Interview With Mimi Saraiva


AE: So you and Jackie aren’t together anymore, obviously.
MS: No. We’re not.

AE: Work Out was picked up, and the second season begins March 20th. Are you in it?
Yes, I am in it. I’m in it because we broke up and then we got back together while they were shooting. And we broke up kind of in the first episode. I have no idea how many episodes I’m going to be in, but I’m assuming just a few.

AE: Last season, you got a lot of flak for biting Jackie whenever you were angry with her. What’s with the biting?
MS: Yeah, I did [laughs], which is weird to me because they made it such a big deal, because it’s not. In Brazil it’s normal. You know if you ask anyone in Brazil, they’ll say, "Yeah, I do that." It’s ridiculous. My mom bites me, even today.

You know, to us — I’m not justifying anything — but I never really bit [Jackie] to hurt her. It was a joke. And it became something ridiculous, like out of control. There’s an article in this Brazilian magazine about me and the biting and … blood coming out. And I was like, "Oh my God [laughs], this is just crazy."

I mean yeah, I bite. I do bite people that I love, and it’s not to hurt. It was just a bunch of people exaggerating and again, reality TV distorting reality, making something look different than it was.

AE: If the show didn’t represent the real Mimi, what would people be surprised to learn about you?
MS: A lot of things. First of all, I came to the United States when I was18 years old, by myself. I work over 12 hours a day, every day, and the way they portray me on the show is that I want to be taken care of. That was one of the things that irritated me the most — what Jackie said about me. I went to school and I have my B.A. in fine arts. I’ve been independent. I do really well for myself, and I’m a good person.

They portrayed me as this jealous, insecure person. And I’m very secure. In my relationship with Jackie, everything she said about me — it’s just the opposite. And I’m not just saying that. Nobody will ever believe me when they see the show because there’s a lot of projection going on and a lot of anger from her as well.

AE: Do you feel the show was the catalyst for you and Jackie breaking up?
MS: Here’s what happened: The show really exposed the worst of us to each other. The show really showed Jackie’s true colors, and she put everything behind [her] for that. That was her opportunity to do well, and she took it. But she put "us" aside for that. She did everything she had to do in order to look a certain … be a certain character. So yeah, it did. Seeing a lot of stuff on TV, it just amplifies the problems. It made it more intense than it was already.

AE: You’ve said you sometimes find it easier to express yourself with paint than with words. What would a painting of your life look like today?
MS: That’s a good question because if I have time, I want to do exactly what you just asked me. I like self-portrait a lot, so I would make a painting of me portrayed from behind. In one hand, I’d be holding a ball with fire and electric waves coming out of it, and in front of me is just the ocean. Does that make sense?

AE: It’s your life.
MS: I feel like I’m at a point in my life where I can do pretty much whatever I want. I have everything in my hands. I could go in any direction that I choose to go, and I know it’s going to go really well. I have everything under control, and I’m at an age where I feel very powerful and energized. I feel like I can accomplish anything I want to.

AE: If in your one hand is a ball of fire, what’s in your other hand? It’s not Jackie’s head on a stick, is it?
MS: [Laughs.] No, I don’t hate her. In the other hand would probably be a brush. I don’t want it to look like I hate her. I don’t at all. She’s a great person after all. We’re just not good together. I don’t … want it to look like I’m bitter. I let go of things quickly. I’m mad, and then I let it out. In no way [do I] I hate Jackie. I’m really happy right now. I’m with someone else. I’m in love, and it’s going great.

AE: Congratulations.
MS: We’re doing kind of a long-distance relationship, but we’re going to move in together pretty soon. You know how it goes with lesbians.

AE: So, what you’re saying is you’ve been dating for about a month?
MS: [Laughs.] No, a week. [Laughs.] We’ve been dating for four months.

AE: Is she also in the arts or another trainer?
MS: She’s a therapist.

AE: Do you think you and Jackie will be friends someday? That’s very lesbian, too.
MS: Yeah, we’re not at the point of friendship yet. But I think that one day we will. I have no grudges or anything. It was a long relationship — it was five years almost. Maybe in a year or so? It will be OK.

Work Out premieres Tuesday, March 20, 2007, at 11:00 p.m. EST on Bravo, or watch the season premiere online now.

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