We've all heard the saying, "beware of the quiet ones", but the weight it held couldn't have been heavier than when Basketball Wives' LA viewers surprisingly watched reserved Malaysia Pargo throw a blow to cast mate Laura Govan, and In just the first episode. But nowadays, Pargo is past all of that and is ready to step up to fill the shoes of the "bigger person". Malaysia carved out some time from her lovely day in Chicago with her kids to speak with EBONY.com about her new attitude, jewelry line, and what we can expect from this season's Basketball Wives': LA.
EBONY: I can hear the babies in the background! Are you back in LA?
Malaysia Pargo: I'm at my home in Chicago, but I have homes in Chicago and LA.
EBONY: Wow, so you’re back and forth a lot from L.A to Chicago? Do they ever tape you outside of L.A for snippets of your family life?
MP: No, its just easier for them to tape in L.A. with all of the rest of the girls. We all pretty much have our own separate lives. I just kind of ping-pong back and forth, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m use to it; I’ve been doing this for almost ten years now.
EBONY: That makes sense. Well, congrats on the renewed season of Basketball Wives': LA. I watched the premiere, it looks like it will have a more positive concept around it. Do you think that viewers are going to be entertained by the difference or do you think they’re going to want to see the old drama and the cat fights?
MP: You know what, I think it will be refreshing to see a different dynamic. I think that whenever you get a group of women together there’s going to be some kind of conflict. But at the end of the day, were going to show you a resolution to that conflict, and you know, we are all like sisters. And when you have a sister, they get on your nerves and you get into arguments, but at the end of the day that’s still your sister. You love her and look out for her. We're not trying to hit each other over the head with bottles.
EBONY: In the first episode, you really tried to bring Jackie [Christie] back into the “group” after her isolation. I applaud you for doing that.
MP: Thank you. I feel like everybody deserves a second chance. With Jackie, I feel like we didn’t take into consideration that she was going through something in her life. I didn't lose my mom, so I didn’t know what that felt like. But I had lost my grandmother who was very close to me, so in that context, when you’re losing someone that’s so close to you, you're sort of going through a near death experience. You don’t really know how your life is going to go on. I'm not saying that I’m righting her wrongs, but I am going to try to understand her wrongs. If that makes sense.
EBONY: it does. We as viewers just see what we are handed. After losing her mother, she had to have had a lot going on in her head and in her heart.
MP: Right. I just thought about it a lot. When you’re going through a point where you're hurt, you just want to get over it and try not to think about it. So you do other things. She probably doesn’t even know why she did what she did, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I feel like it’s neither here nor there, and we can move on and we can learn from each other.
EBONY: We're living in such a "mean girl" reality TV era, and the "Basketball Wives" franchise sort of ignited the fire. Do you look back and feel you could have done some things differently?
MP: Honestly, it is reality and the way I reacted toward Laura was the way I felt at that moment. I’m going to keep it real: if someone steps on my toes the way Laura did, I have to defend myself. I had to let her know that, "no baby you’re not going to keep disrespecting me". The right thing to do was probably to walk away, but that was a situation that I kind of couldn’t walk away from. So I guess if you were to ask me if there was anything I would have done differently, I did try my best to get her to calm down and it just wasn’t working. I couldn’t even walk away from it. She wasn’t having it. She wanted to fight so, I had to give her one.
EBONY: You’ve been very smart to use your exposure to build a business. Can you tell me more about your jewelry line, Three Beats?
MP: My jewelry line is named after my kids, the three beats my heart. I make them with diamonds, rubies and sapphire. I designed my first piece with Jason of Beverly Hills and I told him what I wanted and he brought it to life. Then he was like, "you're pretty good at this, you should start doing it." Then I was like, "you know what? Maybe I will." And that’s how it happened.
EBONY: And of course you have the access to the diamonds.
MP: Yeah and I’ve always been into fashion. Like I can dress anything for less! I shop everywhere honey, from Wal-Mart to the flea market to Saks and Niemen’s.
EBONY: Are you that friend talking her friend out of a big purchase and finding the look for less at H&M?
MP: I’m that girl that my friends come to and say, "Look I got 100 dollars and I need to make my outfit work", and I’m like "alright let’s go." And we’ll come back with a good outfit from head to toe. And I’m that friend like doesn't like hold on to her stuff. I’m like "oh you want to wear something out of my closet girl", go have fun! But you have to return it though.
EBONY: What about your friendships on the show, is there anybody in particular that you’ve grown really close with that you didn’t expect to?
MP: I do have two favorites on the show and you’ll know because I don’t sugar coat it. I don’t hide the fact that two of them are like my favorites. But you'll have to wait and see!
EBONY: How do you keep your head leveled with all the craziness and the gossip that comes along with the show?
MP: Well first off I pray. I am a big worshiper. Before I put my feet on the ground in the morning, I’m praying. Before I lay my head down at night, I’m praying. I make sure that I pretty much keep everything the same and normal, especially with my kids and my marriage. And my relationships with family and friends. I come from humble beginnings so everything pretty much stays the same for me.