Why Vanessa Villela Went From Soap Star to Selling Sunset Realtor

In an exclusive Q & A with E! News, Selling Sunset newcomer Vanessa Villela dished about joining the Netflix hit, her reason for becoming a realtor and more.

By Alyssa Ray Nov 22, 2021 9:51 PMTags
Watch: Exclusive: "Selling Sunset" Stars Announce Seasons 4 & 5 Renewal

Chrishell Stause isn't the only Selling Sunset cast member to have soap star-turned-realtor on her resume.

Viewers will become acquainted with new addition Vanessa Villela when Selling Sunset's fourth season premieres Wednesday, Nov. 24 on Netflix. Villela is a successful actress from Mexico who has starred in several hit telenovelas, including En otra pielUna Maid en Manhattan and Eva Luna.

So how on Earth did Villela find herself on Netflix's docu-series about Los Angeles real estate? Eager to learn more about Villela's path to Selling Sunset, we arranged for an exclusive chat with Villela, who shed light on her unexpected journey.

In the Q & A, Villela discussed everything from the emotional reason behind her career shift to what it's really like working at The Oppenheim Group. If you're like us and are curious to learn more about Villela ahead of season four's debut, check out our exclusive conversation below.

Selling Sunset Star Chrishell Stause Buys $3.3 Million Hollywood Hills Home: Go Inside

E! News: You have kind of an interesting background, you moved from soap operas to now real estate! Talk to us about you what inspired that career pivot?

Vanessa Villela: My sister, she was a realtor and in San Diego, and she started doing really well. I had, maybe, like a six month [period] in between shows...and she told me, "Why don't you do it?" I was very active all the time. When I was not filming during that time of my life, I was a little annoyed with not doing anything...She was like, "Yeah, you're gonna love it. I mean, you love helping people."

To make the long story short, I started studying, then I went to Mexico to film a TV show, which actually took all my attention from real estate, because it's very hard. The test is really hard, especially California...and then I came back, and I was in a little I need of a break. I was living already in LA and I went to Miami.

My sister told me, "Okay, what we are going to do is a staging company. Let's open one in LA and then get your license." I was supposed to be in Miami for 10 days and I ended up staying eight weeks...so I came back on a Thursday, and the next day...on Friday, my sister passed away.

E!: We appreciate you talking about this.

VV: I stayed with the staging company, to try and make something good out of all the hard work that she did...[but] then nothing was really going well in the company...One day I sat in my car and I spoke to her. And I was like, "Jackie, I need a sign. Please give me a sign. What should I do?" And then I opened my phone and I looked for open houses and...the first open house that I went to, the realtor, within the first five minutes of our conversation, he was like, "I want you to work for me."

VV later added: This is a sign, and I'm gonna honor her life and I'm gonna follow this path and, you know, see what God is gonna bring for me.

E!: How did you find you're welcome at the Oppenheim Group?

VV: I mean, I love everyone there. Of course, there's a little bit of drama, but it's still a family. Maybe, what's the word? Dysfunctional. But in the end, we're still a family and we're here for you...They were super sweet with me, since day one. It's just been like an amazing journey so far.

E!: Did it take any time to adjust to doing a reality TV show versus a soap opera?

VV: Yeah, I mean, probably. Because this is not scripted—everything is your own truth...When you go to acting, it's like, everything is ready for you. You go there and they do your makeup, they have clothes and give you the lines. You just have to follow the story.

Here...obviously, it's not a character. It's you. And it's another language, this is the first job that I've done in English. So it's been different but, I was not uncomfortable with the camera at all.

E!: What can viewers expect from season four of Selling Sunset?

VV: I want to inspire women and men—whoever wants to follow another path—to believe in themselves, and to know that anything you want can happen. They're gonna see that. If you really put heart into everything you do, everything is possible.

And they're definitely going to see how I get along with the girls.

For more of Villela, catch Selling Sunset's Nov. 24 return on Netflix.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Get the drama behind the scenes. Sign up for TV Scoop!