What do you get when you mix the wife of one of the most famous men in the world with a sextet of up-and-coming male musicians and two teenaged daughters? Dina Eastwood, former news anchor, actress, television host, writer, and yes, wife of Clint, along with her daughter Morgan and stepdaughter Francesca, plus six South African a capella singers, star in the new reality series “Mrs. Eastwood & Company,” which premieres May 20th on E! The show centers on Dina managing the band Overtone, whom she and Clint discovered while filming “Invictus” in South Africa. Carmel Magazine picked the brains of the show’s stars in an exclusive interview shortly before the series launch.
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CARMEL MAGAZINE: When you first heard the concept of doing a reality series, were you guys into it or not?
FRANCESCA EASTWOOD: I was hesitant… Once we started filming, I had so much fun that I got 100 percent on board.
CM: Do you watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” or any other reality shows?
FRANCESCA: When I signed on to do the show, I started watching [the Kardashians]. I am addicted.
CM: What’s the best thing that happened as a result of filming?
FRANCESCA: The best thing is having fun with my family and my boyfriend, [photographer] Tyler Shields. I love that the show is documenting the photo shoots I do with him.
CM: What careers are you hoping to have in the future?
MORGAN: I am really into cosmetics, so I am hoping to do some endorsements with beauty products. But as for a real career, I might want to go into the music business, or maybe do some movies.
CM: Do you feel closer to your family after this experience or in need of a break from them?
FRANCESCA: The show doesn't affect how I am with my family…We are pretty tight, no matter what.
CM: Anything about filming that surprised you?
MORGAN: When we first started, it was all so new and different to me…After a while, it was like there wasn’t a camera there and we were just being completely ourselves.
CM: What are you hoping people will think when they watch the show?
FRANCESCA: I hope that people will find the show entertaining and will see what it’s like to be in a very loving and wacky family. I think despite the ridiculous situations we are in, people will find us to be down to earth and genuine.
MORGAN: I am hoping that people will see that even though we come from a certain family, we are basically a normal group of people who love each other.
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CARMEL MAGAZINE: Okay, absolutely the first question on everyone’s mind is why would you guys want to do this show? We know you don’t need the money or publicity, so why would you give up your privacy for a reality series?
DINA EASTWOOD: I probably gave up my privacy the first day I appeared on the air on KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff, Arizona, as a news reporter in 1990… As far as wanting to do this particular show, from the first day my band, Overtone, got off the plane at LAX from South Africa, I started videotaping them…The shenanigans and the challenges and seeing our country through the eyes of these young foreign men, all the while being led around by a housewife who didn't know what the heck she was doing—I found it intriguing. I immediately thought, ‘This could be a TV show!’ …We landed with what I consider to be the best production company in the business, Bunim-Murray…
CM: How invasive did it feel to have a crew following you guys around?
DINA: Everyone on this incredible crew is very aware of respecting all of our boundaries that we have set. That said, we are giving a lot of access to ‘who we are,’ which closely resembles the Beverly Hillbillies. Many scenes are centered around the band, so we are at band practice, or concerts. My stepdaughter, Francesca, dates a well-known photographer, and they are often filmed doing exciting photo shoots. You'll see me cooking and cleaning a lot. Normal stuff.
CM: Why is the band so important to you?
DINA: I created the show concept to try toshare Overtone with the world! They are, in my opinion, the best vocal band I have ever heard. I have no desire to become ‘famous.’ My daughters being in the show is icing on the cake, as it was not planned from the start.
CM: Was filming with your daughters a bonding experience or did it cement things on film that you’d rather forget?
DINA: We are still shooting, and, although we've crossed hurdles, it's a bonding experience, for sure…They both are enjoying the shooting, as they are raised in the reality show generation, and this is a bit of a dream being realized for them. It's been a more difficult adjustment for me.
CM: Clint seems quite private. How is he coping with this?
DINA: Clint is being as supportive as possible. He supports my endeavors, and believes in Overtone and wants our daughters to have fun in their involvement in the show.
CM: Have you found a good balance between a working mom, wife and band manager?
DINA: I have not found a good balance in being a mom to a teenager who finds me annoying, and managing a band that is on the cusp of great success, all while trying to be a present wife. I need to get back to playing golf again with my husband, and cleaning the closets on a regular basis! No, I have not found that balance. I continue to learn more about myself, and if I stay dedicated to that, surely, a balance will come!
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CARMEL MAGAZINE: What is the biggest change in your life that has occurred since meeting the Eastwoods?
EMILE WELMAN: Literally everything has changed…Meeting the Eastwoods has made me a believer in the fact that if you can dream it, you can do it.
EDUARD LEONARD: …They have challenged us to broaden the horizons of both our career potential and our dreams. We never once expected to come this far and it’s not over yet!
CM: What is your favorite thing about the Eastwoods? Who do you feel most comfortable with in the family? Does Clint intimidate you?
ERNIE BATES: …They are normal, down-to earth people…I feel the most comfortable with Dominic, Dina's brother. He is a musician and a master on the bass and electric guitar. Yes, I feel intimidated in the presence of Clint. He is a legend in so many ways and a hero to millions of people all over the world, including me.
RIAAN WEYERS: One would think that a high profile, heavyweight family would be somewhat unapproachable, but it is quite the contrary. I feel the closest to Dina...Clint was intimidating in the beginning. I think it’s because we have these notions that he is the character that we see in his films. Clint is a mysterious and wise man. I have a lot of respect for him.
CM: How did you feel about being on a reality series? Any reservations?
VALENTINO PONSONBY: I'm feeling very excited but nervous at the same time because now everyone will see the inside of my personal life.
SHANE SMITH: The first few days were kind of awkward with the camera in your face all the time, but I got so comfortable after a while that I sometimes forgot about the cameras. Overall, it was a fun experience!