Home Entertainment ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Star Ally Lewber Talks James Kennedy Relationship, and Taylor Swift...

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Star Ally Lewber Talks James Kennedy Relationship, and Taylor Swift Making Out With Travis Kelce During Kennedy’s Coachella Set

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When Ally Lewber joined the cast of “Vanderpump Rules” in Season 10 as James Kennedy’s new girlfriend, the chances for drama could not have been any higher. Kennedy had recently ended an engagement with fellow cast member Rachel Leviss, and the history of exes mingling with new partners on the series has historically not gone over well.

However, the 28-year-old has been a refreshingly calm addition. Her love of astrology, cats and music has quickly made her a fan favorite, as has her authenticity and ability to play peacemaker when moments turn emotional or explosive. Lewber was also famously first among the cast to notice Tom Sandoval and Leviss getting close — in Season 10, she recounted to the group seeing the two dancing together late at night at the West Hollywood bar the Abbey.

Lewber had recently come back from an exciting first weekend at Coachella, where her DJ boyfriend Kennedy entertained thousands of festgoers — including Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. In the interview with Variety, she spoke about the music video for her latest single “Girl’s Girl,” all the chatter about her relationship with Kennedy — and how she’s navigated the post-Scandoval season of “Vanderpump Rules.”

The video for your latest song, “Girl’s Girl,” came out a few days ago. How does it feel putting your first music video out, and seeing how people have responded to it?

I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude, because this is my first music project that I’ve shared publicly, so it was obviously kind of nerve-racking going into it. I didn’t know what to expect, but I also was really excited to be making music again. I think you can tell in the video that me and my friends genuinely had so much fun. I’m happy that everyone else is loving it and feeling the vibes and being so kind.

Between your published music and covers of songs you’ve shared on social media (such as covering “The Ballad of Lucy Gray Baird” from “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”), it’s clear you have a passion for music.

Thank you, I am obsessed with Rachel Zegler!

And you kind of look like her!

Oh, stop! Don’t do this to me.

Were you into singing growing up?

I come from a family of musicians. Growing up, music was always big in my house. I studied voice in college. I went to Belmont University’s School of Music, and was a vocal major. I did that for a while before I switched majors [to entertainment industry studies].

I loved doing musicals growing up and I would play at local restaurants and local bars. I would just bring my guitar around town and sing. And I love writing songs. But I definitely thought it was more of a hobby for me. When I met James, he was super supportive, saying “You need to share this with the world.” It gave me that little confidence boost.

Belmont is in Nashville, so definitely a big music town, especially for country music. Do you have any music idols — country or otherwise?

I’m a huge Kacy Musgraves girl. Obviously, I am also a huge Swiftie. It’s interesting because I’m not a huge country fan except for women — Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, also Sheryl Crow.

Speaking of Taylor Swift, Taylor and Travis Kelce were spotted making out at James’ Neon Carnival set at Coachella this past weekend.

I didn’t know in the moment, which I’m glad, because I would not have known what to do with myself. I have not shut up about it. I’ll just be at home and be like, “James, Taylor Swift went to your show!” I’m never going to let him forget. It’s insane! Out of everyone in the world, if I could pick one person to go — Taylor Swift!

Your “Vanderpump Rules” castmate Scheana Shay makes a cameo in the music video, and happens to be another music enthusiast in the group. Has she offered any tips?

I’m always texting her for advice here and there, and she really is super supportive and helpful all the time. But James, I think just because he’s my boyfriend and has been doing this for so long, I felt I was in good hands. I definitely knew that I had to have Scheana in the video, just because she’s one of those friends who just want to have fun and want to be involved. I just knew that she would have a lot of fun and get along with my other girlfriends. We filmed the music video in one day in Joshua Tree, and she came after we filmed the reunion the day before, which was like the longest day ever for them — not for me, I wasn’t in all of the reunion.

Right, it’s a long shoot.

And she had just bought a house and they had just moved in. So with everything going on, I was like, “Scheana, I totally understand. You don’t have to come.” She’s like, “Of course I’m coming.”

She always shows up. She is a girl’s girl no matter what people say about her. At least from my experience, Scheana has always been there for me, and has been a true friend from the beginning.

Casey Durkin/Bravo

Getting into “Vanderpump Rules,” how did you feel going into this season, given how things ended last season?

In the beginning, it was definitely exciting to see how everyone was doing and just to catch up. But also a little anxious as well, because there’s a lot of tension, a lot of people not liking people. It was kind of just navigating where this group goes, so feeling anxious but also excited to get things going and to hang out with everyone.

How has the dynamic of the group changed since last season?

I think, for me personally, the dynamic, unfortunately, feels better. That, again, is just from my perspective, because I mean last season — and not that the dynamics were bad or anything — but obviously, it was just difficult. Ariana [Madix] and Rachel [Leviss] were always hanging out, and Scheana too. I’d rather spend my time elsewhere than with my boyfriend’s ex.

Do you feel with Rachel gone that you were able to grow closer with the other women in the group?

Yeah, definitely. I do think that this season I was able to kind of build those relationships a little bit stronger. I was getting to spend more time with them and get to know them. With Ariana, her life just completely changed. I think when you go through something super dramatic or a huge transformation like that, who is around here to help you, pick you up, or help talk to you about it, or even just to like let you vent — it is sad that that is how you bond over something tragic like that. But yeah, I do think that it allowed us to grow a little bit closer.

But she’s been so busy, too. Everyone’s been so busy, too, where it’s like, I’m excited for any moment we have to catch up. This Coachella weekend was great, because everyone was there. We haven’t really seen each other since the reunion, because everyone’s just so busy.

Casey Durkin/Bravo

Going into some events this season — after Rachel did an interview with Bethenny Frankel for her podcast, she’s since launched her own podcast where she discusses mental health. But she’s also aired grievances about the group. Do you listen to it, or do you keep it out of sight, out of mind?

It’s totally out of sight, out of mind. I know the first episode, I definitely was eager to listen to it just to see — I think we all were a little bit like, OK, what’s she going to say? So I did listen out of curiosity, but I haven’t listened since.

Understandable, given this is again your boyfriend’s ex.

Exactly. I like positive, good energy. Not really look backwards, keep things moving.

This season, we’ve seen Jo Wenberg, who has a complicated relationship with Tom Schwartz. Given that Jo was with Schwartz, but seems to not understand why Katie and some of the other women wouldn’t want to be friends with her, what have you taken away from her behavior on the show? You, of course, tried to get to know her yourself, meeting up with her and doing a birth chart.

I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. I definitely wanted to see what she was about. I know that it’s intimidating and scary, coming into the group and not really knowing how they’re gonna perceive you or take to you. I wanted her to honestly feel like she could talk to someone. You want to walk into a place and feel like there’s a safety, at least one person outside of Schwartz, I guess.

But looking back, I wish she was a little more honest and open with us from the beginning, because I think things would have gone a lot differently. I feel we would have all been, like, “[Schwartz] is leading you on.” I think she probably knew that deep down, but she was just in love — and you know you don’t see clearly sometimes when you’re in love.

Speaking of which, the women of “Vanderpump” were so aligned last season, backing Ariana up. Why didn’t that last, in your view?

You know, that’s a good question I am wondering myself. I think that this group is so interesting, and they are a dynamic group. It’s just interesting to watch, from my side as well: Is this just normal? Is this how they get through things? I don’t understand that either, why there’s this change of sides.

But I do know that this group — they really are family and they go so deep. I know everyone struggled with this season in their own separate ways, and it’s easy just to watch the show and see it for what it is. But it was really deep and I know that everyone had a really emotional time with all of it.

Lala Kent has been on a press tour since this season’s reunion wrapped. In a recent interview, she goes as far as to say that Ariana doesn’t have storylines Did you witness whatever it is that set her off?

That’s so them. Even after the reunion, I know she was really upset and it was just pretty emotional. And then after the reunion, I pretty much had to come home and pack for the music video that I filmed the next day, so I really didn’t do any catchups or anything. And even Scheana, when she came the next day, it was all just pretty unclear how everyone felt. I feel like I’m just learning things as well, like from what they say on their podcasts or whatever. I’m not actually entirely sure where they stand, and even at Coachella, I didn’t want to bring it up. I was like, let’s just keep the vibes good.

Lala said she filmed with Sandoval not because she likes him, but because they’re on a show together, and she wants the show to continue. Given how things ended this season (and understandably, there are things we’ve yet to see including the reunion), what does the cast being so divided mean for the future of the show?

I wish that I had an answer. Everybody is so different. I do believe that time heals everything. I do. I think Ariana is definitely not going to heal as quickly as everyone else, and she shouldn’t do anything she’s not comfortable with. I think it’s just going to have to feel healthy and organic and natural.

Photo by: Casey Durkin/Bravo

Are there things that fans assume or mischaracterize about you or your relationship that you’d like to clear up?

I’m super grateful and lucky, because I do feel like the majority of [fan’s comments on social media] are really nice. And the ones that aren’t, I have gotten really good at not paying attention, or not letting them get to me. I think that the ones that get to me are the ones that question my love for James, and my intentions. That is always hard to read, because it’s not up to anyone else to decide. They see literally 30 minutes, not even, probably five minutes of me on TV. He’s such a lovely person. He has Venus in the first house — I always use that to explain it to people. And my Venus is in the 12th house, so I am pretty private.

I wish people could see more of us, because our relationship off-camera is a lot more funny, silly, and creative. We really push each other. He’s my biggest cheerleader, and I’m his. And so I think that’s the only thing that hurts is when I see comments questioning my love for him, because I do love him.

In February while on Scheana’s podcast “Scheananigans,” you addressed Teddi Mellencamp suggesting James had a physical altercation with you in a limo after the MTV Movie & TV Awards in 2022. Can you explain what happened in the limo?

I talked about that on Scheana’s podcast, and don’t feel comfortable addressing it again. I did discuss it on Scheana’s podcast, which was nice of her to let me say that. But I don’t want to address that again.

In this week’s episode, you and James discuss the future, specifically kids and marriage, and James gets emotional. How did it feel seeing him react that way?

It’s one of those conversations that I think is so cool about reality TV, because it makes you have tougher conversations. Like, yes, we’ve had talks like that, but none to that extent. It was nice, because it really made me start to think about what I wanted. I am still pretty young. I’m 28. Do I imagine myself having children? Some days. And other days, I don’t. That was a very authentic conversation, and good for us to discuss.

I do know how he feels, though. He really wants a family and children. I know that’s a non-negotiable with him. So, it’s sweet that he is allowing me to take the time, because I’m not ready right now. He does know that. He’d be such a good dad. I know people don’t see that side of him on reality TV, but he is truly so supportive and encouraging.

James has been called the “voice of reason” this season. How do you feel about that shift of perception for him?

Honestly, that is my favorite thing about this season. I feel like everyone’s seeing a side of James that I always see, and it’s nice not to always defend him, and to see the crazy reality TV James. He is the voice of reason, because he literally just says how he always feels. And, you know, that’s got him into trouble before, but he called it how it is. He says what everyone’s thinking, and he’s still smart and witty and funny without drinking. I think that that’s why it comes across so much better. But he’s just so himself. He’s so authentic. He’s such an Aquarius.

Fans praise you as being a peaceful mediator amid the chaos. How do you navigate conflict in the group?

I am an Enneagram Type Nine, which is the peacekeeper. I have always really been that way since I was a kid, and I’ve always known that about myself. I don’t love confrontation. I don’t love people feeling misunderstood or not heard or recognized. But you know, with that being said, I can still get sassy and stick up for myself when I need to. I feel like I always prefer to be in energy that’s positive and uplifting. I feel like Schwartz is that way too. I think it’s a Libra thing, because I’m a Libra moon and he has a lot of Libra. I know sometimes it can look like flip-flopping or a little fake, but it’s just genuinely wanting everyone to get along because you get both sides. So it’s like you understand that everyone can feel differently.

What would you like people to see more of from you as you continue with the show?

I honestly do feel really grateful for what I have been able to share. And to be completely honest, everything that’s happened with the astrology — and even getting to perform music — that’s always been such a dream of mine. But I never really had the push to really go for anything. I am really grateful for James believing in me, and for the show for allowing me to share my passion. I’m just really happy that people have gotten to see that. I am excited to share more of it. I feel like I’ve never been more connected to my purpose. I also think [seeing] more of like me and James — James and me at home, seeing our real relationship and how much fun it is, seeing more of Hippie and the cats too.

This interview has been edited and condensed.