In 2007, Melanie Brown came back on to the entertainment stage as the runner up in season five of Dancing with the Stars. After finishing as the runner up in the finale, Brown reunited with her fellow Spice Girl mates for a world tour that would be one of the top grossing musical acts of 2007-2008. After the tour was over, Mel B, as many call her, jumped into correspondent work for Access Hollywood, has become one of the tabloid media’s favorite targets, has an upcoming show in Las Vegas, and a new DVD out titled Totally Fit that has sparked interest in a possible workout show. Not many people have as many diverse projects going on right now as Scary Spice, but through it all she is a mother of two and shows no signs of slowing down.
Listen to the Melanie Brown interview:
Chris Yandek: You have more gigs than anyone I can keep track of in Hollywood, but how do you find time to exercise, train, and have that totally fit body after having two kids?
Melanie Brown: “Oh wow. Thank you. I think it’s partly because I am a Gemini. I like to switch things up every now and again and I get bored quick so I have to keep myself entertained. My DVD thing is my workout. I’ve been doing this on and off for the last eight years and especially since I had Angel. I really concentrate on a format that I know works. So if you keep on doing it, it works. Yeah. I guess I am just one of those people. It’s all about balance as well. You have to have time with your kids, time for yourself, time for the husband to be able to function in life and get the best out of yourself so, so far so good. I am not doing too bad with balancing the whole juggling act between everything. I really enjoy everything I do as well luckily.”
CY: What advice can you give to fellow moms? Any secrets? Anything in particular?
MB: “Well, I do my workout when my two-year-old goes down for a two hour nap. So I come and workout. I also stick my crock pot on – put a load of vegetables and chicken and let that do itself and cooking for four hours and then feeds my family for the next two days or so. It’s all about time management and what is quick, easy, and healthy and keep it consistent. I do my workout two or three times a week whether it be by myself or my girlfriends come over and do it with me. It keeps me motivated cause I don’t want to slack off. I also drink a good amount of water. I know it’s hard for people to get drinking water cause I was not a water drinker before I discovered this great workout aqua hydrate, which is brilliant. It’s got trace minerals, it’s got electrolytes, everything you could possibly want and it’s good for hangovers. (Laughs.)”
CY: Is it true that you’ve been offered your own workout TV show with this buzz on this DVD? I read some reports – is it true Melanie is going to get more involved in the fitness world and be a role model?
MB: “I would love to do that because it’s something I am passionate about and do day in and day out and have done for a long time. I hopefully know how to get people motivated and get into that totally fit lifestyle because it isn’t just doing a workout here and there or eating healthy here and there. It’s about being consistent but also giving your body a break and having your cheat day once a week and vegging out and being good to yourself at the same time. But yeah, I’d definitely like to become some kind of a role model if I can squeeze myself in there to the fitness world because I know what I do works and if I can spread that around to as many people as possible then I am doing my bit.”
CY: Everywhere I look I see you on the front of magazines, tabloids. They’re showing your body. They’re showing you in a swimsuit.
MB: “That’s me getting caught by paparazzi. I was on the beach. I didn’t even know they were there.”
CY: Everywhere I look I see there is Mel B on the beach. There is Mel B doing that. How does it make you feel?
MB: “I don’t always look at every tabloid picture. I don’t always read what they’re saying about me because sometimes it’s not very nice. If anything I’ll look at picture and say, ‘Oh dear, why did I wear that? Oh, that doesn’t look too bad. I’ll wear that again.’ I don’t really let it get into my psyche that much and let it get me down or oh my God, look at what I look like. Everybody has good days and bad days and I get on with it. I find it kind of funny that people think I am that interesting. It’s good (Laughs.).”
CY: What’s the biggest cheat as far as food goes? As far as your weekly cheat goes? What is the hardest thing for you?
MB: “Well, every Sunday I do have my English Sunday roast which is roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, roast chicken, and gravy and stuffing. I do like my Sunday roast. I’ll crave the chocolate once or twice a month but apart from that I like to eat healthy. I think once you get a good recipe to throw in your salad, once you get a good chicken and vegetable dish that you really like you can mix it up a little bit and healthy becomes interesting and tasty. You can throw lots of peppers and something healthy into your food to make it more enjoyable. Not just for me but the whole family.”
CY: Well, you definitely got a workout on Dancing with the Stars. How did that experience impact your life to where you are now?
MB: “Well, it was quite interesting because it was like being at school actually. You had to clock in on the morning and then clock out around four or five o’clock. It was like a whole school day. The good thing is I got to take my nine-year-old to school, pick her up and drop her off. I brought Angel along with me and my husband came to my rehearsals and it was so much fun to be able to learn to dance especially I was taught by Maks [Chmerkovskiy] and he’s a world champion so to be given that opportunity in itself was amazing and we really became close. Maks is part of our family. He comes over and hangs out with the kids and hangs out with my husband. That pressure of doing a TV show every week – I didn’t really find the pressure because we were having so much fun. I was laughing a lot and at the same time I got taught how to be a dancer which is amazing.”
CY: Even your husband is in the DVD. You recently got a chance to renew your vows in November. Was it one of the best days of your life?
MB: “Yeah. It was so much fun. We took 30 of our closest friends and family with us to Egypt of all places, which is one of the most amazing cultures, spiritual places you could ever visit. We actually have a house down there so it was nice to actually take everybody over to our private little sanctuary. We had a traditional Egyptian wedding with all the kids and it was just brilliant. Actually the morning of my wedding day we took everybody out into the desert and rode bikes and then we went for camel rides. Not many people can say that on their wedding day that they went dirt biking in a deserted desert and then we went on a camel and a couple of hours later got married in a full on traditional Egyptian swagger. It was brilliant.”
CY: Why Egypt?
MB: “Well, Stephen has really good friends over there. We went over there at Christmas and just fell in love with the place, the people, the food, the atmosphere, the weather, the settings. It’s just gorgeous.”
CY: You come back on to the stage with Dancing with the Stars. You get to the finals in Dancing with the Stars. You are the runner up. Then you go straight from Dancing with the Stars to the Spice Girls tour. You go to numerous TV appearances. You work for Access Hollywood. You’ve got this going on. How do you handle all the projects?
MB: “(Laughs.) I just make sure I have time to recuperate each day. I make sure that I get to do my workout. I make sure I get to spend time with my kids every day. I am not the kind of person to stay home all day every day. Obviously I have days where I don’t want to leave the house and I just like chilling at home but I am all about being active and I am 33-years-old and I am not yet ready to retire and live the quiet life. With kids as well you’re constantly kind of on the go whether it be play dates, whether it be going to Disneyland or taking the kids to the park. You’re constantly out there doing stuff.”
CY: Well, look at Madonna at 50-years-old continuing to do the tours. I am sure you and the girls could get back together again. Were you surprised at the success of the [Spice Girls] tour?
MB: “Yes. We were really surprised. We knew that we wanted to get back together and do one last final big bang for each other and for our fans and especially for our kids to see because when we first came out, the Spice Girls you know – Phoenix and Brooklyn, they were like in our tummy. They weren’t even born actually. It was nice to get back out there and for them to see what mom does and say thank you to all our fans for the dedication and support they’ve shown us throughout the years and we did it on our terms. We hired the best choreographer, the best stage management, lighting, me and Victoria [Beckham] actually picked all the dancers. It was kind of nice to say a final farewell, not to each other because we’re best friends but farewell to the Spice legacy and such and do it our way.”
CY: One of the shows sold out in 38 seconds and it was unbelievable and there you guys were back on stage.
MB: “And the funny is that Too Many Abs, my DVD, everybody gathered around to do it right before we went on stage. All the girls, all the dancers, all the crew was over there doing my Too Many Abs. So it works. Everybody got on shape on that tour that’s for sure.”
CY: The show upcoming in Las Vegas, what are your hopes and what are your fears?
MB: “I think anything when it comes to performing on stage is a challenge. I don’t get fearful. I get like this nervous energy that I just want to get on that stage and just do the best job that I could possibly do and entertain the people that have paid for their seats. The show is very high energy, beautifully designed with all the costumes. The whole set is just a dream. The guy who created Legally Blonde on Broadway and Hairspray on Broadway, he’s created this show especially for me. So I am very flattered for that. I get to sing. I get to dance. I get to take Beau Pepe on this amazing experience of empowerment and girl powerness. It’s kind of keeping it in the same theme as the Spice Girls. It’s just me out there by myself giving it some. It’s going to be brilliant.”
CY: Finish up and tell me what people should get out of this DVD?
MB: “Well, I know it works. The minute you stick that DVD in there and get doing it two to three times a week by yourself, when your kids are napping, or a group of friends you’ll start to see changes. Give yourself at least a good four to six weeks to really start seeing changes especially if you start eating healthy and getting your body good and drink lots of aqua hydrate. That’s my point. Good luck!”
You can check out everything Mel B at her official website http://www.melaniebrown.com