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Tough Love’s Michelle Betts on Life, Love & Being Demi Moore
Monday, November 14, 2011

For three seasons Steve Ward has been dishing out relationship advice in his own unique style on Tough Love. This year the show went to Miami, and going to Miami with the show was Michelle Betts. At this point viewers probably remember her most for her fantastically awkward flirting moment involving a question about a piercing she didn’t know about. I caught up with Betts this week, and although the conversation never went into the piercing arena, she opened up about what her Tough Love experience has been like so far, in what way she went into it “blind,” and the habit she knew she had to kick. Betts also talked about being Demi Moore’s body double in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, and how she’s the inspirational love-child of Tony Robbins and Steve Ward.

Adam Bernard: Everyone always seems so surprised by how tough Tough Love is. Did none of you watch the show beforehand? Were you signed up by friends?
Michelle Betts: Honestly, I had never watched the show. I’ve been pursuing a career in the entertainment industry for almost ten years, and my talent agent called me with an audition. She knows that I’ve always said “I'm not gonna put my life out there like that, don’t even try reality,” but she calls me and she’s like “will you please just go to this audition.” I was like sure, it was a good day, I’ll go. It was supposed to be a 15 minute interview and it was over an hour, and I really really liked the people. It wasn’t acting, it was just talking. When I told my sister, who is my only sibling, that it was Tough Love, she’s a huge fan and she told me that she had tried signing me up for a previous season but you can’t (sign someone else up). She was like “Michelle, this guy is a genius, you have to do this!” I was not gonna do it and she asked “are you going to regret this? Twenty years from now will you look back at your life and say oh my gosh, I could have done this and I regret (not doing it).” At that point I was looking at my life and I was like shoot, I have not had a serious boyfriend in five years, there is something wrong. So I committed, but I had never seen an episode. When I started the process of becoming cast I didn’t want to watch previous seasons because I thought it would scare me out of it.

Adam Bernard: Are you glad you didn’t?
Michelle Betts: I am very glad I didn’t. My sister told me (about the show), but I was just like you know what, I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I’m gonna go in blind, and I really did.

Adam Bernard: Is this a wise older sister, or exuberant younger sister?
Michelle Betts: She’s a wise older sister. My sister is a dating genius and she has seriously found the love of her life, is happily married and is somebody who knows me and loves me and is someone I trust. She’s my best friend.

Adam Bernard: I notice a lot of the women on the show make attempts to stay steadfast in their old ways. Why is this? Isn’t everyone there to change?
Michelle Betts: I can’t speak for everybody, but I told myself if I’m doing this I’m gonna completely commit to it. I was living a nice life, but there was something wrong, so I figured if I’m gonna do this I’m gonna absolutely do this and I took it very seriously and I listened to what was told and I really tried to take in everything.

Adam Bernard: Did you butt heads with Steve Ward at all?
Michelle Betts: I can’t tell you what goes on behind the scenes, and there are still more episodes, but I will say I’m a personal fitness trainer and I have to give tough love to people, so I take criticism really well. I may not want to hear it, and I might ask questions, but Steve Ward doesn’t have a television show because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s one of those things where you have to just sorta put your trust in him. That’s what I did.

Adam Bernard: Of the episodes that have aired so far, what do you feel has been your biggest self-revelation?
Michelle Betts: I got a lot out of the flirting episode because I was a little closed off and I always thought that I was a good flirter, but he really opened my eyes. Just looking at someone and smiling doesn’t do it. You gotta give a guy more than that. I learned a lot from that episode and he pushed me so outside the box. I also learned a lot about myself with the “deal breakers,” but episode seven was a very huge turning point for me. It’s hard for me to let down my guard. If you’ve noticed you never saw me crying in an episode before, but it was me allowing myself to get vulnerable and say things I have needed to say my whole life. Once you get things, and you figure something out, you have a big chance for growth, but it was hard. That was such a difficult episode. I have empathy for all my castmates and seeing my castmates suffer and letting your things out in the open, week seven was very hard for me.

Adam Bernard: What were you hoping to get out of this experience?
Michelle Betts: I was hoping to break my bad patterns as far as dating, and also, I’m a nurturer by nature, so if you can learn from my mistakes and what I’ve done, here you go. Dating is really hard. Look at all of us. People screw up all the time. I knew (I had a problem). “Why have I always liked these bad men? What is wrong with me?” I’m a really good person. I don’t break laws. I treat people with respect and honesty. It’s not a coincidence that I have dated some really bad men.

Adam Bernard: The way you’re saying “bad,” were you writing letters to prisoners at some point?
Michelle Betts: I wouldn’t say writing letters to prison, but there’s been a string of boyfriends I’ve had that have gone to jail, and it’s so the opposite of me. In episode seven I found the correlation, which is good. One thing I will say to every woman I know, because I have dated true bad boys - bad boys are bad boys, period. You can’t fix em, you can’t change em, they’re bad, stay away.

Adam Bernard: And at a certain point you go from “girlfriend” to “accessory to” and that’s not a title you want.
Michelle Betts: No!

Adam Bernard: Now that you’ve been through it all, is there a method to Steve Ward’s madness?
Michelle Betts: Absolutely. You (just) don’t know it when you’re going through it. He kept on telling us “there is a method to my madness.” Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. There is a complete method to his madness.

Adam Bernard: In addition to Tough Love, as you mentioned, you’re also a personal trainer and you’re in the acting business. One of your acting gigs involved being the body double for Demi Moore in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. What’s the body double gig like?
Michelle Betts: That was an incredible experience. It was awesome. It was the last three days of filming and she was unable to be there. I went into the audition and had to strip down in a little bikini for McG. He chose me and had to forward the photos to her and she had to approve it. It was so incredible working on a film of this magnitude. I got treated so well. I remember the first day, I’m sitting there getting my makeup done, getting my hair done, and Cameron Diaz walks in the room and she sits down next to me because she’s about to get her hair and makeup done and she’s like “oh hi, you’re doing Demi’s work, I’m Cameron.” She was so nice and real. I was like oh my God, all of America knows who you are, all of the world knows who you are, and you’re introducing yourself to me! I didn’t say that to her, but she’s really down to earth and nice. It was incredible. I had a blast. My scenes are like, I’m in a little tiny purple underwear set and I rip off a big fur coat, so you can’t see my head, or I’m standing there while somebody else is saying their lines and you’re seeing my body but not my face.

Adam Bernard: I’m still trying to imagine the set of emails Demi Moore was receiving from McG and what she was thinking, like “I don’t know. I don’t know if the back of that girl looks like me.” Also, how many did she get, and were they all random women’s butts? Moving on from that, what are you working on now?
Michelle Betts: I have a lot of things in the works as far as fitness. I am going to be a FitFluential.com ambassador. It’s a big online forum for fitness enthusiasts. As far as acting, I’m really good with comedy, so I’ve been reading a lot of scripts. I also have a fitness band that I’m trying to get launched for next year. So 2012 will be really good for me.

Adam Bernard: You also have a really in-depth fitness blog. What inspired you to start that?
Michelle Betts: I was a struggling bartender and I was so into the gym everybody I knew was like “Michelle, why aren’t you making a career out of this,” but I was so “I need to be an actress.” What happened was I got a Tony Robbins program, I did the work, and it changed my life. I was like, why am I not making a career of this? When I put all the pieces together and mapped out this is what I want I was like what better way to help people and share knowledge than to write a blog?

Adam Bernard: So you are the inspirational love-child of Tony Robbins and Steve Ward.
Michelle Betts: {laughs} Seriously, those two men are wonderful.

Adam Bernard: Is there anything else people should know about you?
Michelle Betts: I grew up in a small town, I went to college in a small town. I might live in LA and live this sort of crazy life right now, but I’m a normal girl.

Adam Bernard: You’re a John Cougar Mellencamp song at heart.
Michelle Betts: {laughs} And I always just tell people, don’t ever give up on your dreams. If you have a dream just keep on working at it. It will all make sense.

Adam Bernard: Speaking of dreams, did you find the man of your dreams or can you not say?
Michelle Betts: I can’t say! It’s horrible! I’ve gotten so many emails and Facebook and Twitter messages. People from my hometown have tried getting it out of my sister and I’m like I can’t say, I would get sued, so I just have to keep my mouth shut.

Related Links

Website: michellebetts.com
Twitter: @michellebetts4
Fitness Blog: Michelle Betts Fitness Fanatic
VH1’s Tough Love: Vh1.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:25 AM  
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