Sara Bettencourt on Season 3 of “The Real L Word”

Despite having been a featured player in both seasons 1 and 2 of The Real L Word, Sara Bettencourt was never really given a fair shake at explaining her side of the story. In Season 3, Whitney Mixter‘s main love interest is one of the show’s official cast members and she couldn’t be happier. She talked with us about her newfound seriousness with Whitney, how they handle jealousy and what happened with Romi.

Photo from Showtime

Caution: Spoilers from the first episode of Season 3 ahead. Do not read if you haven’t watched the premiere!

On what happened with her and Whitney between seasons 2 and 3:

“Whitney and I have had our ups and downs and it’s been kind of crazy — and honestly I don’t think either one of us knew that we would actually end up together. I just think that it came to the point where after our biggest blowout fight this is probably the last time we’re going to have a chance with each other. I kind of realized that and let her know this time I was really serious and wanted to give it a real shot. After that we had a conversation and we finally actually let our guards down for the first time and let each other in. I think both of, in the past, never really did that and it just kind of opened us to an entire new world of what our relationship could be and I’m really happy we did that.”

On being with other people while dating Whitney last year:

“I think that the two of us really wanted to be with each other but neither one of us was willing to open up and trust each other. I think that seeing other people for me was a safe bet. In other relationships I’ve been in, I’ve been in control and kind of directed things went and with Whitney I knew it wasn’t going to be like that. We’re both so similar with such strong personalities, I knew it wasn’t going to be me making the decisions on how things went. And I was scared to have my heart broken and I was scared to be vulnerable with her. But you get to the point in life where you have to take a chance and a risk and that’s what I did.”

On handling jealousy:

“It’s an interesting thing. I think a lot of it is trust. It’s a different kind of situation for the two of us. We go on appearances together, we go on them alone and there’s a lot of trust involved in that. It’s been weird to see someone that will walk right up to her and ask her to go home with them and I’m just standing right there. Some people will say ‘You can have any woman in the world — why would you want to be with her?’ It’s just a lot of confidence in oneself to be in a situation like that. At the end of the day I know that we really want to be together and I just trust her.”

Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty

On what she’s willing to share with cameras:

“At first, in Season 1 for example, I think a lot of the reason I kept Whitney at arm’s length was because I didn’t want to be vulnerable on camera. I didn’t want to be vulnerable in the world and show my heart. I think that was for both of us. Whitney’s really good at being open to the camera and I’m learning they just kind of disappear and there’s nothing to hide. We are who we are and people want to watch our story and so we have nothing to hide. We’ve just been really open and bared our souls if you will and letting everybody see what our relationship is about.

“I think in the past it hindered us moving forward at any point because I was very skeptical of the whole thing and didn’t really want to be involved in it. But now I know that this was something that was part of her life — such a huge part of her life — and if i want to be with her I just kind of have to give in. It’s definitely made our relationship very different than other relationships. I don’t think it’s made it better or not so good. I think it is what it is.”

On her friend break-up with Romi:

“I think that Romi and I had such a great relationship together. When we first met we really hit it off. We had a lot in common and we really like to do some of the same things. Sometimes friendships grow apart and people go in different directions. I think I really did my part to try to keep her in my life and hold onto a part of her but I think she just has an idea of what she wants to do with her life and who she wants to be and how she’s going to get there and nothing’s going to hold her back. I don’t know why letting go of relationships has to be a part of that path, but it has been and I’ve gotten to the point now where I just have to let things go.

“I don’t think that Romi is gay. Like I’m gay. I know that I never want to be with a man again in my life. Being on camera or wanting to be famous could never change that for me. I’m not saying that she’s not bisexual or that she doesn’t like women, but I’m not saying she’s not an opportunist in that sense either.”

On being a main cast member this year:

“That’s something I’m really excited about. I didn’t really want to be a part of a show where I couldn’t defend myself or show my side of the story or be who I am. I think that the misconception in last season I felt like I was kind of villainized because I was seeing other people, but so was Whitney. People tended to favor Whitney because she is the main star of the show and people love her — she’s just so lovable and it was OK for her to do those things, but for me, I was crucified for being that person. At the same time, it’s a two way street. I really am excited to show a whole other side to myself. You guys get to see my family and I’m really stoked about that.”

On her professional side:

“I have a lot of things going on. I’ve been a hairdresser and make-up artist for a long time, pretty much my entire career has been that. I’ve always wanted to work in fashion so I’m working on my own fashion line right now. I’m also creating a business in real estate with Whitney and our friend and it’s a division of Keller Williams. I’ve always wanted to get my hands in that. I have an entrepreneurial spirit. There’s a lot I want to do.

“One thing: I’m not just a go-go dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. I have a huge background in dancing. I just want to put it out there. I hate reading I’m a go-go dancer. It makes me feel like I’m 15. I have a lot of energy. I work out every day. I’m the kind of person doing cartwheels in the house and doing handstands and jumping on the bed. You might see that, actually.

“I don’t know how I’m going to be perceived this season or what they’re going to show. People are going to hopefully see that this season because I am a main character, I’m a fun-loving person, a free spirit, I have a lot of passion.”

The Real L Word airs Thursday nights on Showtime.