The Bravo alum starred on the hit series for more than 10 years, many of which were spent alongside former friend-of Marlo Hampton, who was finally granted a peach ahead of RHOA's current 14th season. Now, ahead of Cynthia's return to reality TV on E!'s Celebrity Beef, she's giving her take on Marlo's full-time debut.
"I will say—and I am friends with Marlo, I love Marlo and I was definitely super excited when she finally got her peach—I personally think after all these years, the thing that the fans—her fans, especially—were the most excited about was just getting to know more of Marlo and her life," Cynthia exclusively told E! News. "Not just the clothes, but you know, is there a man around? What's this? What's that? I mean, just getting to know Marlo. And I felt like that's not what we got."
Instead, Marlo "ended up voicing a lot of the issues that she has" with her co-stars, Cynthia said.
And while there's nothing inherently wrong with calling out your fellow cast members—this is Real Housewives after all—there's a certain strategy that's required to masterfully do so. "She could have done a better job of articulating exactly what her issues were," Cynthia said of Marlo, "especially with Kandi [Burruss]."
The two have been feuding on RHOA's most recent episodes, but the way Cynthia sees it, the whole argument could easily be sorted out.
"Kandi is a rational, reasonable person, and I don't think Kandi wants to have Marlo as an enemy per se," Cynthia explained. "I don't like seeing them at odds, personally, because I know Kandi is a team player. She's been, from my experience of what I've seen, pretty supportive of all the ladies."
While there's no telling how Kandi and Marlo's squabble will shake out, one thing's for sure: Cynthia is by no means itching to become a Housewife again—even if she'd get to trade RHOA for Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as she and her husband Mike Hill now reside in Los Angeles.
"I honestly would never say never, but I feel like after 11 years, I've never had a break from the show," Cynthia told E! News. "I've never been a friend-of. This was like 11 years as a consistent full-time peach holder. And it's a lot. I'm tired."
Added the former model, "If it feels right and it's still around in a couple of years, maybe it's something I'll revisit. But even then, I kind of want to take baby steps, maybe go on as a friend-of when I feel like it."
For now, Cynthia is plenty busy forging a career as an actress. She's already starred in several projects this year—a Lifetime movie called Cruel Instruction, an upcoming series dubbed Terror Lake Drive and a Tubi film titled The Stepmother, just to name a few—and if everything goes her way, there will be plenty more to come.
"I really want it to be taken seriously as an actress, and I know coming from a reality TV background, a lot of times we don't get taken as seriously," Cynthia said. "So for me, no part is too small. I will literally do one line if I can get experience and learn from it. I'm very humble to be a part of the acting world, and every time I'm on set, I grow and I learn something. So, I'm excited. I feel like I'm exactly where I need to be right now."
She hopes that her own journey will help inspire others, too. "This industry is typically a younger industry, so to start at my age and jump into this, I can't lie, it was it was a little scary," Cynthia told E! News. "I didn't know how I would be received, but I do think at the same time, I don't think your age should define you following your dreams. I don't think you're ever too old to just go for it."
See more of Cynthia on the Aug. 16 episode of Celebrity Beef, airing at 10 p.m. on E!.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)