Kendall Jenner: "I love my sister, obviously, but you don’t always want to be grouped with someone"
When The Osbourne’s closed their front door to camera crews in 2005 after four seasons of “drugs, profanities and adult themes” a gap emerged in the burgeoning naughties reality TV market. Audiences—then, unaware—would soon be privy to the ‘real life’ of another brazen family who’s brand was built around over- dramatic, borderline-dysfunctional anecdotes that resolved after an hour of carefully edited interactions.
It took two years until Kris Jenner pinned down E! Channel’s programming magnate, Ryan Seacrest, and convinced him that her klan of blood, step and half relatives would make for perfect prime-time viewing—just like the Osbournes had been.
Fast forward six years, Kanye West cameos and the ‘divorce of the decade’, the Kardashians have a net worth close to US$1 billion and brand messaging more consistent than most of Australia’s political parties. They’ve just signed onto doing the eighth season of their ratings juggernaut, Keep Up With The Kardashians, and, with a star that seems light years away from fading, the second youngest member of their blended family, 17-year-old Kendall Jenner (daughter of Kris and second husband Bruce, aka technically not a Kardashian at all) is doing the promotional rounds for the show's latest episodes.
Aside from her rapidly increasing role in the series (she and 15-year-old sister Kylie were occasional fixtures when the first episodes of KUWTK aired in 2007) Jenner’s already accumulated a slew of endorsement deals, a clothing line and high fashion gigs of her own. Modelling, she tells us, is her passion, and she already boasts a portfolio comprised of Miss Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine cover shots.
In our phone interview, her demeanour was sweet and responsive, though about as forthcoming as you’d imagine any “aggressively managed” teenager to be. She giggled an “Oh, really?!” when I told her we met at Sydney’s Star Casino late last year and gushed about being "very excited” to meet Kimye’s baby girl. Here’s how the rest of our chat went down.
Were you nervous about launching your modelling career via your family’s reality TV show? Did you think it would hurt your chances of being taken ‘seriously’?
Recently I’ve been dealing with that because everyone wants to be taken seriously. Especially when I’m doing something that I really do love doing and I enjoy so much and that originally I did want to be taken so seriously [for so long]... I mean, yeah, it is a hard transformation [from TV to modelling] but I’m doing the best I can and I’m happy with what I’m doing. If this is how it’s going to be for me... whatever.
Did you or anyone in your family have any hesitations signing on to do an eighth season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians?
I don’t think we had any hesitations! From the beginning I think we all enjoyed doing this and just being able to be with our family and show things and be able to have people relate to us. It’s a pretty cool thing. We enjoy doing it.
Do you get embarrassed when your family talk about taboo topics on the show? Do you ever feel like... “Mum, please stop talking about sex and peeing”?
I don’t care! My family’s always been like that. It’s just, like, funny to me now. It’s not something I think about like that.
How do you feel when rumours circulate about your family and they make headlines for things you know to be untrue, or just generally negative?
I don’t read [tabloids] or see [negative headlines] very often so it doesn’t bug me. It’s my family, so I know the truth and I know what’s going on. [Tabloid journalists] are just people trying to get a story and make some money so it’s not an issue for me at all.
What can we expect from you in this season?
You’re going to see a lot of me and Kylie’s clothing line, and me and Kylie’s relationship with each other. This whole season [for me] is about [Kylie and I] splitting apart and becoming more individual, doing our own thing and not being a little clique that we’re always [portrayed as]. I love my sister, obviously, but you don’t always want to be grouped with someone. You want to be your own person.
Is it weird that Bruce’s sons—your half brothers—are on the ‘Kardashian’ show?
It’s cool that [Brody and Brandon] feature in this season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Not many people get to see that side of our family, so I think it's cool that they’re going to be on it.
In the second episode Brody says Bruce “wasn’t a great father to me.” How did that scenario make you feel?
My dad is such an amazing dad, so hearing that sucks. To know he didn’t get the same amount of time with [his kids from first marriage to Linda Thompson] that he got with Kylie and I –because I know how great he is with Kylie and I, and I know what a great of a dad he is—is... to hear he didn’t really get to do that with my older brothers sucks because I know he wishes he could have.
Would you and Kylie ever do a spin off like Khloe and Lamar or Kourtney and Kim Take Miami?
I don’t know. It’s definitely something I’d have to think about but... I don’t know...
Which of your siblings are you closest to?
I’m equally close with all my sisters, but you go to them for different things. They can all give you great advice on different things... it’s hard to explain.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians Season 8 airs on Wednesdays at 8:30pm AEST only on E!
(Images via Getty)