Exclusive interview: Catching up with the lovely and talented Maryse
Few performers in WWE’s long history of women’s wrestling have had the impact of Maryse, the blonde beauty from Montreal who packed plenty of victories into a four-year WWE career, with a memorably snobby attitude, to boot.
Until this week, Maryse held the record for the longest Divas Championship reign in the title’s five-year history, holding it from late 2008 until summer 2009. She defeated competitors including Michelle McCool, Maria, Eve and Gail Kim. But nearly as quickly as her success began, the engaging Diva departed WWE with a signature flip of her long blonde locks and that dismissive hand gesture. Three years after leaving, WWE.com caught up with Maryse to learn her thoughts on AJ Lee breaking her Divas Title record, her new endeavors and her engagement to a former WWE Champion.
WWE.COM: What have you been up to since leaving WWE?
MARYSE: I live with The Miz in LA and we’ve been planning our wedding for a year. I want it to be perfect, but I’m pretty much done with all the planning. We’re all set to go. It’s coming in four weeks. I got my dream house in the Hollywood Hills and we’re building a huge extension to it, but I still need some more space because I’d love to have some mini Mizzes and mini Maryses running around. If you know Maryse and The Miz, you know we’ll need a lot of space. I’m also working for a real estate firm here in Los Angeles. It’s going really well and I love it. That’s the career path I’m in right now. I love everything related to business. That’s my field, besides entertainment, which I’m really good at.
WWE.COM: How long have you been working in real estate?
MARYSE: I started about three months ago. I went back to school here at a real estate institute for a year and got my real estate license. I’m pretty busy.
WWE.COM: What’s the latest with your fashion line, The House of Maryse?
MARYSE: It’s going well, but I’m really focusing on real estate. It’s really hot, because the economy is going back up. There’s so much going on that my time is filled with real estate, my wedding and the construction project — I’m the project manager that has to supervise everything. I can have my own schedule and do what I want, but there’s still a lot going on.
WWE.COM: What are the wedding details?
MARYSE: The wedding is in February in the Bahamas. We’re going to have 100 people coming, which is pretty big for a destination wedding. I’m really excited about it, but it’s a lot of work. Planning a wedding seems easy, but there are a lot of details to think of. But overall, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve really enjoyed it, especially because my man is really involved with all the planning. As a woman, it’s really fun to see your fiancée participate and really care. It makes it a lot easier and a lot more fun.
WWE.COM: How long have you and The Miz been together?
MARYSE: Six and a half years. I first met him when I did the Diva Search in Los Angeles in 2006.
WWE.COM: Was it love at first sight?
MARYSE: No [laughs], because I couldn’t really speak English at the time. I remember him giving me so much trouble when I did the Diva Search audition, because I couldn’t speak more than 10 words. He was making my life hell. I guess that was his flirting technique.
WWE.COM: How did he propose?
MARYSE: He proposed to me last year in February at the same convention room that we did the Diva Search years ago. That was the first place we met. I walked into the audition and he was sitting there. He brought me back to that convention room at the Hilton in Marina del Rey, and I knew right away when we pulled into the parking lot. I thought, “Oh my God,” because I’d never been back to that place. We had a long two and a half hour dinner on the water and I was just freaking out the entire time. I kind of knew what might happen. We finally took a long walk, he dropped to one knee and proposed. It’s really hard to surprise me, but I was definitely surprised.
WWE.COM: What sort of things has The Miz been really involved in with the wedding planning?
MARYSE: It’s going to be a fairy tale wedding. I always wanted to be a princess like Cinderella. When you’re a little girl, you dream of that day, and honestly, this was better than I ever could have imagined. I’m so excited. It’s a fairy tale.
WWE.COM: Will anybody from WWE be an attendee at the wedding?
MARYSE: There will definitely be some WWE Superstars and former Divas coming. I talk a lot to Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly. They’re both coming.
WWE.COM: Did you leave WWE because you wanted to focus on all of these things?
MARYSE: I had a really good run. One year with WWE seems like five years, because you’re on the road 280 days a year. Time goes by. I felt in my heart like it was time for the next chapter in my life. I wanted to grow and I felt like I did everything there was to do. I was a two-time Divas Champion and had the longest reign until AJ surpassed me. It was just time. I wanted to go on my own and was ready for something else.
WWE.COM: What are your thoughts on AJ breaking your record? Does it make you hungry to come back?
MARYSE: I’m actually really proud of AJ for doing that. Congratulations to her. It’s a lot of work to have the title for that long. I always loved AJ’s interviews. I think she’s really entertaining. I love people that can talk and have personality. Right now, my life is not focused on wrestling, but I’m proud of what I accomplished. No matter what, I’m still the most badass Diva of all time. You can’t take that away from me.
WWE.COM: Is there any part of you that regrets not being in WWE so you can be involved with “Total Divas?”
MARYSE: No, I’m dating a man who’s been an icon of reality television in America. It’s not something I need. It’s not going to make me a better person. I like to keep my privacy. When I walk into my house, it’s my home. I don’t want people to come into my home.
WWE.COM: Is there any particular moment that is the most memorable from your time in WWE?
MARYSE: There are a lot. We can sit here and talk for hours. But the biggest ones are when I won my first Divas Championship in 2008 against Michelle McCool in Toronto. Especially to have it be in Canada, I will always remember that night, just the way it felt. I walked backstage and Trish Stratus was there to congratulate me. It was a great night overall. Those moments stick around like it just happened yesterday. Also, at Money in the Bank 2010 when I became the first woman to climb the ladder. That was very interesting to look down and see all those big guys around the ring. Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, The Miz, Chris Jericho, Edge, everybody was there laying around the ring, and I’m this little woman, the only one in the ring, climbing the ladder trying to get the Money in the Bank briefcase. It was crazy. To this day, I think, “What would have happened if I really got the briefcase?”
WWE.COM: Who were your favorite Divas to wrestle?
MARYSE: I wrestled a lot of Divas, and every single one offered something different. I really enjoyed wrestling Natalya and Kelly Kelly. I like people with personality that the crowd can relate to. It was a lot of fun. If you watch my matches, you’ll see I’m all about the attitude and the persona.
WWE.COM: Is there any chance you’ll return to WWE at any point?
MARYSE: Right now, the timing is not right. I’ve never been this happy in my entire life. I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been. My life is 100% like I want it. Never say never, but right now, no. Maybe one day in the future. If the timing’s right, why not?