Natalya spoke with The Frank Erwin Center about which WWE Diva she looks up to:
“I really look up to Stephanie McMahon,” Natalya admitted. “She is a role model. We went to a school with underprivileged children and she spent four hours talking to all the kids. She is honestly one of the most down to earth people I have ever met.
She continued, “With her background and status, she has a lot of influence and power but she proves that you can never allow fame, money or your position in life to get the best of you. She is a great example of what being a strong and empowered woman looks like. She has a husband, family and does a great job balancing it all.”
Natalya was also a guest on The Rack this past Thursday. You can read some highlights below:
The popularity of the show and what to expect in the upcoming second season: “First of all, the show kind of caught fire in Season 1; it became extremely popular and people just got hooked on it because it’s such a fascinating show. It’s our lived behind the scenes in the WWE and it’s really entertaining because fans have never really gotten to see us in this light.
“But, in Season 2, you’ve kind of gotten to know us from Season 1 and it’s even like people have become more connected to us; they feel that relationship or that bond with us from Season 1. But Season 2 is even more dramatic than before; we have a new cast member, her name is Summer (Rae) and she definitely stirs things up a little bit. I’m not going to reveal too much but we definitely have some issues that we certainly need to get sorted out, hoping to get them sorted out in a professional manner otherwise she’s going to get bodyslammed by me.”
The slap seen in the Season 2 teaser by Summer Rae: “Yeah, I never really, like I said, I never wanted it to get that far but of course she kind of brought it on herself and now we’re going full circle with it, so definitely people were excited to see it. She’s really, really someone I want to put the Sharpshooter onto every day. But the show is great because it gives people a chance to see we’re not perfect and that’s one of my favorite parts about doing ‘Total Divas’, is that I’m a perfectionist at heart. I’m a Type-A personality; I like to do everything, I like to have my ducks in a row but this show has really shown me and taught me that no one is perfect, and women especially, it’s ok to show people we make mistakes, that we’re human.
“And that being human is part of what makes people feel connected to us. It’s part of our likeability and when I started to let go of those, let those walls down, it shows people that I make mistakes and I’m human. I have fears, I have insecurities, I laugh, I cry; all that and everything in-between. I think that is what is the really great think about this show; is that you see these larger-than-life entities and on ‘Total Divas’ you can see we’re really just like you.”
Has she gotten more comfortable with the Total Divas cameras now: “Well, I think that’s where the danger is, is that we get so comfortable in front of the cameras where I forget that cameras are around us and so it makes for great TV but certainly there’s time, like I said, where I forget the cameras were around us and I’ll watch a commercial on TV for Total Divas and say ‘I don’t even remember saying that! I can’t believe I did that.’ You’re like ‘Did I really say that’ and you watching it back, going ‘Gosh, I should have been more careful’. But, again, it’s part of being human, it’s part of being real and it’s like, like me or hate me this is who I am so just accept me for that.
“The group we are working with, with E!, they’re so good; they’re pretty much the best in the world at what they do as far as reality TV goes and are so professional, you don’t really know they’re there. I ended up making friends with the camera guys and all of a sudden, my cat loves them and they’re over there sipping tea with me after the show. So, it’s fun but at the same time, we’re still entertainers and we’re still on TV. My regular job with WWE has been life-changing and I’m always on TV with them too, so I get terrible stage fright but at the same time I understand too that my job is in front of the cameras, so I’ve really embraced it.”
Was it difficult for TJ (Tyson Kidd) to have the cameras around: “He is actually more shy than me. We’re actually kind of the opposite; TJ is very focused on his in-ring ability and I’m more of the outgoing, chatty-cathy and I find myself having autograph sessions where I have 20-minute conversations with each person that is in line. TJ is very introverted; he’s like a cat and I’ve always compared it to being like a cat because you always have to earn it with him. I’m like one of those dogs that runs up to the door and is jumping around. But TJ is like a cat, and is like ‘Beat it. You’ll get attention from me when I’m ready to give you attention’. So, he’s definitely adjusted to it, but he’s having a lot fun on the show too.
What kind of surprises await Natalya in Season 2: “I hate to say it, but I think things are heating up. I didn’t plan for it to heat up so much, but Summer certainly has pushed my buttons in a lot of ways I didn’t expect. I thought I was past that and yeah, she is defiantly going to be a new source of conflict for me but I like to think that show is like ‘The Golden Girls’; we usually end up working it out. I have yet to work it out with Summer, so I’m hoping that at some point Summer and I can go to Starbucks together and have a Caramel Macchiato and talk things out because right now, we’re not there yet.”
What’s the strangest thing a fan has given her: “Good question. Gosh. I’d have to say I get a lot of random gifts from them. Someone once wanted me to sign a baby carriage and that was really odd; I mean I don’t mind signing a baby carriage. Signing body parts is always another thing; somebody wants me to sign their forearm and I’m thinking “Are you going to get my name tattooed on your forearms?’ and somebody did actually get my name tattooed on their forearm and another one of my fans got a picture of me tattooed on her back; of me, all over her entire back So, those are things that always surprise me. But I have yet to get anything like a dead animal in the mail or anything like that.”