Captain Lee Rosbach may have stepped away from Bravo’s Below Deck, the show that made him famous, but with a new show on the way, the reality star of 10 years is ready for more limelight even though his “anonymity is gone forever.”
Rosbach has appeared on 10 seasons of Below Deck, which follows the adventures of a captain, their crew and the guests of a luxurious yacht. Yahoo Entertainment recently caught up with the skipper to discuss a wide range of topics, including his take on how reality stars are being treated in the current Hollywood climate.
And Rosbach, who had been dealing with some health problems on Below Deck but now says he is fully recovered, also reflected on a decade of working in the TV business and what exactly being a celebrity has meant to him.
“My life will never be the same again,” he said. “Nobody prepares you to just become a celebrity. And there’s no manual that they hand to you and say, ‘Well, if this show takes off here’s what’s gonna happen. And if you run into this situation, turn to page 43 and the answer will be there.’”
It took a couple of seasons of Below Deck to air before Bravo finally set Rosbach up with social media accounts, of which he had none at the time. That’s also about the same time he started to learn the best ways to navigate stardom.
“Eventually you can try to surround yourself with people who have experience in the industry and can give you some good direction on what to do and what not to do, and when to talk and when to keep your dumb-ass mouth shut,” Rosbach said.
But even with a good social media presence and good advice along the way, nothing could quite prepare Rosbach for what fame had in store.
“Your anonymity is gone forever, and that’s something that you’ll never, ever get back,” he said. “And I thought when we filmed in Tahiti or when we filmed in Thailand, I thought I would be able to walk down the street there and I’d be fine. And that wasn’t the case. And then people send me pictures of cabs and buses in the United Kingdom and London with my picture all over them. And it’s kind of surreal, it’s hard to get used to.”
However, in the world of reality TV, your persona and how you come across to viewers is often in the hands of the producers and editors. They have been universally known to accentuate certain personality traits and moments in time to help create more drama. But Rosbach seems fairly satisfied that the Captain Lee people are seeing is the one he sees in the mirror every day.
“I think people have a pretty concise and accurate portrayal of what I am or who I am. Yeah, I’d say it’s pretty close to spot-on,” Rosbach said. “Because I had a job to do as captain. They had a job to do, filming me doing my job. And as long as we didn’t get in each other’s way I was fine. And if we could do what they wanted to do safely, we did it. And if we couldn’t, we wouldn’t. And that’s pretty much what it boiled down to. I didn’t change the way that I ran my boats, I didn’t change the way that I treated my people. Somebody needed firing, they’re gone.”
Next up, Rosbach’s TV star journey has landed him on the couch, as in Bravo’s new weekly series, Couch Talk. He’s teaming up with fellow Below Deck alum and former chief stew Kate Chastain to break down the biggest Bravo TV moments of the week.
And while Rosbach has come a long way as a TV star, the same can be said about his journey as a captain, which began at age 35 when he left the restaurant industry. It turns out that when he first started out on the water he would get terrible seasickness — to the point of having a bucket with him every time he was on the bridge. It’s no wonder he recently teamed up with Dramamine for a promotion to send people on a drama-free dream vacation.
And if a future captain can get over a little seasickness, what’s a little lack of anonymity for a TV star?
Couch Talk premieres Aug. 14 on Bravo.
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