Trishelle Cannatella: The Interview
Daytime talk-show host--and possible Phil Donahue drag imposter--Sally Jessy Raphael once called realty-TV star Trishelle Cannatella (Picture: 1) a "drunk slut." Lesser entertainers wouldn't be able to recover, but for Trishelle it was a calling. She is perhaps solely responsible for taking shows like The Real World: Las Vegas to explicit realms even prurient producers never dreamed of.

She's since taken it all off for Playboy and shared a house with Vanilla Ice, Traci Bingham, and Ron Jeremy in the second season of the TV hit The Surreal Life, where she again took it all off. Yes, Trishelle is Mr. Skin's kind of girl.

The Southern Belle from Louisiana, now living in Southern California, is currently starring with a bunch of her fellow reality-TV stars in a warts-and-all documentary about the popular genre called Reality Unleashed, now out on DVD and available at She appears with reality-TV royalty Paris Hilton in the film The Hillz (2004). Trish is also featured on the cover of the Sexiest Women of Reality TV calendar. She is looking to continue her acting career and is hoping to host a TV show.

It appears that our favorite reality-TV vixen is about to make the move to big-time marquee, and she took time off from her ascent to talk to Mr. Skin about having sex on the boob tube, why Halle Berry is a perfect piece of ass, and how a strict religious upbringing failed miserably to curb her carnal enthusiasm.

What's this behind-the-scenes DVD that you're in?
Reality Unleashed is available at stores like Sam Goody and Tower Video and you can order it on or We made it a couple months ago, they just had a bunch of reality stars from different shows like, obviously, The Real World, Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race, Joe Millionaire, Temptation Island, and Road Rules Challenge. That was really cool.

A lot of people that I was really interested in meeting like Lex van den Berghe (Survivor: Africa and Survivor: All-Stars), Sarah Kozer (Joe Millionaire), and Marcellas Reynolds (Big Brother 3), a lot of the big-name reality people that I wanted to meet were there.

Basically, all the things that people want to know about your favorite reality stars is on this DVD. We had dinner, talked about our different experiences, and asked each other questions. They have a lot of intimate secrets and stories about how each show was taped. There are some bonus features, like "When Editors Go Wild." It kind of shows how editors can make a situation something that it is not. A lot of people don't even know that, anything about the cameras. They get to hear our real stories of what happened behind the scenes.

Were you surprised by anything?
I wasn't really surprised much because I knew everything about people's shows. I was a little surprised when I found out about Sarah Kozer, who did Joe Millionaire, and she was on the cover of Playboy. She said how the producers coached her into doing things and it was, like, crazy what she went through with that whole experience.

For The Real World we weren't really coached to do things. It was more like in our interviews we were asked leading questions. But some people, their shows are pretty fake. You don't get to see a lot of that or hear about it.

You became notorious for MTV's The Real World: Las Vegas and your sexual antics with co-star Steven Hill. What sexcapades didn't make it to the show?
With Steven, my God, everything made it! Are you kidding? The good stuff didn't make it, obviously, the stuff nobody gives a shit about like us playing football during the day and us going to movies, dinners. The normal stuff didn't make it; all the sex made it [laughs]. The cutting-room floor is very boring.

You posed nude for Playboy's Girls of Reality TV. Why take the Bunny's offer?
When I was first offered to do it I turned it down a couple of times. But I talked to the people at Playboy and met with a photographer and all that stuff. When I actually did it, oh my gosh, they make you feel so comfortable and so pretty and makeup was amazing and the hair and all that stuff. I never felt so pretty. The pictures are beautiful. They're not trashy. I was really happy that I did it and I was glad with the way the pictures turned out and I would probably do it again.

Why the initial hesitation? You don't seem shy about sharing your talents.
My family, they didn't want me to do. But they didn't want me to do The Real World either, and obviously I didn't listen to that [laughs].

You were also on stage in Stuff magazine's Pieces (of Ass), where actresses do naughty first-person monologues. What kind of steamy stories did you tell?
It wasn't really steamy stories. It was more just talking about the experience of being on reality TV and having sex on TV. I kind of made a little joke about--obviously, I did The Surreal Life with Ron Jeremy--when I did The Real World I didn't know that they were going to show all that sex. Because Vegas was the first Real World where they actually show guys and girls and all that other freaky shit we did [laughs]. I was so shocked. I was, like, "What the hell! At least Ron Jeremy had his makeup done. Where's my makeup person?" It sucked. So I just talked about my experiences on the show.

Do you like seeing yourself naked on TV?
No, not at all. When we did The Surreal Life and we went to the nudist colony and I got nude, it was more for me than for anyone else. I kind of felt that I was the youngest person in the house at The Surreal Life by, like, ten years. Why the hell not? I'm never going to be in a nudist colony again, I'm sure. Why not just get naked and eat some salmon or whatever the hell we had for dinner that night [laughs]. That was the bet, you know? The thing was if we lost the volleyball game we'd get naked, and I wanted to be the first one to do it. It was pretty fun.

What about other hot chicks, who do you like to see naked?
By far, the hottest woman in the world is Halle Berry. She just has the most amazing natural body. Beautiful black woman, smooth skin--she's just amazing.

You're living in L.A. now, so let's hear some dirt on some of the celebrities you've met.
Oh, none that I could tell. I'd totally get in trouble. I have a couple interesting Britney Spears stories, interesting Ashton Kutcher stories. But, I mean, I'm not going to put anyone out like that.

You can talk about your Surreal Life co-star Ron Jeremy, though. Were you familiar with his work prior to getting on the show?
I'd heard of Ron Jeremy, the name. Even Tammy Faye [Baker] had heard of him, and she's a televangelist. I was in a sorority and I dated a fraternity guy, so his porns were playing throughout the fraternity house. But I've never seen him, his … you know. And I still haven't seen it. Every time they showed it on The Surreal Life I turned my head. I don't want to see it. He's my friend.

How about mainstream sex scenes, which was the first you remember seeing?
Do you remember the movie 9 1/2 Weeks? I remember, I was really little and I was at my aunt's house, she had HBO and all those bad channels I couldn't watch when I was little. That movie was on and it was the part when they were putting food all over one another and eating it off one another (Picture: 1). I was just like, "Whoa!" My eyes got really big. And then my aunt comes in there and says, "What the hell are you watching?" Turns it off and I was so embarrassed. I couldn't even watch MTV when I was little.

Are you prudish?
Prudish! No, I was raised Southern Baptist. My mom was strict about what I watched. I would even get embarrassed when people would kiss on TV.

Now that you're grown up do you enjoy watching the nude scenes?
Not really. I really don't care. I see myself naked every day.

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