The masterminds behind the Magnolia home and decor brand built a reality TV empire for themselves, but it seems Chip and Joanna Gaines were not always happy behind the scenes.
In a new interview with Cowboys & Indians magazine, Chip, 44, opened up about his experience filming the final seasons of Fixer Upper.
"TV was a funny thing for me," he admitted.
"I'm an authentic, sincere person. So, as long as things are natural and organic, I'm in my element."
But apparently, Chip's time on the set of his popular HGTV show couldn't be described as natural or organic.
"[The] more staged something becomes, or the more required something becomes, it boxes me up, and I felt like toward the end of the Fixer Upper journey, I felt caged, trapped."
While fans tuned in to Fixer Upper for the authentic and sweet relationship between Chip and Joanna, the star says he "struggled" to feel real on the set of a reality show set.
"I mean, why? You're getting to have all this fun, right? But it's like if I put a camera in your face and said, 'Hey, say something funny.' Or if I put a camera in your face and said, 'Hey, be smart.'"
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We will be stocking store shelves with our January issue next week, but we couldn't wait to give the non-subscribers a sneak preview: We're thrilled to share #ChipGaines' first-ever C&I cover. In a wide-ranging interview, one half of the dynamic duo behind #FixerUpper and the growing #Magnolia lifestyle brand tells us all about business, family, creativity, entrepreneurship, and his love of daily chores on the Gaines family's Waco, Texas, farm. Are you ready to see the January issue of C&I?
Homeowners who appeared on Fixer Upper also revealed getting their homes renovated by Chip and Joanna was not as fun as it looked on TV.
For one thing, owners cover the costs of their renovations, offering up at least $30,000 before Chip and Joanna get to work.
The decorations that Joanna picked out, from her own Magnolia home decor line, was also not free, and homeowners had to pay up if they expected to keep the rugs and art she picked out.
While Chip said the early seasons of Fixer Upper were "the best years of my life," the last two were not, "and we don't look back on them fondly, but they were more of a job."
He told People much the same thing last year, while describing the grueling 11-month filming schedule for new episodes of Fixer Upper.
"The kids would ask, 'Mom and Dad, do you guys have to film again today? When is this going to be over?'"
Of course, Fixer Upper has ended, but Chip and Joanna did not leave our TV screens for long. They're returning soon with their own Magnolia network, offering a variety of shows based around their home construction and design brand.
And while the couple will be featured on the network, they're happy to spend at least a little time out of the spotlight. Plus, the shift lets them work closer to their home in Waco, Texas.
"Most of our creative energy goes toward business-related concepts; and the TV part of it, it's like, do we want to do that again?" Chip said.
"We are having so much fun enjoying our family and growing this business here in Waco. What the TV future looks like is a big, fat question mark."
Of course, with five little ones to look after (including newborn baby Crew) we don't blame Chip and Joanna for wanting to spend less time on set!
[H/T: Fox News]