INTERVIEW: Lauren Russell Takes on Jewelry and Kiyomi’s Fans

Lauren Russell

Lauren Bedford Russell was introduced to the world on Season 3 of The Real L World.  We got to see her welcome her best friend Amanda to L.A. from New York, meet the rest of the cast, party at Dinah Shore, and fall in love with Hunter Valentine’s own Kiyomi McCloskey.

The Seattle Lesbian’s Crystal Houtman had the pleasure of chatting with Lauren, where she dished on the show, her high-profile relationship and new jewelry line.

We were introduced to you on The Real L Word season 3. What made you decide to apply for the show?

I knew a couple of people who had done the show, but I had a new jewelry line [at the time] and met up with my friend Amber who was applying and she said I should, too. She’s such an amazing girl so I figured that if she was applying I would, too.

Kiyomi came off as a bit of a villain this season – which is quite different from her real character.

Yes!

Do you feel the producers portrayed you in the right light?

I think that I was generally happy with the way they portrayed me. Their interpretation of what happened with Amanda wasn’t right: my wanting to hang out with my friend was interpreted as me liking my friend – I don’t have feelings for Amanda, we just want to have fun. It was funny – it’s the first time we were single at the same time in the same city – we love each other a lot but that one part was the only part that wasn’t quite right. They did show a nice piece of me – they could have shown a lot more, like drunken partying.

Have you been invited back to be on Season 4? 

We don’t know about season 4 yet – we find out by the end of the month, I think. I’d love to come back.

The Dinah Red Carpet

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kiyomi a couple weeks ago and she confirmed you two are still going strong. Is it hard to maintain your relationship with Hunter Valentine on the road 2/3 of the year?

I’ve been on the road with them about 1/3 of the tour. I’ve met them in different cities and do appearances in cities they’re in as well.  We are doing extremely well. I’ll be in Austin next week with Amanda when the band is playing there.

I also got to see first-hand women literally climbing over people just to try and touch Kiyomi.  How does that make you feel?

It comes with the territory – I don’t think I’d date someone if I didn’t feel 100% comfortable that she isn’t trying to touch back. She’s very respectful of our relationship; it’s never been a worry for me. I’m happy she has a great relationship with her fans. I support her career and that’s part of her career.

You recently launched Lyon Fine Jewelry. What made you decide to do a jewelry line? Is this another branch in the rivalry with Romi?

Oh, no! My jewelry line started way before I was on the show – definitely had nothing to do with Romi. I’ve been in jewelry since I got out of college 10 years ago. I worked for a jewelry store and then went into other career choices, but basically came back to jewelry. Even before I was on the show [the jewelry line] did really well.

Your most popular item, the Equality Bracelet, donates 20% of proceeds to Friend Factor.  What exactly is Friend Factor?

An organization that helped New York pass the marriage law…basically a straight alliance for gay rights. I mean, of course gays fight for their rights [as well], but to have straight people fighting for your rights is just amazing. I just came out with a PSA for Friend Factor and it’s on YouTube.

Lauren Russell with Kevin Jonas

You have many pictures up of celebrities wearing your Equality Bracelet – who have you been most excited to meet so far?

When I was at Sundance I met some pretty amazing people. I guess I’d say meeting Danny Glover was pretty cool, he was pretty awesome.

If you could pick any celebrity to meet and to wear your bracelet, who would you pick?

Tom Hanks, he’s pretty cool

Finally – as you know I’m reporting for The Seattle Lesbian, have you ever been to Seattle?

I have been to Seattle a few times, and I have a couple really good friends that live there. I love the scene there and the history of the music scene there. I’d love to come back…bring me back!

You can “like” Lauren Russell on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @1laurenrussell, learn more about Friend Factor, and watch her YouTube PSA. For information about The Dinah 2013, please click here.

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