When it comes to the perfect Real Housewives opening credits sequence, it isn't just all about the taglines. There's also the matter of the group shot at the very end. You know what we're talking about. It's the moment the entire cast comes together, holding their city's designated icon, whether it's The Real Housewives of Orange County's oranges or The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' diamonds. But have you ever thought about what it must take to get that moment on film?
If you thought the story of how the taglines come together is dramatic, wait until you hear RHOBH and RHOC executive producer Doug Ross' take on the assembled group shot.
"That is some of the biggest political maneuvering with the cast members that goes on all season long and they talk about it from the very beginning of the year, what their placement is going to be," Ross revealed, laughing. "And, of course, everybody thinks that they deserve to be in the center and explains to me that they must be in the center and if they're not in the center, they're not going to come back next year."
As it turns out, each Housewife is shot individually, with the final product a composite created in the editing bay. "We actually ask every cast member to hold either the orange or the diamond with their left hand out wide, out medium, out close, and then both hands in the center, and then their right hand out wide, out medium, and out close—so we have all the options," Ross said.
Regarding placing one of the women in the center position, well, there's a process for that, too.
"Those [individual] shots are done in the middle of the season, in the early part of the season, so we don't know who really deserves to be in the center until towards the end of the year. It's a highly political decision, of course, because everybody gets offended if they're not," Ross explained. "But we work closely with the network at that point to figure out who was really sort of the center of the group interaction and then that person, generally, is the person who's put in the center."
Of course, as in life and on the show, not all Housewives play by the rules during the production process. "I can't name names, but I can tell you that there is one cast member that we work with who absolutely, positively refuses to hold her thing anywhere but the center," Ross revealed. "And I'm the person who directs the opening title shoot and I had to trick that cast member into holding her thing in various positions so that we actually had the option to put her not in the center. [Laughs.] I'm sure you could imagine who it is, but I will never tell you."
Any guesses on who it might be? Leave 'em in the comments below!
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo, while The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is filming its new season now.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)