If you saw the ABC reality show last year, you might think they parted on rocky terms after Siegel switched places briefly with London’s wife.
“That’s entertainment, buddy,” London said Wednesday in an interview at an Orlando mall.
Now they’re collaborating on “Monsters Anonymous,” a short film in which Siegel plays therapist to Dracula, the Mummy and others who are feeling depressed and irrelevant.
Jeremy and his wife, actress Juliet Reeves London, have helped Jackie and David Siegel cope with the loss of daughter Victoria, who died last year at 18 from a toxic mix of prescription medicines.
“We knew them to be extremely wonderful, loving parents,” Jeremy London said. (The Siegels have seven other children.)
“They’ve been a great support for us,” Jackie Siegel said. “Julia loves our children. She’s like a second mom to them.”
Siegel and London talk frequently, and London’s family visits every few months from Ocean Springs, Miss.
Writer-director London said the 20-minute film, shot two weeks ago, is the first project they hope to do. They plan to take the movie to festivals and later release it on the internet. He estimated that 90 percent of the cast are his acting students.
London saw irony in that Siegel is playing the therapist. She agreed. “I’m probably the one who needs the therapy most in real life,” she said.
“We want to get her focused on positive stuff and moving forward,” London said.
“It’s been a rough year since our daughter passed away,” Siegel said.
The family scrapped plans for a reality series after Victoria’s death. “My husband didn’t want to do the show, and my family didn’t want cameras around,” she said. “It didn’t make sense for any of us to start jumping in front of cameras.”
London, who has been frank about his own drug battles, has comforted Siegel. “More than anything is that you survive and things do get better,” he said.
Siegel, who gained fame from the 2012 documentary “Queen of Versailles,” described new projects as her therapy. She has signed with a production company for a show that doesn’t include her children. “It will be about the Queen of Versailles being in Las Vegas,” she said, adding that producers are shopping the project.
She also has signed with an agent to write a book. She wants to “set the record straight” about a lot of things, notably that her husband, the time-share mogul, is doing better than ever financially.
“The press was really hard on us,” she said when they were grieving for their daughter.
But she applauded her husband’s activism on drug issues and said that celebrity has given her a forum to speak out as well, which she did recently in Australia.
“When people see me in person, they say, ‘Oh you’re doing great. How do you do it?’ The thing is you really don’t have much of a choice,” she said. “You just have to deal with it. I have a lot of children I have to be strong for.”
Siegel says she prays regularly at an altar in her house. “It helps me get through it,” she said. “In private I cry at least once a day, but I don’t let anybody see me.”
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