A GoPride Interview

Joey Maalouf and Jeremiah Brent

Joey Maalouf and Jeremiah Brent: Everything’s a surprise working with Rachel.

Wed. October 12, 2011  by Jerry Nunn

Everything’s a surprise working with Rachel.
Joey Maalouf and Jeremiah Brent

The men of Rachel Zoe speak to GoPride.com's Jerry Nunn

Rachel Zoe's Project has been "bananas" on season four. Her new team member Jeremiah Brent and best gay pal Joey Maalouf have added drama to the show.

Jeremiah is actually from an interior design background. His eye for style has come in handy as viewers have watched him try to keep up with the fashionista.

Joey has been doing makeup and hair since he was 15 years old. He has known Rachel Zoe when he moved to New York in 2005 and has been by her side ever since.

We talked to the two about the hit Bravo show recently.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi guys. I wanted to see what your reaction has been now that the show has been out. Are you guys fighting or friends over Rachel?

A: (Joey Maalouf) Hi. I guess I will go first because I'm considered the mean one. I don't think we were ever not friends. I think that just being that I'm Rachel's best friend and seeing what she's been through, throughout the years with prior assistants, of course I was questioning.

I obviously wanted to like Jeremiah, but I took a couple steps back to kind of figure him out and see what he was really doing working for Rachel.

I had a million questions in my head and, I just tend to test people without realizing it. It's a product of my personality that comes out. I don't really think I have a mean intention but I just think that it takes me a minute to trust people. What do you think Jeremiah?

(Jeremiah Brent) . I think I was very aware, coming in to work with Rachel, what I was getting myself into. The people around her are very protective, and rightfully so. I think she's been through a lot and I think you've seen some of that. The funny thing is that Joey and my relationship is very much like a sibling. He gives me a hard time, but at the end of the day, he's got a good heart. And I think as the show progresses this season, you'll watch the relationship evolve, just like a lot of relationships evolved this year. But look, I'm the new guy. Everybody's got to give the new guy some shit.

(Joey) Yes, to really answer your question, I treat him the same now that I did then.

(Jeremiah) And it still goes in one ear and out the other.

JN: Has there been a funny moment working with Rachel?

A: (Joey) The funniest moment would probably be watching Rachel, as a pregnant woman, lacing up thigh-high boots and walking around like there's nothing wrong with it. She was almost sometimes oblivious to the fact that she's carrying a baby around. She just couldn't care less, walking around in tennis shoes.

JN: How was decorating Rachel's house, Jeremiah?

A: (Jeremiah) Rachel and Roger like things white, shiny and with lots of mirrors. I really wanted to push their design aesthetic this season. Rachel and Roger are moving into a French Normandy style home. It's a lot more traditional. So I just kind of moved them from just modern and introduced more traditional pieces. I think we accomplished that. I'm going to say it. I loved it.

JN: Was it hard going from makeup to stylist, Joey?

A: (Joey) I treat it the same as I would doing her hair and makeup.

I don't really think the transition of styling with her for me was that difficult. Energy-wise it was difficult because I'm not a stylist and I never thought in a million years I would want to become one. There's so much and so many elements to it, especially, like the schlepping of the poles and going to get the shoes and making sure you got all the right accessories. Then you have to walk out with it and carry it into the studio and then organize it. It's a lot.

JN: The Oscars must have been crazy.

A: (Joey) It was pretty insane. I mean, I can't even remember if it was eight or ten looks. You know, one client who's hosting it was the most major Oscars, like, to date. And I mean Rachel's been doing this for 20 years of her life and it was an insane.

She got run down and of course it was like a big undertaking to make sure that everything was perfect. I think the exciting part about it was having like amazing designers like Tom Ford design couture dresses.

(Jeremiah) Not only is it crazy to work with Anne and this huge moment in her career, but you are working and seeing these trusted designers create the best of the best and watching how Rachel interacts with them.

JN: What did you learn the most from working with Rachel?

A: (Joey) Just to practice. Everything's a surprise working with Rachel. I think the biggest thing I've learned is that I think she has a public persona of being a certain way. Working for Rachel and Roger and their whole team, it's like a big family and here was a lot of love and a lot of support.

JN: Any Halloween costume ideas this year?

A: (Joey) Oh my God I don't know if I can top my last year's costume. I was Kim Kardashian and my ass was so big. I walked around all of New York City. I think I'm either gong to be a really glamorous Frankenstein and maybe just paint my whole body with green glitter and be really cool like that.

JN: Are either of you coming to Chicago?

A: (Joey) Oh my God, I love Chicago.

(Jeremiah) My little sister lives there. I need to come to Chicago.

JN: We could all go out to the gay bar.

A: (Joey) We would love that.

(Jeremiah): I need a drink!

For listings with The Rachel Zoe Project visit www.bravotv.com.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.