Former Hilton Head Island resident Shepard “Shep” Rose is one of six cast members on the new reality TV series, “Southern Charm,” which debuts this month on the Bravo channel.
Rose, 34, comes from good stock. He is the nephew of former S.C. Department of Public Safety director B. Boykin Rose (the town of Boykin and the state dog — the Boykin Spaniel — are both named after his mother’s family).
“Southern Charm” follows Rose and five other socialites living the good southern life in Charleston. Thomas Ravenel (former state treasurer) and Cameran Eubanks (MTV’s The Real World: San Diego) are also cast members.
Rose recently spoke with Monthly about his “Southern Charm” and what it was like growing up on Hilton Head.
Hilton Head Monthly: Your new reality series “Southern Charm” premieres Monday, March 3 on Bravo. How do you feel about that?
Shep Rose: I feel pretty good about it, actually. I had a really good time shooting it and hope that comes across. I think it will.
HHM: The show claims it is going to take viewers inside the wealthy and scandalous world of you and five other singles living in Charleston. How would you describe the show?
SR: Basically, it’s just following us around, having fun with what life throws at us. There may be a couple of bumps along the way but I don’t think anything too scandalous is going to be revealed.
HHM: Is there another show you can compare it to? Is it a classier version of Jersey Shore?
SR: It’s sort of an answer to southern stereotypes — the Honey Boo Boos and whatever the hell else is on TV that shows the south in not such a good light. Everybody on this show is pretty well educated and knows how to behave themselves. Well, maybe not all the time (laughs), but most of the time. This show proves the south isn’t just a bunch of rednecks.
HHM: I read all of the cast bios. Who do you like the most?
SR: I spend the most time with Whitney (Sudler-Smith) probably. I don’t know why, we’re just buddies. And Craig (Conover). I love both the girls (Cameran Eubanks, Jenna King), too. Really, I’m friendly with everybody. We get together in Charleston off-camera and have a good time every now and then to laugh and talk about what to expect.
HHM: Is there anybody you didn’t get along with?
SR: No. I was cool with everybody. That was my intention going in. I don’t really have many enemies in life at all and I kept that mindset going in. Nobody really pissed me off so everybody is cool with me.
HHM: So you are from here?
SR: Yeah. I went to Hilton Head Prep from 1st grade through 9th grade, then I went to boarding school. I came back and lived on Hilton Head for two or three years in my late 20s. I love that place, man. It’s the best.
HHM: Why do you say that?
SR: It’s beautiful and the quality of life is great, same as Charleston, but it’s more quiet and understated. I love going back.
HHM: Do your parents still live here?
SR: Yeah. I grew up in Sea Pines but they moved to Windmill Harbour about six years ago to a nice townhouse so they don’t have to keep up with a yard anymore.
HHM: When you lived here in your late 20s, where did you work?
SR: I worked for one of my dad’s friends doing commercial real estate development around Savannah and Bluffton. It was around 2008 so of course it was a terrible time to do that. I have a lot of good friends there. I hung out with everybody at the Mellow Mushroom, the Barmuda Triangle and had a great time.
HHM: In school you played sports at Prep?
SR: Yeah. I played basketball and had a great little career there. Then I went to boarding school and everybody was better than me. I still love basketball, for sure.
HHM: Your bio says you cut your teeth here on troublemaking and general tomfoolery. Can you elaborate on that?
SR: I wrote that thing in two seconds. It was tongue-in-cheek. I’ve never really gotten into too much trouble at all in life, thank God.
HHM: The preview video I saw for the show hinted at some baby daddy drama. Are you mixed up in that?
SR: I’m not. If it does hint at that, I can tell you that is the pinnacle of any sort of scandal on the show. I really feel like it’s a comedy and I hope it comes across as such. It felt like a comedy when we were doing it. I just remember laughing a lot while filming last summer.
HHM: Are you worried about how the show will be edited, how you will be perceived?
SR: It definitely was a concern in the beginning. I talked to my mom, dad, brother, sister and all my friends about it. I just decided to treat everybody with respect, be polite and just be cool. It’s hard to be funny and be polite but I tried to mix those two the best I possibly could. If I get edited into a negative light, it’s going to take some real talent on someone’s part. I tried to make it as hard as possible for somebody to make me look bad.
HHM: There is a very good chance this show will make you either famous or infamous. Are you prepared for that?
SR: I’ve thought about it. I’ve already got a big group of friends and they are going to love it, no matter what. Everybody is excited. I’m going to be fine. If it doesn’t work and I’m a pariah in Charleston, maybe I’ll just move somewhere else.
HHM: Now that the show is done filming, what are you up to?
SR: I’m actually opening a restaurant in Charleston with two of my great friends. It’s going to be called the Palace Hotel, but it’s neither a palace or a hotel. It’s going to be an awesome little dive bar that serves gourmet hotdogs, downtown on the East Side.
HHM: That does sound kind of awesome. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. We look forward to seeing the show.
SR: No problem. I hope everybody there likes it. Enjoy Hilton Head.