‘Vanderpump Rules’ star Ariana Madix reflects on life a year after ‘Scandoval’

A year after her reality TV mega-breakup “Scandoval,” life for “Vanderpump Rules” cast member Ariana Madix is better than ever.

If there’s an upside to tabloid headlines and heartache, Madix seems to have found it. She had a successful season on “Dancing With the Stars,” scored multiple brand endorsements and appeared on Broadway as Roxie Hart in “Chicago.” Her run is set to end on April 7, but more on that in a bit.

For those unfamiliar with the very public infidelity and breakup Madix endured, she was cheated on (in her own home) by her boyfriend of a decade with her former good friend. The current season of “Vanderpump Rules” shows the aftermath of the seven-month-long affair, and the group’s struggles to forgive Madix’s ex, Tom Sandoval, while remaining loyal to their friendships with her.

Madix, meanwhile, focused on becoming financially independent and jumped on the offers that were flooding in. BIC EasyRinse razors came calling first with a social media ad that had Madix announcing she was getting rid of “what’s been clogging up” her life (Sandoval). Now, she has two more spots with the campaign debuting next month.

She’s also released a cocktail recipe book called “Single AF Cocktails: Drinks for Bad B*tches,” and has found love with a new boyfriend, a personal trainer who lives in New York.

In a recent conversation with CNN, Madix sounded very much at peace with her post-“Scandoval” life. A transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity, follows below:

CNN: In the finale of last season’s “Vanderpump Rules,” you said you wished it was a year from now, so you would be past the pain. Now that a year has passed, where are you?

Madix: I’m in a very different place in many, many ways. Probably in every way possible. Yeah, a very different place. And I’m really grateful to be better place now. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is handed to you. Nothing is ever easy. And so I’m really grateful to be where I am and to be surrounded by the people I’m surrounded by. It’s been a journey.

CNN: Broadway has been your dream, and your run is soon coming to a close. How are you feeling about having made it to Broadway and now moving on?

Madix: Oh, it’s bittersweet. You know, there are things I am excited about afterwards, going back to LA and seeing my friends and opening a sandwich shop [Something About Her] with Katie [Maloney]. There’s a lot of things on the horizon that I am excited about, but I am very sad for this run to end. And I’m trying not to be sad now and stay in the moment, so I can really enjoy these last couple of weeks because it really is a dream come true. I love it.

CNN: Do you think that you surprised a lot of people this past year with your talents outside of reality tv?

Madix: I think so. I mean, I think that people who have known me for many, many years were probably less surprised than the people who’ve just been watching me on ‘Vanderpump,’ and that’s no fault to them. Of course, I get it. It’s not something that I’ve been really putting out there.

CNN: You said following the scandal that your goal was financial independence and this year has probably brought you closer to your goals in that regard?

Madix: Work begets work. And I want to work! As someone in the entertainment industry, I started out with a theater degree, but I started out with zero connections to anything. I have gone through many, many years where I could not find work. I’m really, really grateful to be able to clock in and work and hopefully do the best job I can.

CNN: The way you’ve handled the last year after everything has been fun to watch. How do you think you rose to do all these projects, instead of falling on a destructive or not-so-healthy path?

Madix: Maybe the way that I grew up, I think, has had huge influence on me. It’s hard to describe Melbourne, Florida to people who haven’t been there. But I definitely feel as though maybe it’s that Florida in me. I’m (still) just that barefoot kid, running around in a horse barn.

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