Selling Sunset Newbie Chelsea Lazkani Is Just As Glamorous As You’d Expect — But She’s Also Very Grounded

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
A lot has gone down behind the scenes at the Oppenheim Group since the last time we checked in with the Los Angeles real estate brokerage in season 4 of Selling Sunset; Jason Oppenheim and Chrishell Stause fell in love (and then broke up), Heather Rae got hitched, and Davina Potratz still hasn’t sold that $75 million house. But the drama is only getting spicier on the new season of the popular Netflix reality show thanks to new arrival Chelsea Lazkani, the only agent at the brokerage who can give Christine Quinn’s couture wardrobe a run for its money.
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The Nigerian-British-American (“In that exact order,” she emphasises with a big smile during a Zoom conversation with Unbothered) makes a grand entrance on season 5 of Selling Sunset, arriving at just the right time to transform the office dynamic. When Lazkani first appears on screen, it's as a timely ally to Quinn in the middle of her being iced out by her co-workers at the Oppenheim Group. Unbeknownst to Lazkani, her new friend has spent the last few years stirring up trouble at work, placing herself in the centre of almost all of the office’s feuds. Walking arm in arm with the agency’s resident troublemaker could spell out trouble for any new recruit, but thankfully, we’re not dealing with just any newbie — this is Chelsea Lazkani we’re talking about. And she doesn’t mind making a splash wherever she goes.
“I approached this show the way I’ve approached every unique opportunity my whole life: knowing that unfortunately, if I want to be in these rooms, I'm probably going to be the only person that looks like me,” Lazkani explains. “I feel that pressure to show up as my best self every single day of my life no matter where I am. I know that I have to go above and beyond because that’s a work ethic that my mom instilled in me. So yeah, I came in…strong.”
“Strong” might be an understatement. Virgin hair bundles swinging and designer four-inch heels click-clacking, Lazkani practically kicked down the door of the Oppenheim Group and made her intention of solidifying her place on the agency roster known to all. That confidence put some cast members on edge (particularly those who weren’t producing as much), but the Selling Sunset star isn’t interested in dimming her light. She’s manifested every good thing in her life this far — why wouldn’t she believe in herself?
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“The power of your tongue is crazy because I say a lot of really outrageous things on the show,” says Lazkani. “I talk about these big dreams as if they’re a reality so that I can prepare myself and have the deck ready for when the opportunities do come. I have always believed in being the person you want to be, like, filling the shoes now. I try my best to do what I can, and I don't let judgment or naysayers stop me from being my best self.”
She’s only one season into her reality television residency, but something tells us that Lazkani is just getting started on her path to world domination. And honestly? We’re already obsessed. Unbothered caught up with her days before the new season dropped on Netflix to chat all things Selling Sunset and Black girl magic. 
On why she decided to join the cast of Selling Sunset:
“Being on TV and being so widely perceived was initially a very scary prospect for me because I have been very, very private in my whole life. But my goal is to really speak to my 16-year-old self who didn't have the self-love nor the confidence that I have now. When I see what confidence and the right mindset have done for me and how it's transformed my life, I want to show others that they can embody that same belief in themselves and transform their lives.”


“The power of your tongue is crazy because I say a lot of really outrageous things on the show...I try my best to do what I can, and I don't let judgment or naysayers stop me from being my best self."

chelsea lazkani
“Coming into this role, it was all about representation. I took on this opportunity knowing that I could hopefully be a role model for other Black women and other women of color that want to enter this extremely lucrative industry. When I first entered real estate in 2017, I was looking for mentors in the luxury sector, for somebody that I could be like, I want to accomplish this, let me see how you made it happen, but there was no one. So I had to be my own role model; in my first year of working in real estate, I was hustling and was able to produce just under $10 million in sales. After taking a pause to have my son, I went back into real estate. I actually would take my baby to my open houses and be there with my baby on my back selling a three to four million-dollar property. I didn’t want to compromise my mothering experience for the professional experience and vice versa because it seemed hard — I wanted to try to do it all. I think that, ultimately, that’s my overarching message: don’t limit yourself or put yourself in a box because you’re scared. Greatness lives on the other side of our fears.”
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On her instant connection with Christine:
“The first time I ever met Christine, which you saw on camera, our vibe was electric because she’s such fun to be around. I'm quirky like her, and I'm not a very sensitive person, so when Christine says something, man, it’s so funny! Yes, she says whatever she wants whenever she wants, but she's probably the funniest person I know, and it's always so amazing being on set with her. I think maybe some people take it too seriously, but my dad's been joking about me my whole life, so I can take it on the chin. Let me tell you, if you're not strong, if you don't have chest, you won't make it because African parents can take digs.”
“I had good vibes from my first conversation with Christine, so I wouldn't handle things with her any differently. First and foremost, you should always treat anyone that you meet with grace and give them the benefit of the doubt. Move with them based upon your own experiences, point blank period. We are not the decisions we've made. That being said, I do think that if I could go back, I would have given some of the other girls at the O Group a little bit more grace and understanding. Maybe take the time to understand where they come from and assess them not from a judgmental standpoint.”
On that scene with Davina:
“Prior to that scene in which we met up to talk after the tea party, I was already of the belief that Davina and I had different value systems; we are fundamentally very different, and that’s okay. So I really wanted to go into our chat and listen to her, to try and understand where she was coming from, andI was hoping to be received in the same way. Obviously, I wasn’t.”
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“Unfortunately, I saw myself on screen go from zero to what I thought was like about 70, but the full story behind that specific reaction didn’t make the cut for the show. There were definitely some things that were said in that conversation that triggered me…I haven't actually decided yet whether I'm going to share some of what you all didn’t get to see. But no, I don't dislike Davina. I actually have a very cordial relationship with her. I just don't know if we'll ever be friends. And that's also okay.” 
On her relationships with the rest of the Selling Sunset cast:
“Happy to report that my relationships with everyone else have evolved and progressed since filming! I'm very close with Emma [Hernan]. I'm inspired by her! Her real estate game smashes it, and when I have questions, I just reach out and text her like, Hey, I'm doing this. And Jason [Oppenheim] is obviously like my boss, but he's somebody that I'm constantly inspired by. I call myself his protege because he’s constantly pushing me, and teaching me and guiding me. Jason really believes in me, and he thinks that I can be a top producer for this agency, so I lean on him a lot.”

"I'm quirky like [Christine], and I'm not a very sensitive person, so when she says something, man, it’s so funny! Yes, she says whatever she wants whenever she wants, but she's probably the funniest person I know.

chelsea lazkani
“Chrishell and I, we have a fantastic relationship. She’s somebody that I'm also inspired by because outside of real estate, she's doing so many things. Through Selling Sunset, we’ve seen her be incredibly vulnerable, and that’s taught me that you don't have to just be strong. You can be vulnerable and still maintain your strength. Same with Amanza [Smith], who is my sister on the show. I love her because we have so many similar experiences — we’ve bonded over our kids and motherhood and also being Black women and women in luxury real estate.”
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On her plan for — fingers crossed — the next season of Selling Sunset:
Hopefully, if I move forward in future seasons, I want to be more vulnerable, to share a little bit more about my story. I’m excited about showing the sides of myself that aren't as fabulous, that aren't like, Oh my gosh, I closed the million-dollar deal! because it is hard in real estate — especially as a Black woman. I promise that it's not all glitz and glam. Yeah, I do have traumas. I did have times when I was insecure, when I didn't feel like I could do all these things that my mind wasn’t allowing me to believe they were possible. But suddenly, once I started to truly believe in myself and started to lay out a plan and take a step at a time, what I wanted began to materialise. I’d love to be able to unpack that complex journey more as the seasons go on.”
On hopes of a potential Selling Sunset x Selling Tampa crossover:
“I've met all of the Selling Tampa ladies! And I'm very, very close to some of them, actually. Colony [Reeves] and Anne-Sophie [Petit-Frere] are like my sisters; I talk to them like three or four times a week. I’m an honorary member of The Nieces, too! I respect and adore the Selling Tampa women so much, and we obviously have similar experiences in real estate, so it's really nice and refreshing to have those close relationships. I’d love that!”

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