Southern Charm: An interview with Leftist Bonaparte


Leva Bonaparte made her debut as a full-fledged actor in the 7th season of “Southern Charm”. Fans have previously seen her in the series as the girlfriend of the former star of “Southern Charm” Cameron Eubanks. After Cameron’s departure after season 6, Leva joined the team and shook up the situation. Being an American of Persian descent who married a black man with a son belonging to a different race, she became the first colored member of the cast of “Southern Charm”. During her first season, Leva faced a lot of racial issues in the series.

The cast of the 7th season of “Southern Charm” dealt with the consequences of Catherine Dennis’ problematic tweet to a black radio host. Catherine didn’t know why the monkey emoji was offensive to blacks, and claimed her intentions weren’t racial. However, Leva, along with Venita Aspen’s “friend” from season 7, had to explain to Catherine why it was offensive. At a significant moment, Charleston removed the statue of John C. Calhoun, Catherine’s ancestor and a supporter of slavery. In the 7th season of “Southern Charm”, Leva and Venita even captured participation in an emotional event.

The eighth season of “Southern Charm” is due to debut on Thursday, and fans can’t wait to see what the actors bring. The season 8 trailer is already teasing the drama between Catherine and returning actress Naomi Olindo, in which Leva is struggling to mediate. A fight breaks out between former best friends Craig Conover and Austin Kroll, but fans aren’t sure if they’re just fooling around. Breakout star Leva met with Screen Rant to discuss everything related to “Southern Charm” and what fans can expect this season.

Last season we saw you in “Southern Charm” as the only full-time actor who was a person of color, and you had to take on a lot of the burden of having to explain racial differences to a predominantly white cast. How is this season different from Venita Aspen and Ravenella Bread in the show?

I mean, I definitely think it’s different because I’m not the only one having to explain things. I also think it makes everyone else more aware… not every conversation concerns me when it comes to this. I just think it’s good for the show to have diversity, because that diversity exists in the city, so I was glad to see Bread join us, I was glad to see Venita. Obviously, I introduced the band to Venita, so I was rooting for them both to be there. I think it changes the dynamic. I think it just makes it healthier and more realistic, hopefully.

I think it will take a lot of weight off your shoulders.

I definitely could have used them last year. But yes, it definitely takes a lot of load off my shoulders, but it makes me feel a little like I’m not sticking out like a sore thumb. It made me feel more like real life.

Do you think Bravo is trying to change the narrative of Charleston as a predominantly white male-oriented city to a more multicultural city where women like you are strong, you run your own business and are a mom? Don’t you think they’re trying to diversify the experience of this old southern city?

It’s still an old southern town. And I really think that here, as elsewhere, the strength lies in the main hereditary wealth that falls to the share of the white man. I think anywhere. But there’s a huge black community here. A huge southern black community. What I like about Bravo is that they didn’t just implant someone there, which I think is weird. They sincerely expected strong friendly relations. You know, I miss the ten-year history with these people. It just makes more sense, and that’s what viewers want to see. There are a lot of old riches here and a lot, if you look at the history, we are still in the deep south. But there is a thriving huge African American community, and hopefully Venita can bring a lot of that, as well as Bread, and obviously I’m married to that community. Charleston has really changed over the last 10 years. There are people like me now. Especially after COVID. This is a changing city, and I praise Bravo for not overproducing what is changing and growing.

At the premiere of the 8th season of “Southern Charm”, you said that after the 7th season you had a decent year with Catherine. How has your friendship changed?

At the reunion, when we were in New York, we both apologized. She deeply apologized, but for me, I was sorry about… I didn’t know her that well, so a really difficult question was entangled with personal problems. I can be a dog with a bone. That was the part I wanted to take responsibility for. I think she apologized for realizing that I wasn’t against her, but I was trying to push her, trying to get her to fix it. So we went to dinner after New York, sat down and talked about it. She said: “You know, Leva, I confess that I did not understand the seriousness of what I said and what I did.