part,” leaving much to wonder about what’s to come for the pair’s evolving relationship.
At the conclusion of filming Season Eight, fan accounts noticed that Bonaparte unfollowed Aspen, LeCroy, Kroll and Conover on Instagram. Bonaparte told TODAY said her actions were the result of “a lot of big feelings going on at the end,” and suggested that the drama was a “pile on.”
Bonaparte added that Aspen is the cast mate that shocked her the most, and said she “didn’t know where she stood” with her.
Aspen responded, telling TODAY, “My phone number is still the same, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. I’m sad to hear that.”
Although drama is aplenty for the cast, Aspen missed some of it. She joked that she “was asleep during the altercations” during the season, meaning we’ll have to see the season and reunion play out to hear her take on what went down while she was catching some zzz’s.
Aspen answers rapid fire questions about Season 8
Aspen weighs in on the questions you want to know about regarding the cast of Season Eight.
- Who is most likely to cause drama: LeCroy
- Who has the best storyline: Olindo
- Who has the best confessionals: Aspen
- Who has the best looks: Aspen and LeCroy
- Who challenges her the most: Dennis
- Who throws the best events: LeCroy, Aspen and Altschul
- Who she has the most fun with: LeCroy
- Who spills the most tea: Bonaparte
- Who is the best team player: Pringle