Cynthia Bailey has been known as being Switzerland during her 11 seasons on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, rarely getting into conflict. This is why it was so surprising for the Bravo alum’s fans to see her feud with Diff’rent Strokes star Todd Bridges during season 3 of Celebrity Big Brother. The former child star received much backlash on social media for how he treated Bailey. But all has been put aside and the two have made peace. They are proving that in spite of a bad argument, it’s possible to come out on the other side. On this week’s episode of E!’s Celebrity Beef, the two reunite.
Shadow and Act Unscripted spoke with Bridges about the episode, the epic fallout from the show, how he’s handling things moving forward, and more.
S&A Unscripted: You and Cynthia have reunited on ‘Celebrity Beef’ after the feud on ‘Celebrity Big Brother.’ Were you hesitant to participate in this project after everything that went down in the Big Brother house, and all of the reactions from social media?
TB: No, we had made up way before that. But then I decided to do the show and figured it would be a good idea for people to see that we’ve made up and we’re good now.
What do you feel was at the root of your problem?
TB: I think we just didn’t understand each other. And that was all it was. That’s what it came down to, not understanding each other. And that’s a very difficult thing in society, period. There are always problems when people don’t understand each other.
Where do you feel as if the misunderstanding came from with your specific issue? Was it a personality thing?
TB: No. I think that she didn’t understand the fact that I couldn’t tell her for the very same reason she couldn’t tell me certain things in the house. I was going to make sure she got up there. I was gonna make sure we saved her, and she didn’t know that yet.
What did you guys learn about each other while participating in ‘Celebrity Beef?’
TB: I think that we all have our character flaws. But when you make up and you work things out, that makes you a good human. Just because you have an argument, doesn’t mean you can’t be friends.
What was your overall experience of being on ‘Big Brother' and what did you feel as if you learned from that overall experience?
TB: Well, first of all, I learned how fat I was. And I’m already down to 163 pounds now. I realized how big I was, and I had to lose weight. I was just way too big. I didn’t realize that COVID weight was on me.
But it was is also an interesting experience being in a house with a bunch of people with different personalities and all that. I don’t know if I’d ever do it again. I’d probably consider it, but I don’t know. It’s tough being away 30 days from everything.
You come from scripted television, obviously, but reality TV is really what the world is made up as of now. Even legendary stars like yourself are really having to kind of conform to what reality TV is to continue to make the living in some ways. How do you feel about that?
TB: Reality TV is just going in and being who you are. What I normally do for a living, as an actor, it’s a whole different craft. And I take lessons. You’ve got to learn how to be all these different personalities. When you’re in one of those shows, in a reality show, you just be who you are, and you just have to have fun. Or if you’re going to be a jerk in these shows, you can be a good person. You never know what you’re going to get in these reality shows.
How was it working with Joel McHale on this specific episode as well of ‘Celebrity Beef?’
TB: He’s great. He’s a lot of fun. I didn’t realize how much fun he was.
You mentioned one of the things that you learned from being on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ was that you needed to lose weight because of the pandemic. But one of the things that came out of the pandemic was one of your scenes from Little House on the Prairie. Your character on the show was educating another on white privilege. And that's something that's been a big deal and an extensive conversation in recent years, especially with the social unrest and all of the racial disparities and issues that are going on. What did you take from that, and how do you feel about that scene going viral in this time that has contributed to those conversations?
TB: I think that a lot of people don’t realize it at all. They don’t get how we have to see life in America. It’s different for us. It just is. And if you got to conform to understand it and move forward, are you going to be stuck by it and paralyzed by it? I think that seeing just educated people on the fact that that’s real, I think that’s what it really did it. And I can’t believe on a show like that in the seventies, they actually brought that up. It was pretty amazing for them to bring that up.
You have a lot of iconic roles. What was the what was your fondest memory of your work as a child actor? And with everything going on as far as reboots or reimagined reboots of these popular shows, is that something you would consider doing?
TB: We were supposed to reboot Diff’rent Strokes, but I don’t know what happened. So right now, it’s in a hole, but hopefully, it’ll come out of it soon. I had a pretty good idea of the way I wanted to reboot it too, which was really great. But we’ll see what happens. We’ll see where it goes forward from there.