If you haven’t been watching CMT’s Gone Country, in which folks like Dee Snider, Bobby Brown, Carnie Wilson, and Maureen McCormick write and perform country songs with the hope that theirs will be the single produced by Big & Rich’s John Rich and sent to radio, you’ve been missing out. (The winner is revealed on this Friday’s finale, 8 p.m. ET.) I recently sat down with McCormick — who you Celebrity Fit Club fans will be happy to know looks fabulous — to chat about her unlikely new friendship with Brown, her “explosive” autobiography due out this October, and the Oscar-nominated actor she knows for a fact is a Brady Bunch fan.
POPWATCH: Everyone thinks it’s so strange that you’re on this show. But you’ve actually released a country album [When You Get a Little Lonely] before.
McCORMICK: It was years and years and years ago [1995, to be exact] and I kinda felt like it wasn’t done the right way. There are certain rules in Nashville, and my album didn’t really follow them. We came in from L.A. We had incredible musicians on the album, but I just would’ve liked it to have been more organic. It’s always been a dream of mine to write a song and to have it played on the radio. How cool would that be?
I’ve read that when The Brady Bunch ended, you were actually offered a recording contract and you turned it down because you wanted a normal life.
Actually, I’ve always regretted that. I think it would’ve been interesting to see where it would’ve gone. Could’ve, would’ve….
Let’s talk about your friendship with Bobby Brown.
When he walked out of his plane and onto the bus [which picked up the contestants], I just about freaked out. I thought, this is not gonna go well.
You ran to the back of the bus.
I did, I did! I ran to the back of the bus. Little did I know that he grew up on The Brady Bunch. Bobby Brown watching the The Brady Bunch?! I was shocked. He just turned out to be an absolute teddy bear. I know he’s known for a crazy reputation, [but] I found him to be so loving and so giving and so wonderful.As soon as we found out that we both smoked, that did it. He was my partner outside all the time. And I became really, really close with Carnie.
After the jump: Maureen on Ross the Intern, Christopher Knight, and who has her Kitty Carry-All
When I had lunch with Carnie, Bobby, and John, she said you and your husband had spent New Year’s with her and her husband.
[Laughs] She just came over for Valentine’s Day at my house! I think we’re gonna be friends for life.
Carnie told me that Bobby doesn’t know how to check his cellphone messages—
He’sjust like me! That’s another thing we have in common. I barely know howto use a cellphone. I’ve never been on the computer. I don’t know howto email. I need to, like, come in to the 21st Century, I guess.
Now there’s talk of a spin-off for you and Bobby.
I knowthat [producers] are talking right now with CMT about it. It’ll bereally interesting to see what they come up with. I’d love to seemusic, people, travel, food.
The two of you road-tripping would be fun. You could stop off and explore all of those things in small-town America.
Wouldn’t that be hilarious? Road-tripping with Bobby Brown. I wonder if he’s ever been in an RV. [Laughs] I doubt it. I’ve driven across country in a car, but I’ve never been in an RV.
You’re currently writing your memoir. I know a lot of people admire how open you’ve been about your past [including battles with bulimia and cocaine]. What allows you to be so open?
Well, I think we all go through things in our lives. I think I’vealways been known as this perfect, happy, really together person, butI’ve really gone through a lot. I had kept secretsfor years, and in this book I’m writing now, I’m just lettin’ it all hang out. It’s a great thing to finally justgo, This is me. I’m imperfect. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and here’swhere I am now. I’m just hopingthat it’ll help people open upabout their own lives. [Publicist reminds her not to speak about anything she covers in the book.] It’s weird: I’d been asked for years to write my story, and not until I did areality show did I feel ready to or want to. Then, when I was on Celebrity Fit Club, it was like, OK, here theworld is seeing me at one of the worst times in my life. I’m just gonna be me, and that’s OK. It was very cathartic. [Voice goes up an octave] I love the titleand I thought of it! It’s called Here’s the Story.
You contributed a few paragraphs here and there to Barry Williams’autobiography, Growing Up Brady [in which he details their first kiss and subsequent make-out sessions]. How will your telling of your history differ from his?
I’d say mine is on a different level. I’d say it goes deeper. The toneof his book was kinda light. Mine is more, what is the rightword, explosive!
Since I know I can’t ask you for details, let’s move on to some reader questions. Several people want to know if you still talk to Ross from Celebrity Fit Club. Working Girl asks, “Will she and Rossmake my dreams come true and launch The Ro and Mo Show?”
Tell her I want to! We had so much fun together.We’re gonna probably go shopping soon. [Laughs] I’ve stayed intouch with everyone but Dustin [Diamond]. It’s funny how thatis.
Kand has a two-part question: First, What do you think of Christopher Knight’s reality show on VH1?
I’ve honestly only watched [My Fair Brady] once, and I was pretty shocked. There wasa lot of getting it on. But they’re very loving. I’m really happy forhim. I really do like his wife [Adrianne Curry]. I’ve met her in person, and I wasthinking that I wasn’t going to like her, and she’s really sweet. She’s just veryhonest and open and she doesn’t edit, and I like that. What you see iswhat you get, and you know exactly where you stand. I’m really happyfor them. I hope it lasts.
Secondly, would you ever consider doing Dancing with the Stars?
I’ve gotten some other [reality show] offers, but nothing that I’ve wanted to do.It’s funny, I ask my 18-year-old daughter every time, ‘cause she knowsall of the reality shows. I always ask her, “Is this going toembarrass you? Is this a good one or not?” She steered me away from TheSurreal Life. We watch reality shows together. We watch Sex and the City together. We love to watch old I Love Lucys. Idon’t think we’ve watched The Brady Bunch together.
I’ve heard that your husband has never seen The Brady Bunch, period. Is that true?
Never. I think it was unbelievableto me. ‘Cause I really have never gone anywhere where someone hadn’tseen it. I think it’s a great thing, because hefell in love with me for me. Ifeel really lucky. We’ve been married 23 years. I still pitter-patter.
Who would we be surprised to know is a Brady Bunch fan?
So many people, I just freak out.[Thinks] Johnny Depp was a huge Brady Bunch fan. I met him when he came to Hollywood,twenty-some years ago. This was before he even really got started. We both hadthe same agent. He was at my apartment, where my husband and I wereliving, just hanging out. It was so cute. He was like wow. It was so precious.
Last question: What’s your most prized possession from your career?
[Thinks] Well, I gave my Kitty Carry-All that I had to Rosie O’Donnell. Itwas something that I really, really wanted, but I knew that she wantedit more. She’s really into collecting dolls… I’ve kept every newspaper clipping. I’ve got boxesand boxes and boxes filled with them. And pictures. Pictures are the mostfun.