“I mean, this is my first interview, so I’m like, gosh how much should I say?” Chrishell Stause wonders. She’s talking about both the sixth season of Selling Sunset, now streaming on Netflix, and her recent marriage to Australian musician G Flip, announced via Stause’s Instagram days prior.
At multiple points during our conversation, Stause seems conflicted about just how candid. “I don’t think there’s any question that I found my voice,” she says of the latest season in a recent phone call with Vanity Fair. “It’s just now trying to be smart about when to use it and when to shut up.”
The 41-year-old won’t divulge exact details of the day she married G Flip after a year of dating, for instance. But she’s still glowing about the nuptials, which happened in front of an Elvis impersonator at a Las Vegas chapel. “It’s exciting. I feel like everybody has been really amazing and supportive, and it’s just made us excited all over again, so it’s been good.”
Stause’s relationship with the nonbinary G Flip, which the reality star revealed during last season’s reunion, gets top billing in Selling Sunset’s sixth season. “I know people think I’m having a midlife crisis, but I’m having an awakening,” she declares in the premiere. Indeed, the agent we see in new episodes is a far cry from the Chrishell of seasons past, during which her divorce from This Is Us star Justin Hartley and breakup with boss Jason Oppenheim played out in painful detail.
But preserving her newfound happiness has proven to be just as delicate, Stause says. “It’s always tricky, especially when the person you’re dating is not a cast member. It’s a little easier when you both have signed up for the same thing…because our show is crazy and the fans are crazy in really positive ways. But there’s a lot of opinions that can obviously be negative,” she says. “So it’s just finding the balance of things that we’re happy to share, but also keeping some things to ourselves…. I feel very protective of my relationship with G.”
Starting a new season of her reality series meant puncturing Stause’s “peace bubble,” as G Flip describes it on the show, and venturing back into the Oppenheim Group’s office, a spot she’d been avoiding in the aftermath of her and Jason’s split. The pair manage to coexist this season with relatively little friction—although Oppenheim admits to stalking Stause’s Instagram Stories, and Stause pokes fun at the 21-year age difference between her ex and his new girlfriend, 24-year-old model Marie-Lou Nurk. “I have such a great relationship with Jason. We tease each other, we joke around,” Stause says. “And that’s something that I value at this point, because it’s definitely not easy to accomplish with all of this stuff going on.”
Some of the “stuff” in question gets discussed later in the season, when Stause reveals that she and Oppenheim broke up in large part because he was apparently unwilling to adopt children. “You weren’t open to adoption, which is fine. But that’s a pressure cooker for someone in my condition,” Stause tells him. “So I feel with G that pressure is off, because when we wanna do it, we wanna adopt.”
Stause felt passionate about setting the record straight. “It wasn’t about giving Jason more time,” she says. “Even if he decided one day that he wanted to [have kids], he wanted to have a biological child…. It was nice to have that included on the show, even though we knew that way back when we broke up. And obviously I get defensive because of course, two people that—” She pauses. “I’ll be quiet, I’ll be quiet,” she says, as a publicist interrupts the call to tell Stause, “I think you’ve said enough.”
“Sorry, I’m getting myself in trouble,” she says sheepishly.
When I ask if she and Jason were pressured at all by producers to, say, bring their significant others along with them for that dinner conversation, Stause laughs. “Actually, we did do a double date that was off camera in Australia. But you will get to see the dynamics between all of that play out,” she teases. “I don’t think that we set any specific parameters [about what to talk about on camera] at all. Maybe we should have.”
The exit of Christine Quinn, framed as the pot-stirring antagonist to Stause’s girl next door, before season six of Selling Sunset left a vacancy in the show’s villain slot. Enter Nicole Young, a longtime Oppenheim Group agent (and fellow ex of Jason’s) who joined the cast with an ax to grind against Stause, much to her surprise. “When she got cast on the show, we had an exchange. I was really happy for her, congratulated her. She reached out for some advice,” Stause explains. “So that’s why I was so thrown off that the first time I saw her on camera, it was a complete 180.”
In early episodes of season six, Young accuses Stause of wrongly taking the credit for sales and only earning colistings because Oppenheim had a crush on her. “I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to acting one way off camera and then all of a sudden when you have cameras acting a different way,” Stause says of Young’s sudden vendetta. “What gets under my skin the most is when somebody comes at me and tries to attack my work ethic. I need to do a better job of just staying unbothered by annoying people.”
Tensions fully boil over between the costars on a girls’ trip to Palm Springs—the show’s first foray into Real Housewives–esque group getaways. The weekend tested the limits of Stause’s patience—and her own reality. “People watch our show and they’re always trying to figure out if things are scripted or not. The thing is, I wouldn’t normally choose to travel with someone I don’t like,” she says. “So all of the reactions that happen, they’re not scripted—it’s just what would happen in real life if you’re being forced to have these interactions with somebody that you genuinely aren’t getting along with. I feel like that is where the producers get their magic.” Stause stops. “Am I going to get in trouble for saying that?”