Straight talk and brassy attitude made The Bachelor's Trish Schneider one of reality TV's most vilified women. Now, she says, she wants to set the record straight
Opinionated? Yes. Honest? Absolutely. Evil? That's where The Bachelor's Trish Schneider draws the line. Her frank opinions about dirty children (dislikes 'em) and extramarital affairs (it happens), coupled with an aggressive pursuit of Bachelor Jesse Palmer—who dumped her on the May 5 show—shocked viewers and fellow contestants. But the 28-year-old model from Pompano Beach, Fla., says the real Trish is more than what you've seen on TV.
What's up with your villain image?
I just have the guts to say what everyone else might be thinking. I do have a lot of different sides to me. I do have a heart. I do care. I'm not this cold, heartless bitch. I didn't throw anybody under the bus.
What misconception do you most want to clear up?
I don't hate kids. I'd like to have one or two. [And] I definitely don't see myself as a villain. I'm me, and I know who I am.
Promos for the show hinted that you're a stalker. Fair?
Stalkers don't normally travel with their own camera crews.
Did your aggressiveness hurt you?
Nothing gets accomplished if you sit back. I like to maintain a sense of control. And if someone isn't going to like that, then you don't need to be my friend.
Any reaction from friends and family?
The people that know me and love me, they just laugh.
Any regrets—say, wearing a T-shirt that said Gold Digger—Like a Hooker...Just Smarter?
If I was honestly a gold digger, do you think I would wear that shirt? I live in South Florida. I could've married an older, rich man a long time ago.
Do you want to marry rich?
It's not about money, it's about finding someone who enjoys the same things that you do. I enjoy sitting at a restaurant with a nice bottle of wine. Sorry, but sometimes you need money to enjoy those things.
Are you friends with any of the other Bachelor girls?
You've seen the footage—would you want any of those people in your life? That's just realistic. Do I think that a lot of these women have wonderful qualities? Yes, I do. If I like you, I like you, but if I don't, I don't [concern myself with you].
Who Is the Orneriest Reality-TV Villain?
PEOPLE.COM asked online subscribers to rate the rogues. Of 2,617 votes:
The Apprentice 60%
The Bachelor 11%
The Real World: San Francisco 9%
American Idol 7%
JON "FAIRPLAY" DALTON
Survivor: Pearl Islands 5%
America's Next Top Model 2%
Survivor: Borneo 2%
WILL "DR. EVIL" KIRBY
Big Brother 2 1%
Average Joe 1%
TEAM GUIDO (JOE & BILL)
The Amazing Race 0%
THEY WANT TO BE JESSE'S GIRL
Two women, one rose: Whom will Bachelor Jesse Palmer choose May 19?
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
POSTCARD FROM BRITNEY
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN MAY 2004
They came, they saw, they canoodled: Ever since Britney Spears's new beau, Kevin Federline, 26, flew from L.A. to provide company on her European tour, the two have been closer than a baguette and Brie. "They touched each other all the time. They had their arms around each other. They kissed a lot," reports the bartender at Amsterdam's Bulldog Cafe, which the couple visited on May 6. The cafe, where marijuana can be legally purchased, is in the city's Leidseplein district. (Spears "only drank a few soft drinks.") On May 8 the two traveled to Denmark, where they visited the Copenhagen hot spot Cafe Ketchup, partied for three hours or so, then moved on to the gay club Pan, where they were seen drinking, dancing and kissing past 5 a.m. That evening Spears performed at a sold-out concert. Next stop? Stockholm, and on to a small hotel owned by Benny Andersson of the pop group ABBA. Arriving May 11, Spears and Federline caught a few rays on their hotel balcony before taking a limo into town to get coffee and ham-and-cheese sandwiches. But the carousing may be taking a toll. Says Swedish celebrity journalist Daniel Nyhlen, who has been following the pop star on the concert tour: "Britney seems worn out and in need of a long holiday."
The Smoking Gun
WHEN FRIENDS ALMOST FLUNKED
Call it the One with the Lousy Report Card. Just four months before Friends debuted on NBC in September 1994, an internal research report gave the fledgling sitcom—which would go on to become one of the most popular shows of the decade and a financial pillar of the network—a less-than-passing grade. In the memo, which was written by an NBC program research analyst (and was obtained by Court TV's The Smoking Gun), the pilot episode was evaluated as "weak" and "not very entertaining, clever or original." In a viewership survey, it scored a paltry 41 out of 100 (with 100 being seen as a surefire hit). Furthermore, while Courteney Cox Arquette's Monica fared best with test audiences, her appeal was "well below desirable levels for a lead." Phoebe and Chandler had "marginal appeal," and "Rachel, Ross and Joey scored even lower." But wait, there is more: Adults 35 and over felt "this group did not really care about each other the way real friends would. They found the characters smug, superficial and self-absorbed." NBC and Warner Bros., the studio that had produced Friends, had no immediate comment.
The action flick Van Helsing, starring Hugh Jackman as a kick-ass demon hunter, took in $51.7 million last weekend. Then on May 10, Jackman earned his first Tony nomination for portraying the flamboyant Peter Allen in Broadway's The Boy from Oz. Scoop caught up with the versatile Jackman, 35, at a haunted house tour at New York City's Madame Tussaud's wax museum.
This is the first time Scoop has interviewed someone in the dark.
Kinda sexy, huh?
What monster movie scared you the most?
My favorite was American Werewolf in London. It was pretty gory, and I like gore. It had the best transformations, until Van Helsing. But back then those transformations blew me away. I love horror movies—Friday the 13th, parts one to nine. I also like The Exorcist and The Shining.
Are you a brave viewer at the movie theater or do you keep your eyes covered?
I watch, but I'm a jumper. I went through here [the Madame Tussaud's tour Chamber Live! Featuring Van Helsing, partly based on his movie character and featuring actors playing demons] and lost three years of my life. I jumped more than anyone. Today I debunk any public notion that I'm a tough guy.
Why do we like to be terrified by movies?
It's the same reason we go on roller coasters. It's an adrenaline ride. We like to know that we're going to be all right at the end of it, but it's the anticipation. You get tension and then release. It's great fun.
Is your son [Oscar Maximillian] old enough to see Van Helsing?
No. He's 4. It would give him nightmares. And he wouldn't be going through here, trust me. It would be freaky for him seeing a waxwork of my character. It's so lifelike.
So during the day you're promoting this tough guy image and at night...
I'm kicking up my legs with maracas and sequins [as Allen]!
So how's that transition?
I just have a piña colada when I get to the theater and, bang, that's it. That's all you need to bring out your inner Peter Allen.
ON THE BLOCK
PRICE: $10 million
SPECS: The Kenny Rogers family is about to grow—wife Wanda, 37, is expecting identical twin boys next month—so the Gambler is selling this six-bedroom, seven-bath estate and looking for something...smaller? "With 27,000 sq. ft., you can lose a kid in there," says Rogers, 65. He hopes to build a new house on three acres in Atlanta.
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