Venita Aspen Dishes On Being The Southern Charm Newbie - Exclusive

Venita Aspen built up a successful career as a model and social media influencer before ever going on "Southern Charm," but now she's adding reality TV star to her résumé as the newest member of the cast. "Southern Charm" aired Season 1 all the way back in 2014, and many members of the cast, including Craig Conover, Kathryn Dennis, Shep Rose, and Naomie Olindo, have been with the series since its very beginning. Unlike them, Aspen didn't come on the show until Season 7, when she appeared on a few episodes as a guest. Then, she joined as a full-time cast member in Season 8.

During an exclusive interview with The List, the new "Southern Charm" star shared her experience going on the reality show. She opened up about some of the biggest challenges, how the drama affected her, and her concerns about being accepted by the rest of the cast.

Why Venita Aspen wanted to join the Southern Charm cast

Although Venita Aspen had already come on the show as a guest, Season 8 was her first time signing on as a full-time cast member. She was already busier than ever with her career as a social media influencer, so adding a full-time filming schedule meant she had hardly any time left for herself. In her own words, "I no longer have time in my day. It's all gone. If I'm not working as an influencer, I'm working for Bravo, and time does not exist anymore." But despite the strain on her time, the decision to join the cast of "Southern Charm" was obvious to Aspen.

She'd been a reality TV fan for years, so the idea of going from a viewer to a part of the cast was an exciting opportunity for her. She set the goal when coming into the seventh season as a guest that she'd take the chance to join more permanently if she got it. "This is one of those things I've always wanted to try," Aspen told The List. "I was excited when I got the call and the opportunity to be a part of the cast."

Fitting in with the cast as a newbie

Although she was excited to come on "Southern Charm," Venita Aspen did have some concerns about fitting in with the cast. She described those worries, saying, "'How accepted am I going to be as a newbie in the group?' Everyone had been on the show since the beginning. I'm coming in as my first year, and people have been on the show for at least seven or eight years." But for the most part, she felt welcomed. "Everyone was excited to get to know me and see who I was and learn more about me, which was really refreshing," Aspen said.

But as with most reality TV shows, "Southern Charm" has its share of drama. Aspen said she didn't have any specific strategy for dealing with that drama and instead wanted to come at everything with her authentic reaction. Overall, it seemed to work for her, and she doesn't have any big regrets about how she comes across in the series. Though she mentioned she might seem "more full of [herself]" in the series than she is in real life, she doesn't see that as a big problem. Her biggest challenge was not "[getting] one-on-one time with people that I know I could fix things with off-camera." But that didn't deter her from adapting to the reality show environment.

New episodes of "Southern Charm" air Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET on Bravo and are available Fridays for streaming on Peacock.