Jeremiah Brent: ‘you blink, and holy sh-t, you’re 40’

Netflix confirmed at the beginning of March that Jeremiah Brent would be replacing Bobby Berk as interior designer for season 9 of Queer Eye. No sooner did this announcement come than did Rolling Stone print an article describing cast member Jonathan Van Ness — the beauty & hairstyling expert of the Fab Five — as a tantrum-prone diva, with the reporting coming from the accounts of still-shaken unnamed sources and production crew. But that wasn’t enough to send Jeremiah running for the hills, as filming has begun in Las Vegas. Just before production started, though, Jeremiah spoke with House Beautiful about a new book he has out, The Space That Keeps You, as well as his family, aging, and of course an insistence that there’s “no drama” with the new Fab Five:

Oprah’s Montecito mansion appears in his new book: It’s one of 11 homes featured in the book — but unlike the typical designer monograph, he didn’t work on all or even most of the projects therein. Instead, The Space That Keeps You is an exploration of old and new photos, doodles, handwriting, and detail shots. Getting it published was a fight, he says. “Very controversial! Everybody wanted me to do a coffee table book of my images, but that wasn’t what I wanted to put out there,” he says. Instead, his goal was “to shift the narrative around home, and how we create home, and what we bring into our spaces.”

Rachel Zoe changed his life, twice: “When Jeremiah walked into my office 15 years ago, there was just something about him,” Rachel Zoe tells House Beautiful. “He was young, and green but he had such great energy. Although he was selling himself on fashion, his passion was really interior design — I knew immediately that he had such a good eye and I wanted to give him a chance.” … It was Zoe who, witnessing his predilection for interiors, told him to make the business switch, and he launched his firm in 2011. The following year, he met Berkus at Zoe’s birthday party in New York City, and they married in 2014.

Brent & Berkus, “digestible gays”: Their business empire and fame rest on their taste and talent, yes, but it’s likely their good looks, undeniable charm, adorable family, and Oprah’s support that have made them your mom’s favorite designers. Brent has referred to their draw as “digestible gays.” “We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to continue to move that needle,” Brent says. He hopes that window of digestibility is shifting, and it’s one of the reasons he’s thrilled to be joining Queer Eye.

And speaking of Queer Eye… Brent is set to start filming the Netflix juggernaut days after he chats with House Beautiful — and weeks after an investigative expose alleged tumult on the set, which seemed to explain the departure of the show’s previous design expert, Bobby Berk. Brent is, of course, ready to address the report. “I’ve got to tell you, there’s no drama with any of us. We’re all in a group chat. We’re having the time of our lives,” he insists. “Everybody’s heads and hearts are in the right spot. … There is an amazing art department and team behind the scenes that are working hard around the clock. I’m excited to get in there, roll up my sleeves, earn my keep, and hopefully show people some really beautiful designs.”

Turning 40: Later this year, Brent turns 40, and it’s the reminder of this fact that finally sends a cloud across his golden facade. “Why would you bring that up? That’s the meanest thing you said to me this whole interview!” he says, joking again. “Show me the birth certificate!” It’s a wild milestone, he says, because he remembers his mother’s fortieth so distinctly. “She had a birthday party in our backyard, and I was like, How embarrassing,” he says, imitating a withering tween tone. “Then you blink, and holy sh-t, you’re 40.” But he counts off the blessings of this age, from his children to the husband he’s “still obsessed with, despite his best efforts.”

[From House Beautiful]

Jeremiah should feel nothing but proud on his birthday! He gets paid to do what he loves, has a gorgeous family, and boasts one of the finest heads of hair in the western hemisphere. But really, no pressure though, I know we all process birthdays in our own ways. My suggestion would be to order a cake with a frosting inscription that says “Digestible Gays.”

As I’ve said here before, I adore The Nate & Jeremiah Home Project, and what undoubtedly makes it is the interplay between the husbands. You can tell that they cherish each other, and yet are also very much a married couple. So it will be interesting to see Jeremiah in a new setting. Even though he already knows the cast members, that’s still a world of difference from the ease and shorthand of working with your spouse. Not to mention the tight turnaround schedule for each episode. At least the location has changed from summertime New Orleans. Can you imagine what that humidity would’ve done to Jeremiah’s hair?!

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Photos via Instagram and credit Getty

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1 Response to “Jeremiah Brent: ‘you blink, and holy sh-t, you’re 40’”

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  1. Minnieder says:

    Oprah looks fantastic!! That pic of her in the white suit is amazing!