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 • MORE.com Celebrity Reporter
brooke burke charvet image
Photograph: John Scuilli/Wire Image

More: You recently attended a special event with your family to help launch the video game Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. 
Brooke Burke Charvet: What is cool about this game is it promotes imagination. I am a mother of four children, and I love any game that’s creative and promotes creative thinking. I am a big fan of video games, and I will allow them because it gives us a chance as a family to do something together.

More: So you got game?
BBC: I love this game because it has real-life characters that you can even incorporate into real life.

More: Do you police everything your children do on the computer?
BBC: I don’t, because I really trust my children. Not only do we have a trustful relationship, but they also know I have access to anything they're doing.

More: What don’t you allow?
BBC: I don’t allow my nine-year-old and my 11-year-old to go onto YouTube and surf the Internet. I explain to them that it’s not their fault, but dangerous things can pop up when mistakes are made. With my younger ones, I buy age-appropriate games.

More: Speaking of kids, you're a mother of four.
BBC: Yeah, it’s a lot.

More: How do you run a household, make time for your new hubby and four children and still look fab on DWTS?
BBC: I am lucky. In terms of my professional responsibility, DWTS is on two nights a week. Because it is a live program it's not one of those 15-hour-gig commitments. I am home almost every night. I also drive my kids to school, even on show days. I am a very hands-on mom. Another thing David [Charvet] and I got very good at: saying "no" to a lot of nighttime events because we want to be around to tuck the kids into bed or just spend time with them.

More: You really turn down all of those parties?
BBC: Last night I was in bed by 9 p.m. because I had a 6 a.m. call time. It is all about making the family a priority; however, we still make time for ourselves and schedule a date night.

More: On the subject of David Charvet, you guys finally got married. Why tie the knot now?
BBC: We always felt married. We did things a little backwards. We built our home, had our kids and then embarked on the world’s longest engagement. We had planned a vacation to our favorite spot and destination, St. Bart’s, and just decided to just do it. It was spontaneous. We did it for us and our children. We didn’t even tell our parents.

More: Wow!
BBC: It was the right time. The truth is, life became so hectic and busy we never got around to doing it. I also was never going to plan a big wedding, because I wouldn’t take on that responsibility.
 

More: Even though you and David have been together for years, do you feel different now that you are officially husband and wife?
BBC: A little. It feels a little bit more complete, and having a husband is a special title. I even changed my name both personally and professionally. Everyone made a big stink about that because most people don’t.

More: Why did you?
BBC: I wanted to honor him. I did it for the kids as well.

More: You also have a blended family. Was it hard to incorporate your past into your present?
BBC: Yes, very. It is hard, and it's ongoing. Raising a blended family has a lot of challenges. I am very lucky that I have a great relationship with my ex-husband [celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Garth Fisher]. We always take the high road and we raise our children together. We also always try to be respectful. But, yes, it is difficult. I should add, having two younger children really bonded our family, because now they feel like everyone belongs. My older children have really welcomed their younger siblings into the family with open arms, and it's just so special. Any child from divorce and a mixed custody agreement can be put in a tough situation. Divorce is forever for children.

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 Wed, 2011-11-02 10:46

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