6 Unexpected Things We Learned About Chip and Joanna Gaines From Oprah’s Interview

published Mar 15, 2021
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Oprah’s recent interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has made headlines across the globe for the openness with which the former senior royals talked about their exit from their roles at the palace. But they’re not the only famous couple Oprah has talked with lately; this weekend she released an interview with Chip and Joanna Gaines.

On the latest episode of “Super Soul,” Oprah’s series that is now streaming on Discovery+, she sits down with the “Fixer Upper” couple for an intimate, in-depth conversation about their relationship and rise to fame, among other things. During the virtual interview, which looks as though they’re sitting together in Oprah’s garden, the Gaines let their walls down and share personal stories, including the surprising way Magnolia Market actually came to be: through Joanna’s love of journaling.

Joanna shared that she always starts her day with journaling. Before Magnolia Market existed, Joanna had written down her dream for it — which she thought would always be a dream — until Chip challenged her to think beyond that.

“When I showed Chip [the journal], he said, ‘why wouldn’t you do this?’,” Joanna recounted during the interview. “And I said, ‘oh I don’t want to fail, what if I fail?’ and he said, ‘well what if you fail?’ The next week, I find a building, we had no money, somehow he gets a loan, within three weeks I own this building, and now this dream that I had dreamed of for years I’m seeing play out.”

There’s no denying that Chip played a large role in encouraging Joanna to make her dream a reality, but the idea all came from when she put pen to paper. Ah, the power of a good journal.

And that’s just one lesser known fact shared by the couple during the interview. Here are other unexpected things we learned from the episode.

Marriage counseling gave them the idea to ditch the TV

In a recent interview with Fast Company, Chip and Joanna shared they didn’t own a TV, which stunned the world, considering television is how their fame grew. However, their conversation with Oprah revealed how their TV-less habit actually came to be: through marriage counseling.

Shortly after getting engaged, the “Fixer Upper” team shared that marriage counseling suggested they challenge themselves by not getting a television, at least at first. “They left it to us to say how long we would do it. Everybody said a couple of weeks, a couple of months; we just came back instinctively and said we wanna be without television for one year,” Chip told Oprah. “We thought it would be romantic. And at the end of that one year, we said, what about another year? After that second year, we’ve never looked back.” 

But their friends hosted watch parties so they could see “Fixer Upper.”

Without a TV, Oprah was left wondering, did they ever watch themselves on “Fixer Upper?” To that, Joanna said definitely, but they would do so in the comfort of their friends’ homes. “Every Tuesday night, we’d get a babysitter and we’d go to friends’ houses and we’d watch it,” Joanna explained.

But when it comes to the Magnolia Network, now that all the programming is going to be streamable on Discovery+, they’re able to stay home and watch it on their laptop — all seven of them. It’s cozy, to say the least, but it sounds like it works.

Joanna is prepared if their “Fixer Upper” fame is no more.

With the rise of fame comes the possibility that it could all end one day — a fear that Oprah revealed she felt in the earlier days of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Chip expressed that he always feels the need to be one step ahead because of that fear, but Joanna mentioned that for her, accepting that their fame could be temporary but that they’ll be okay regardless of what happens brings her peace.

“I’m fearful by nature, and for me to kind of be at peace, I have to be at a place where if it all goes away, we’re still just fine,” Joanna told Oprah.

Chip battled with being himself while becoming famous.

On screen, you would never guess that Chip struggled when it comes to self-confidence: he’s always joking, taking risks, and pridefully showcasing love for his family. However, Chip admitted that once “Fixer Upper” started to become popular, he started losing part of his authentic self.

“It took me a year or two while I was still filming to grapple with what exactly it was that I was losing,” Chip explained. But during their year off between “Fixer Upper” and the start of creating Magnolia Network, he and Joanna both started to unpack what it was about fame that didn’t mesh with his personality.

“He’s so relational, and that’s what fuels him,” Joanna said. “With fame, ‘oh my gosh, can I get a picture with you?’ feels more superficial because of who he really is, and it’s important for him to have these authentic, meaningful moments.”

Their Magnolia Network shows all have two things in common.

Toward the end of their conversation, Oprah dug deeper into the DNA of the Magnolia Network and asked what was the vision and intention behind it. While Chip and Joanna didn’t know as they were cultivating the lineup of shows, they now see what all of the programming has in common: vulnerability and risk.

“With every show that’s on the network, our hope is that when others finish watching it, that they say, what’s untapped in my life? What fear is keeping me from that?” Joanna shared with Oprah. “Whether it’s small or big, it’s that ‘hey, they inspired me to move forward with this.’ That’s our hope, that when people watch these stories, that they can somewhat relate to the talent’s vulnerability.”

Watch the full “Super Soul” interview on Discovery+.