Jessica Rich is one of those people that you know by looking at her, is destined for great things in their life. From an early age she knew that she wanted to be successful in the entertainment world and set her goals high then began reaching each one like stepping stones taking her higher and higher. With an already impressive resume, she became a house hold name when she was cast in season one of “VH1’s Real Chance of Love” reality show as one of the women that brothers Real and Chance ( VH1’s “I Love New York”, “I Love Money”) nick named “Rabbit” and competed for their hearts.
Jessica took some time out of her very busy schedule to talk with TEN about her life growing up, politics and what she learned from being in the spotlight.
TEN-Who were some of your biggest influences growing up?
Jessica Rich- I really liked Aaliyah when I was in high school. She was one of my idols. Of course Diddy, Jay Z…people doin their own things. I always admired people who were black and have a lot goin on…ya know.
TEN- Did you have any relatives that you looked up to?
JR- Oh yeah, my mom. My mom definitely because she had cancer three times and her being a strong survivor and continuing to always fight for whatever it is that she believes in.
TEN- In your bio, it mentions obstacles and barriers that you’ve had to overcome in your career. Can you talk about them?
JR- Probably I guess people not believing in me and always questioning why I wanted to be in the entertainment business. I always had a lot of people in high school who didn’t like me because of various reasons. Me being popular…me being pretty…all that kind of stuff. I’ve gotten things from all angles. It’s definitely fazed me because I’ve always been very determined and strong minded.
TEN- Your resume is very impressive.
JR- Thank you.
TEN- It just goes on and on. You’re not just a “new flash in the pan” with “Real Chance of Love” you’ve been around for a while. Which event sticks in your mind the most as one of the coolest and why?
JR- Definitely the show. That’s only because, I’m a very private person and I don’t like to be exposed like that. Reality T.V. and being in everyone’s’ home is not me. Living in that house with all of those girls was very hard to trust the girls. It’s very hard to put myself out there like that.
TEN- You’ve met a lot of celebrities in your life. What was it like to meet Diddy?
JR- Honestly, it was a dream come true I’m not gonna lie! That was like “The Ultimate Goal.” It was an incredible experience. I’ve met him a couple of times now. He’s a great guy. I definitely look up to him.
TEN- I know that we can’t talk about how the show ends but can we talk about “VH1’s Real Chance of Love?”
JR- Yes…of course. We can talk about everything but the future episodes.
TEN- Cool. It seems like in the beginning, the guys were competing for your attention. How did that make you feel?
JR- I didn’t think Chance really cared that much about me by the way he was treating me. But then when I saw him actually caring…it kinda shocked me a little bit. It just goes to show how some guys don’t like to let there guards down ya know, not show there real feelings. And then when it’s time for them to show their feelings and actually show you what they really felt…it’s kinda too late. With Real, I really didn’t want to go on his side because I didn’t want to start a lot of drama and go over there and look like a girl who didn’t know what I wanted.
TEN- The girls seemed really “catty” and it seems like they were ganging up on MILF a lot as of late.
JR- They are. They are very catty. Yeah, they were ganging up on her. I feel when people have to gang up on other people it’s because they’re lacking something themselves and they don’t have confidence in themselves. If you have to put attention on some of the other girls then you’re obviously not strong enough by yourself. So, I thought that was kinda stupid.
TEN- You seem to stay in the background and then when it’s time for you to shine, you shine and then you go about your business.
JR- Yeah, I never had to fight for attention like that so that’s why you guys don’t see me going crazy on the show. I’ve never had to fight for attention…it’ just comes.
TEN- What did you think when you walked into the tattoo parlor when Chance wanted you girls to get tattoos?
JR- Honestly I was down to get a tattoo I just knew that I wasn’t gonna get anything crazy. I knew the other girls were gonna try to over impress him. It wasn’t a challenge so we didn’t have to get tattoos. I kept that in mind and I’ve always wanted a tattoo on my foot so I thought “Hey, why not get the tattoo that I wanted on the show…and it’s all for free so why not! (Laughs)
TEN- Your tattoo actually means “Love” I believe.
TEN- Did the “Breakfast Buddy” sandwich taste as bad as it looked?
JR- It didn’t really taste as bad as it looked they actually made it look like I didn’t like it that much ya know…in the way they edited. It had jelly on it, bacon, eggs it was crazy but it wasn’t that bad.
TEN- What is the one thing that you’ve taken from the whole “Real Chance of Love” experience?
JR- Definitely patience. Now I double think about everything that I say. I’m the type of person who just says anything whenever I feel it. Being on that show, I had to analyze everything before I said it because it was recorded. That kinda stuck in my mind so before I say somethin, I think about it before I just blurt it out. I’m thinkin’ “My mom’s gonna watch this.” I have a very good image of myself and I didn’t want this show to make or break me.
TEN- It seems like some people get typecast as the people they are shown to be on these types of shows.
JR- Exactly, once you have that name, it’s hard to get rid of that name like New York. (Tiffany Pollard from the “Flavor of Love/I Love New York/New York goes to Hollywood” shows) She is now typecast and has done three shows now and people don’t believe in her doin anything else.
TEN- Would you do another reality show?
JR- Would I do another reality show…um, of course. (Laughs) I definitely would depending on what it was.
TEN- Can we talk about this years’ presidential election?
JR- Of course.
TEN- It was monumental in the history of America. What are your feelings about President-elect Barak Obama and how he will lead our country?
JR- It’s the first time that I’ve ever voted so he made me get out of my house to vote. He has a big impact on society. I really like how a lot of white people voted for him. You know how the past was with slavery and all of that and the fact he had such a big impact on both the white and the black people says enough for itself.
TEN- He has destroyed a lot of barriers.
JR- He has and after this, I don’t think that we’ll have any other race issues. We shouldn’t have any race issues.
TEN- We definitely needed change.
JR- We definitely needed change. Change is always good. It took us two thousand years to get a black president. (Laughs)
TEN- Let’s shift gears for a minute. Tell me something disturbing about yourself that you’ve never told anyone before.
JR- (Busts out laughing) something that I’ve never told anyone? I have a very short temper. I usually yell at a lot of cab drivers on a daily basis. I’m not gonna even lie about that one. (Laughs) If someone at a restaurant messes up my food I might call the manager over. I get a lot of free food like that. It’s not that I’m trying to get free food it’s because I never expect anything less that what it’s supposed to be. If I know it’s supposed to be better than what I have…I’m gonna make sure that you’re on it till it’s better. My friends are like: “Jessica, you’re bringing the manager over?” and I’m like “Well yeah, because I asked for it this way and it’s not the way that it’s supposed to be so bring him over!”
TEN-What’s next for Jessica Rich?
JR- I’m doing a movie called “Still a Teen” that’s like a black “American Pie.”
TEN- Is there anything else that you want to say?
JR- I just wanted to thank everyone for watching me and all of the support and hitting me up on Myspace. It means a lot. It’s overwhelming ya know? All of the attention that I’m getting. But, it’s something that I’ve always wanted so it’s definitely a dream come true.
TEN- All in a good way right?
JR- Yes in a good way. I mean it comes with the bad too. I’ve read negative blogs about myself and I’ve seen a lot of bad comments people made of me on the VH1 message boards. Stuff like “Oh, she should go home, blah, blah, blah.” But it comes with the territory and it doesn’t faze me, ya know.
TEN- Well, you’re my personal favorite from day one!
JR- Well thank you. (Smiles)
I want to thank Jessica for taking the time to talk and to Jean Alerte for making the interview happen.
For more information on Jessica visit www.myspace.com/missjessicarich...www.myspace.com/rabbitfromvh1 and www.jessicarich.com
Photos courtesy of Alerte, Carter & Associates