"I think this is the season our show wins an Emmy": Mike Shouhed, Shahs of Sunset

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<p>Mike Shouhed, <em>Shahs of Sunset</em></p>

Mike Shouhed, Shahs of Sunset

Bravo

The Shahs of Sunset are back for a brand new season on Bravo filled with pranks, laughter, tears, major life changes and relationship reevaluations. While the first episode contains an outlandishly entertaining Reza and MJ excursion, more serious things are happening like an ailing parent (MJ’s dad) and the possibility of a returning ex wife. Yes, we saw Jessica and Mike’s relationship play out from start to finish in past seasons of Shahs. They were dating, then engaged, married, then divorced and now there seems to be a shocking new chapter ahead. Mike Shouhed took time out of his busy day to chat with The Huffington Post about the upcoming season.

Asa announces to your group that she is pregnant this season. Did you all feel a sudden itch to have a baby after hearing her news?

This is one of my closest groups of friends and each one are my brothers and sisters. To see Asa as the first one pregnant was really exciting to me. She and Jermaine (Jackson) have been together a long time, are in love. It was unexpected news and also very good news. After the excitement settled, I started to think ‘They’re not married,” ‘Did they plan this?’ You see this on the show. I’m not a hater, but was just being worried as a brother about the decision being well thought out. At the same time, we’re all getting older and time is something we can’t stop. Get with it or you get left behind. She did the best thing for her and this was her decision. You see this season how we all react, the conversations we have about it with each other and with her, and there’s a lot of drama over it.

There is also a lot that’s not ‘traditional’ about your show and it’s a show that features Persians from rather traditional homes/communities. Have other Persians come over to thank you guys for showing the world how Persians in the U.S. can live modern lifestyles?

We have a unique culture in the fact that our community life and traditions used to have a lock and key and only a select group of people got to see the inner workings of our lives. The majority of our culture married within and now as time has progressed post revolution, it is very different from the time when Iranians fled Iran and people didn’t know what to make of them. Other cultures started to gravitate to ours and now you see a lot of Iranians dating outside of the culture. Asa is with an African American. In our culture, for many it is still very taboo, But there is a new way of thinking and the young Persian viewers who are watching must appreciate that we are giving non-Persian viewers a chance to see this.

Asa’s parents accept Jermaine with open arms. They are so cool. They see a man. They don’t see a man who is black, white, Persian...to them it’s no different and it’s really something I admire about them. Asa is hustling right now, making her money, supporting her relationship she’s really doing her thing .

When you married Jessica, she converted - Did she remain Jewish after you guys broke up?

Yes, she went through hell to become Jewish. It’s not easy, it’s much easier to convert to other religions than to Judaism and I didn’t know this til I went through this process with her myself. There’s so much learning and then you sit in front of a panel of rabbis that grill you and at that point, they decide if you’re becoming Jewish for the right reasons. It was an orthodox conversion because it’s accepted by Israel. She now does keep Shabbat for the most part and keeps traditions from what I know...

We see a little bit of her with you this season, including a kiss on the lips. Is there anything we can tell viewers regarding your status with Jessica?

Look forward to an amazing season that’s also volatile and full of drama. Watch the evolution of my life. You saw us date, propose to one another, getting married, divorced and now you just have to watch what comes next.

GG’s relationship with Shalom from the E! show Dash Dolls (the two had a short courtship followed by a quickie marriage, then divorce) was recently in the media. Do we get to see that relationship?

You do see her relationship and it’s super volatile. They’re both great people, but one is hot as fire and there’s a flame and the other is gasoline. They get together and there are some explosions that happen. At points, it was scary to watch and at other points, it was sexy to watch.

Is there anything else you can tell us to look forward to this season?

Even if you have a Ferrari, you have to rev the engine first before you pop into fifth gear. You will see the calm before the storm and as the season progresses, it gets a little crazy. The shit really hits the fan this season in a big way and some true colors really shine like things you wouldn’t expect to happen, to be said, or done. I think this is the season that our show wins an Emmy.

Catch the season premiere of Shahs of Sunset July 16th, 8/7c on Bravo.

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