The Truth About Selling Sunset's Vanessa Villela

Chrishell Stause found her position as the resident fan-favorite character on Netflix's hit reality show, "Selling Sunset." However, her position was challenged by the arrival of Vanessa Villela in Season 4. As E! Online reported, Villela was previously a soap opera star. Although she mostly stayed out of the drama — unlike fellow newcomer Emma Hernan, who feuded with Christine Quinn — she made a major impression on fans watching at home. In a February 2021 interview with Digital Spy, Villela admitted that judging anyone at the Oppenheim Group was difficult, since she was meeting everybody for the first time. "I love them all ... I couldn't take a side," she shared.

As a result, Villela managed not to add to the ongoing division between the office and Quinn, warming viewers' hearts in the meantime. And although she was relatively new to the world of real estate, the former actor proved to be adept at closing deals. But Villela is much more than a one-time soapster, a realtor, or even a reality star — so with Season 5 of "Selling Sunset" set to premiere soon, let's take a closer look at this modern-day Renaissance woman.

Vanessa Villela is no stranger to working on television

As Women's Health notes, Vanessa Villela was born and raised in Mexico City. Alongside her sister Jackie Villela, she was discovered by a talent scout at four years old while attending a birthday party. "A father at the party was a producer of a children's television show," Vanessa Villela told the outlet. "He told our mother 'Your girls are lovely and we would love to have them in the show.' We thought it sounded fun, and that's how it all started." Soap operas soon followed including, "Una Maid en Manhattan," "El Cuerpo del Deseo," and "El Señor de los Cielos," according to IMDb. However, Vanessa Villela was eager to make it in America and later moved to both Miami and Los Angeles in pursuit of her dream, per Women's Health. 

Real estate came about following the death of her sister, Jackie Villela, who owned her own home staging business and worked as a realtor herself in San Diego. Prior to her death, Jackie Villela had encouraged her sister to get her license. Per Women's Health, Vanessa Villela recalled her sister's words: "You love helping people and talking to people, you'll be a natural." She soon followed her sister's advice and managed to study, while simultaneously appearing in a Mexican TV show. Before working at the Oppenheim Group, Women's Health reports that she was at The Agency, which is run by Mauricio Umansky of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" fame.

Vanessa Villela was a perfect fit for Selling Sunset

Unlike fellow newcomer Emma Hernan, Vanessa Villela was a total stranger to the rest of the "Selling Sunset" cast. As co-star Amanza Smith explained to Cosmopolitan UK, however, "She quickly is like family. It's funny, like Jason [Oppenheim] really is very [specific in] the way he chooses people to join the brokerage, I don't know if he has a little checklist. She fit right in and very quickly became, you know, just one of the family." In October 2021, Villela posted on Instagram to celebrate six months with the group, echoing Smith's comments by gushing, "I can't begin to tell you how proud I am to be a part of this family."

Elsewhere, her official bio on The Oppenheim Group website notes that Villela is passionate about animal rights and working out. She also enjoys traveling, judging by an October 2021 Instagram post in which she wrote, "Traveling is about enriching your own life." The reality star also took to Instagram earlier in 2021 to share her upcoming collaboration with swimwear brand Lascivious, proving that she's a true multi-hyphenate. That said, she's had to deal with new challenges that come with being on a reality TV show. In November 2021, Villela told E! News, "Obviously, it's not a character. It's you. And it's another language, this is the first job that I've done in English." Thankfully, she's taken to it well and become quite the standout star.