Chas Harrington is the newest addition to the platoon of gay BFF's on Atlanta-based reality TV shows. But he's determined not to get stung by a format that often kicks its gays to the curb in a mess of drama.
The longtime interior designer was inaugurated into the gay reality cabal on Nov. 5 as the bestie of Realtor Chrishena Stanley. The pair vetted a $2.29 million estate for a client in the premiere of "Selling It in the ATL," a six-episode series for WE-TV that airs on Thursdays. And as the show plays out this season, Harrington says he won't step into the chaotic cesspool that often sucks in gay sidekicks on other Atlanta reality shows.
"They just let us be ourselves," Harrington says. "They didn't try to direct us to be bitchy or this or that. I was very up front that I am who I am and I won't pretend to be anyone that I'm not."
Expect Harrington to be the antidote to the drama of some Atlanta queens on reality TV. No brawls. No twirls. No hair burglars. No designer sacks as wedding gowns. Just unfiltered honesty without a side of bitch. And, based on his scene in the first episode (watch above), a little bit of delightful dandy.
"I would never be the b-i-t-c-h word because that would not be professional. That is something I would never allow myself to say or do. If I was thinking it that is one thing, but saying it is not something I would do," Harrington says.
Harrington landed his recurring role on the show thanks to a friendship with Stanley they developed when she sold Harrington and his husband, Larry Letter, a condo in 1010 Midtown. When the couple sold the unit four years later to move to another on Peachtree Street, they turned to Stanley for help.
Those transactions sparked a professional relationship and friendship. But when Stanley called asking for Harrington's help on the show, he initially resisted.
"When Chrishena called me, I wasn't interested. Basically, I relented for Chrishena more than for the production of the show," he says.
But since Harrington routinely previews pricey homes for his clients, doing so for Stanley on the show was a natural fit, he says.
"That part was easy because I've done it for my entire career," Harrington says.
Tougher were the hours-long production days when the show started. Harrington was surprised with the time it takes to prepare for a scene and to shoot it. But throughout, he wasn't concerned about how he'll be portrayed when the show airs. Maybe it's his decades of interior design experience. Or a certain personal grounding that comes with a 39-year relationship with his husband. Or maybe he hasn't seen what happens to some of those "Real Housewives of Atlanta" queens.
"One thing about me, my pet peeve is honesty. I am honest to the core and I am not going to alter myself," Harrington says.
That's not to say, though, that he doesn't enjoy letting loose and enjoying a good drag show on occasion. Harrington says he's a big fan of the annual East Point Possums Show and a quick Google search unearths a photo of him tipping a performer at the show in 2010.
"I've supported that every year, even every year when Larry and I have not lived in Atlanta. I have always come back to support the Possums," he says.