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Peggy of ‘Million Dollar Beach House’ Discusses the Noel Drama
If there’s one thing we learn in the six short episodes of Netflix’s new real estate reality show Million Dollar Beach House, it’s not to mess with Peggy Zabakolas. (And also that “indoor/outdoor living” is a very important thing in Hamptons real estate). Zabakolas—the sole woman in the show’s cast—is an established broker and lawyer who does not shy away from confrontation if and when she is wronged.
A New York native with decades of experience working the city (and a few cameos on Million Dollar Listing New York in her repertoire), Zabakolas, known as “Deals in Heels” in the industry, first ventured out to the Hamptons market last summer to sell some luxury homes and join the cast of the show. We talked to Peggy last week before she’d seen the series about her experience filming, the status of her drama with Noel, and whether she’d be up for a Season Two.
ESQ: Are you excited for the show?
I’m totally excited. I’m interested to see what part or how everything is put together. We were filmed for the entire summer, so having it condensed into six episodes of 30 minutes is going to be interesting and exciting to see.
Are you nervous at all about how you might be portrayed?
I think it’s a natural thing to feel a little bit nervous. I definitely am nervous but I have to also say that I am authentic to who I am and it is what it is. I’m sure there are gonna be some things that maybe shoot differently, but I think saying you’re not nervous is a lie, so a hundred percent nervous. But I’m more excited!
How did you come to be on the show?
I’ve been with Nest Seekers for almost 10 years, and years ago when I first started, I was with Ryan Serhant on Million Dollar Listing New York. I wasn’t a main member, I was just a cameo here and there, but I was on the team for about five years as one of the original members. After about five years of being on his team, I ventured off to create my own team. And then Eddie, the COO of Nest Seekers broached me with this opportunity because I was expanding my business out to the Hamptons and it was kind of perfect timing.
Are you still in touch with the rest of the cast? Do you guys still all work together?
Yeah, everything is very natural, very authentic. We all work at Nest Seekers. I’m actually having dinner with them tonight. I think because we had this experience together, whether we like it or not, we’re all kind of a little family now.
So the whole team is back out in the Hamptons this summer?
Yeah. I have a team in the city and then I also work in the Hamptons. The summertime is usually full force in the Hamptons. But the boys are in the Hamptons full time, that’s where they live. I split my time between the Hamptons and the city.
What was your experience like being the only woman in the cast?
You know, I’ve always been tomboy-ish and it was very natural for me. It didn’t really affect me. I don’t really look at it where I was the only woman. It wasn’t bad, I just wanted to work and do business and I guess I have to prove myself a little bit. Maybe they picked on me a little bit more, but it wasn’t bad. Some of them I look at like brothers.
I think the editing definitely highlighted and dramatized that.
Because three of the guys knew each other prior to, they developed a bond and a friendship. And it was definitely hard breaking into the group, right? But I think that’s a natural progression. I think it’s hard breaking into any group, especially if you’re a woman. It’s just a little bit more difficult. I felt left out a lot, but we all went there to work. I especially went there to work last summer, it was pretty much my first summer out in the Hamptons full time, so that was my main focus.
So you just met the rest of the cast last summer?
I met [Michael] Fulfree two summers ago in 2018. I met James in passing before, but not really. And then J.B. and Noel, yeah, I met them last year for the first time.
Did you and Noel ever mend your relationship?
Um, well, you saw what happened.
I could’ve watched 12 more episodes. There wasn’t a lot of resolution to the story.
I think that there really isn’t much resolution. We obviously discussed things off camera, but I think I was trying so hard to see the true him and trying so hard to get down to the bottom of what was going on. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt and trying to pull these layers off of him that he wasn’t ready to do. So I think now I just know what I’m getting with him. It is what it is. I can’t expect anything. We’re so civil, we’re cordial, we work together. There’s no bad blood, it’s just I still have no idea what the truth really was, so I just left it at that and just moved on. And it’s good to know that as a viewer you feel like you’re not sure what happened because I’m not either.
Rare shot of Peggy and Noel seeing eye-to-eye (because he finally took his sunglasses off).
I was very impressed by how you managed to get around all those sites in your heels.
I actually have these crazy little heel stoppers. Once my heel got caught and I ruined a really expensive pair of shoes. And then I ended up finding these amazing heel protectors that give a bigger, wider clear bottom. But I think that’s also what makes me a little bit different, too. In New York City I’m known as “Deals in Heels.” That’s the tagline that my friend gave me years ago and it stuck, and I think I brought that to the Hamptons. It’s not the easiest. And most of the time I try to wear flats, but with some outfits you just have to wear heels, it’s just sexier.
You gotta do what you gotta do! I also wanted to ask how many times in the series you’d guess you guys say the phrase “indoor/outdoor living.”
Indoor/outdoor living? Oh, for sure. I don’t know. How many episodes are there? Six? Maybe 12, 13 times?
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Is that a big Hamptons thing?
Yeah, because it’s essentially everyone’s second home, they want it to have that outdoor summer feel, whether you’re on the beach or you just have a pool. Most people who live in the Hamptons have a home in the city, so they want to experience a different kind of oasis-feel. So yeah, I think the majority of the homes are, I’m just gonna say it again, indoor/outdoor. They want it to feel like they’re on a resort somewhere.
Can we expect a Season Two?
I do not know. I hope there’s a Season Two. I think we’re gonna find out maybe like a week or two after it goes live. We need the ratings.
You would be up to film it?
Yeah, absolutely. Unless I’m totally portrayed negatively, which I don’t think I am. But absolutely. I don’t think any of us are going to be portrayed negatively.
Are you prepared for the social media onslaught that comes with being on a Netflix reality series?
Absolutely not. I’m not even prepared to be talking to you. I don’t feel like this is really happening, you know what I mean? But I’m open to what comes with it. I know there could be good and bad, but I think everything is still surreal because again, like we filmed it last summer and we had to keep it a secret pretty much, so no one’s really known about it. Everything’s coming at us all at once, so it’s crazy, when you know, I have a call with you and other magazines. It’s just surreal. It’s insane.
Lauren Kranc is an editorial assistant at Esquire, where she covers pop culture and television, with entirely too narrow of an expertise on Netflix dating shows.
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