Cutting a Rug with Brooke Burke Charvet

Brooke Burke Charvet’s famous party lifestyle show, “Wild On,” is long behind her. Forget gallivanting around the world in a skimpy bikini. This popular host is now a newlywed who juggles four children and headlines one of television’s highest-rated programs, “Dancing with the Stars.” An edited version of our interview with her follows.

by Ilyssa Panitz • Celebrity Reporter
brooke burke charvet image
Photograph: John Scuilli/Wire Image

More: Because you are a public figure you had to go through a public divorce. That must have been rough.
BBC: Very tough. There is not a lot of privacy, and it makes you face a lot of stuff. It also keeps you honest. I even wrote an entire book about the experience of the challenges of raising a blended family and life not always working out the way you want it to. I take it for what it is in terms of privacy.

More: What have been some of the challenges you face raising a blended family?
BBC: Being honest with your children is so important. I had to resort to professional help to get the right tools and words; to answer very complicated and painful questions can be difficult. I learn to keep it really simple. But one of the things that come up a lot with children who have two homes is, “I want to go my dad’s. Everything is better over there.”

More: How do you handle those situations?
BBC: You try to reinforce that you make decisions that are best for both of them and that they are not old enough to have those choices and make those changes. You have to stick to your plan. For me appropriate honesty has been the best approach for my situation.

More: Have you have mastered the situation?
BBC: Not really. It is hard, but it works. Look, there are a lot of other children like them. Unfortunately life does not always work out the way we hope it will, but you make the most of it for both yourself and your children. My ex and I truly make it about our kids and their well-being.

More: Congratulations are in order. You recently turned the big four-0.
BBC: Yeah, somehow that happened.

More: How is 40 treating you?
BBC: I don’t really like the sound of 40, but life does feel great. I feel healthier, and I am in the best shape of my life. I’m happy, and I just got married. It is a really special time for me. The number is the worst part of it.

More: Are you scared to get older or are you embracing your age?
BBC: For me, life is getting better. I know myself better, I am more comfortable in my own skin, and I am more mature than when I was a kid. I am also more in touch with who I am, I know what I want, and I know how to get what I want. Honestly, 40 is good.

More: Do you feel wiser in this new decade?
BBC: I have twice the tools. I know how to deal with whatever rolls my way, and if I don’t, I know how to ask for help so I can learn how to maneuver through this crazy time.

More: You are the cohost of DWTS. Do you feel like a little girl playing dress-up?
BBC: I get to play fantasy princess two nights a week, and it is great. Then the next day I am back in my sweats doing car pool.

More: We are getting close to the big finale. Who do you think will take home the mirror-ball trophy?
BBC: It comes down to the freestyle dance. We have seen favorites leave and eliminated too soon. I think that last freestyle dance can make such a huge difference. Everything that happens before is erased in everyone’s mind. Karina Smirnoff has never won the title, and I think J.R. Martinez is just such an amazing man, hero, spokesperson and dancer. I think Ricki Lake and Derek Hough are incredible. Maybe Hope Solo will have a breakthrough, but the girls are falling in love with Rob Kardashian. His transformation has been inspiring.

Click here to read: Jennifer Grey Chats About Pain, Patrick Swayze and the DWTS Prize.

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First Published November 3, 2011

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