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Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright Talk Their New Bravo Show ‘The Valley’ Amid Separation

Notorious reality bad boy Jax Taylor is back where he belongs. Four years after leaving Vanderpump Rules, Taylor is helming the new Bravo reality show The Valley, which premieres March 19.

“I thought I was going to have to dust off the cobwebs a little bit and get back into it,” Taylor says from his home in Los Angeles’ Valley Village neighborhood. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to navigate it now that I’m a husband, and I’m a father. But no, I just fell right back into it. Within five minutes, I was right back into it.”

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The show, starring Taylor — once admittedly known for his hard-partying, cheating, lying, arrest-prone, manipulative ways — and his recently estranged sweet-as-Kentucky-pie wife, Brittany Cartwright, features many new players, including the location: the San Fernando Valley, where hip Hollywood folks have begrudgingly moved when it was time to grow up.

For Taylor, his family’s move into L.A.’s sprawling suburbia has been a blessing. “I wish I would’ve moved here sooner,” he says. “I just love it. It’s just a little bit more my speed. I like the Valley. I like homes and suburbs and chain restaurants and soccer practice and schools. I just like that kind of life. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time living in Hollywood when I did. But as soon as I got married, I made the right choice to get out of there. It’s a different world, Hollywood now, these millennials. I can’t keep up with that lifestyle.”

He has also put down business roots in the area, opening up Jax’s Studio City on Ventura Blvd. “It’s a little more laid back than everybody else’s bar,” Taylor says. “But it’s a lot of fun. We got a lounge. We got a beer garden. We got karaoke. We got trivia. We got watch parties. The drink prices are really good. The food’s really good. I don’t want to break anybody’s bank. I just want everyone to come and have a good time and be able to see some of your favorite Bravo celebrities.”

News of the show has also instilled some much-needed pride in Valley residents, according to Cartwright. “We meet people all the time, and they’re always like, ‘I’m so excited. We’re going to recognize all the places, all the local spots that you go to.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s going to be awesome!’”

The Valley’s premiere introduces us not only to a slew of farmhouse ranch-style homes and cookie-cutter condos, but the occupants within them, including couples Danny Booko and Nia Sanchez, Janet and Jason Caperna, and Jesse Lally and Michelle Saniei Lally.

Luke Broderick, Kristen Doute, Jax Taylor, Nia Booko, Danny Booko, Brittany Cartwright, Jason Caperna, Janet Caperna, Michelle Lally, Jesse Lally
Luke Broderick, Kristen Doute, Jax Taylor, Nia Booko, Danny Booko, Brittany Cartwright, Jason Caperna, Janet Caperna, Michelle Lally, Jesse Lally

“Jax and I kind of got to put this group together, who we wanted to be on camera with us, and they were all real friends, so it just made it so easy and fun,” Cartwright says from her airy Airbnb.

Vanderpump Rule’s favorite Kristen Doute (who Jax notoriously hooked up with, causing a mini-Scandoval on season two of Vanderpump Rules) is also in the cast, along with her new boyfriend Luke Broderick. “I’m glad she’s back,” Taylor says. “I think she’s a lot of fun. I have my ups and downs with Kristen all the time. One week she’s my friend, another week I want to kill her. And I’m sure she thinks the same with me, too.”

Other Vanderpump stalwarts, including Tom Schwartz, Scheana Shay and Lala Kent pop up on The Valley. When asked about his relationship with former co-star Tom Sandoval, whose affair with Rachel Leviss caused a seismic pop culture sensation in 2023, Taylor is cagey. “Tom Sandoval is a tricky one,” he says. “You’ll see how it plays out in the next episode.”

But The Valley is focused more on daily domestic dramas rather than late nights dirty dancing at Pump. “We film in our houses and stuff a lot. It’s a lot more family-oriented,” says Cartwright. “There’s just so many things that women in general are going to relate to with this cast. And I think that that’s going to be what sets this show apart and makes it a lot different than Vanderpump Rules.”

“We’re in that transition spot. So, there’s a lot going on,” Taylor says. “We’re at the point of our lives where people are getting married, separating, divorced, trying to have kids. Some people can’t have kids. People are buying homes. We’re trying to find the next chapter of our lives. That’s what your 40s are about. It’s like the next phase. It’s the back nine of your life — that’s what I like to call it.”

Indeed, the premiere promises all-American barbeques and dads playing golf, as well as introducing Cruz, Taylor and Cartwright’s 2-year-old son. “He loves it,” Taylor says of the filming process. “He goes behind the scenes, and he watches the camera guys and watches the playbacks. He loves craft services. He loves hanging out with all the PAs and the camera people and the producers. He’s just in awe of it all.”

However, as is often the case in sunny suburbia, all is not as it seems. Cartwright and Taylor are doing their interviews in separate homes, taking time apart after eight tumultuous years. This included a dramatic cheating scandal which played out on season six of Vanderpump Rules. As Cartwright recently told Bravo’s Hot Mic podcast, it took a long time to get over the public humiliation of Taylor’s televised betrayal.

“I was just like, so embarrassed, you know?” she told host Alex Baskin. “And it was just a really, really, really tough time in our relationship. And then to have to relive it like six months later again in front of everybody, it didn’t get leaked or anything. I thought it would before the show aired, but it didn’t until the show aired. So it was just it was like reliving it again. We had broken up for like three months, got back together by then, but then we were just fighting again and again.”

But Cartwright says filming The Valley is not to blame for their current breakup. “I wouldn’t blame anything on filming because our whole relationship, from where we first started dating, was on camera. So, it was almost weirder when we stopped filming after Vanderpump Rules, honestly,” she says. “I just think that personality-wise, we’ve just been clashing too much recently. And my son, he comes first, and I’d rather him be in a happy home than have to deal with us fighting and arguing. And I don’t know what the future is going to hold by any means, but this space that I’m taking is much needed.”

If the trailer is any indication, Cartwright and Taylor aren’t the only Valley castmembers facing serious (and silly) adulting issues. “When I created the show, I didn’t want the drama that they have on Vanderpump because I’ve just done it,” Taylor says. “I’ve done it for so long, and I didn’t want to go back to that. I wanted to show the next chapter, that was my plan. That lasted about five minutes. And then, of course, just like anything else, it gets back into the drama and everything.”

That’s one thing Cartwright and Taylor can agree on. “Jax kept saying, ‘Oh, we’re grown up now, we’re in The Valley.’ I was like, ‘The drama followed us to The Valley. It did not stay in West Hollywood.’”

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