Andy Cohen Reveals What It's Like Filming Real Housewives Amid Coronavirus

Andy Cohen spilled on all things Real Housewives & how he's teaming up with Stella Artois for a virtual experience that fans can get involved in. Find out how below!

By Alli Rosenbloom, Allison Crist Aug 18, 2020 1:00 PMTags
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Hosting, housewives...and hotels?

Yep, add that last venture to the list for Andy Cohen! The Watch What Happens Live emcee is teaming up with Stella Artois to open what's called "Hotel Artois at Home," a celebrity-packed, virtual 5-star hotel experience for cooped-up Americans to enjoy from the comfort of their own couch.

Andy told E! everything there is to know about about the experience—including how fans can get the opportunity to book a "stay" at the virtual hotel—in an exclusive conversation that also covered all things Bravo. 

As reality TV devotees are surely aware, the recent reunions for various Real Housewives franchises, as well as shows like Vanderpump Rules and Shahs of Sunset, haven't exactly looked like they normally do. The coronavirus pandemic has forced Andy to host the special segments and WWHL from home for months, and it wasn't until the beginning of August that he was finally able to see some of a flurry of Bravolebrities in person at The Real Housewives of New York City's reunion.

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"It was great!" Andy told E! "I mean, it was really odd on one level but it was also amazing to be doing an in person...and we were all six feet away, we weren't allowed to touch. But it was really, it was still really dramatic and it was just it was exciting."

"I've never been happier to put a suit on," he added.

Though RHONY is wrapping up its current season, The Real Housewives of Potomac is just getting started!

"I love it, I mean it's very dramatic," Andy said of the new episodes. "There's a lot of shifts in alliances as the season goes, and there's a lot of really compelling personal stories with the women that I think will surprise a lot of people."

Andy also revealed that production has begun on both The Real Housewives of Dallas and The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Filming, of course, isn't particularly easy right now as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place across the U.S. As the Bravo host explained, "We're following all of the protocols. And it's challenging."

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"I mean, I think that what you'll see is a little more...I think the women will be at home more, at each other's homes [and] outside," Andy said.

The Real Housewives of Orange County is facing exceptionally difficult circumstances, as cast member Shannon Beador and her three daughters tested positive for coronavirus at the end of July.

"We had to shut down production because of COVID and then the women kind of self shot for a little bit," Andy said of RHOC. "And let me just say that when we resumed production, COVID played a big part of what was happening."

Recent months have also seen landmark protests of social injustice, demands for racial equality and the continued rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I know that [Braunwyn Windham-Burke] has been very active, and I think that it's something that she's been talking about with the other women," Andy noted of RHOC's involvement. "There's kind of not much more I can add to that."

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Braunwyn, as it turns out, is one of the five housewives Andy would choose—along with The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Nene Leakes, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hill's Garcelle Beauvais, RHONYC's Leah McSweeney and RHOD's Stephanie Hollman—to be stuck in quarantine with.

Well, quarantine in a fancy hotel that is.

But to get everyone together, he'll probably have to turn to Hotel Artois at Home, which Andy said brings "the daydreamy perks of a five star hotel into the lives of everybody who's at home."

As part of the star-packed virtual experience, Andy will be behind the bar serving up both Stella Artois and celebrity tea "virtually one on one with guests."

"Eva Longoria designed the room service meal and we have Liev Schreiber doing wake up calls, and it's really cool," Andy told E! "You just go to the Hotel Artois at Home booking portal... and you make your reservations there."

He continued, "Listen, we're all cooped up, we're looking for fun things to do. And this is a great kind of place to hang out with like-minded people and daydream and have a Stella."

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Andy Cohen / Instagram

Maybe Andy's son Benjamin will even make an appearance!

One positive of being in quarantine for months is that the two have been able "to spend a ton of time" together, he said.

"It's fantastic the amount of time I've gotten to spend with him. I'll never get this, I'll never be able to do this again," Andy expressed. "I'll be able to say I spent these formative months with him and so it's been really great bonding. And I'm a single parent so I'm especially grateful for that."

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Hotel Artois at Home is currently accepting limited reservations! Head to the booking portal where a select number of reservations for Sept. 2 will sporadically open over the week.

You can also check out the Spotify playlist "Andy Cohen's Hotel Artois Happy Hour Hits" to hear the Bravo host's go-to summer hits that are sure to transport you to a fabulous hotel on vacation, all while staying safe at home.

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)