Jon & Kate talk to EW about life in the fishbowl: Exclusive!

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In light of the very public scandal involving its top-rated family, TLC will devote a full hour to the season 5 premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8 on May 25 to address how the tabloid coverage has affected the Gosselins’ marriage. “We are in production for season 5 and moving forward as planned, while fully supporting the family and respecting their needs as they work through this challenging time,” TLC said in a statement. “This show has always been about a real family dealing with real-life situations, and that will continue to be the case.”

In the meantime, the employer for Steve Neild, the bodyguard who’s been accused of having an affair with Kate Gosselin, is denying the newest allegations: “Tabloid media is doing what people love it for doing; skewing information, misinterpreting, and embracing garbage and gossip. Steve Neild’s and our firm’s client relationships are, always have been, and always will be of the highest professional standard.”

Amidst the ongoing tabloid coverage, the Pennsylvania family of 10 still has 46 episodes to prepare for TLC this year. In anticipation of their fifth season, EW sat down with the couple in their three-story Berks County, Pa., home recently to talk about their celebrity, the subject matter of Kate’s next book, and how long the couple would like to stay on TLC. (For more on the Gosselins, pick up the latest issue of EW, on newsstands tomorrow).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It seems like, sometime in the last year, your show jumped from the ozone to the stratosphere. Can you pinpoint the moment when it felt as if things had changed drastically?
KATE GOSSELIN: Last January, February of 2008. I remember one day it occurred to me that, Oh man, we are in this and we can never go back. It literally hit me.

What do you think was happening at that time? When people started trying to get your picture?
KATE: That started a lot at the other house, every five minutes people would stop and take pictures, run up on our porch and take pictures while we were there. People would stop by to watch the kids play. Every week the bar got raised, and I remember thinking, When is this stopping? Because it was getting scary.

Is it better with this large house?
KATE: Oh yeah, they sit out on the street all day and they’re not really going to see much. I’m far back from the road and I’m safe.
JON GOSSELIN: You need a telephoto lens.
KATE: When I go through those gates, I’m good, and it’s pretty weird because we’re still just like a normal family, we’re functioning as a family.

addCredit(“TLC”)

What was it like when you began book signings for your latest tome, Eight Little Faces?
KATE:
The weirdest thing is when they bring you a paparazzi photo for you to
sign, they saw you out in public, they snapped a picture of you and
they want you to sign it.
JON: They developed it and then they ask you to sign it.

Do you think you are any different now on the show than you were during the first season?
KATE:
We’re different, I mean it’s been four years. Everybody changes. We as
people are different, but I don’t have time, really, to edit myself. I
don’t edit myself with anyone.
JON: It’s real.

Do you feel it’s always been an accurate portrayal of you?
KATE:
Yeah, generally speaking. It is real and it all occurred, however, I
realize that my dramatic self doesn’t bode well with people watching
me. In the early days, it could have taken us two days to film one
episode, but in 22 minutes you would see every meltdown I had, so it
looked like I was melting down constantly –- which happens, and I don’t
care. I really don’t care that people see it. I am who I am and there’s
always going to be haters and there’s always going to be lovers and
that’s just the way it is.

Do you have a name for your hairstyle?
KATE:
It’s my attitude! Everybody wants it. It’s work. I have very, very
thick hair, so it’s not going to work for everybody. I’ve seen people
come through the book line with thin hair and it’s just won’t work. My
hair stylist gets calls from all across the country.

Do the children seem more camera savvy today?
KATE:
We just went to the Smithsonian, where a different camera crew sat them on
a stool and asked them interview questions and they answered them in
complete sentences, and appropriately. And I was like, “Wow!” I had
tears in my eyes. They’ve grown up, obviously, and they’re getting better
at it.

How does production work each week?
KATE: We film an average of three days. Sometimes they’re here all day, or just two hours.

What is off limits?
KATE: The kids’ bedrooms. Their rooms are a wreck anyway.

Do you call this the house that TLC built?
KATE:
No, I call this the house that Kate and Jon bought and we will pay
for, for a long time. We’ve worked hard, just like everybody else. I
wish TLC was paying for it, but that ain’t happening. Our mortgage is
large and hefty, and we have two mortgages, because we still can’t sell
the other house.

The fourth-season finale played like a cliffhanger. Was there a chance you wouldn’t come back?
KATE: Yes. All true.

What happened?
JON: I just decided it was to benefit my kids, I really don’t like the public life. There are a lot of positives, obviously.
KATE: Feeding the kids. College.
JON:
Yeah, but the paparazzi thing and public eye, I don’t like it at all. I
still don’t like it. I don’t mind taking fan pictures and stuff like
that, but it’s strange to me, I moved back here to be away from that
all, we’re in the middle of the country, and now they’re here taking
pictures, everywhere.

Can you believe how well the show has been doing?
KATE: I try not to think about it.
JON: I think it’s fun when guys watch, when guys come up to me.

Are you writing another book?
KATE:
I do have one, but not necessarily picking up where the last book [Multiple Blessings] left off. Love Is in the Mix [which will be out
this fall] is basically a memory-filled, full-of-family tradition book
around holiday food, meals and cooking. I’ve gotten more e-mails
requesting that book than I can talk about. So it’s going to make a lot
of people very happy.

How long can you see yourself doing this show?
KATE: Don’t say it. Hold that thought, we don’t know.
JON: It changes.
KATE: We take one day at a time.

Can life go back to normal after this?
JON: What do you consider normal?
KATE: That’s when I said that day that I realized we’re never going back. So that’s good and bad.
JON: I could do [computer work] but not in the same realm that I did.
KATE:
I don’t ever want to go back. I’m very comfortable at this point in
front of cameras, I love it, I go into a studio and I’m like, Ahhhh.
It’s odd, because I would have never thought that of myself. But I’m
enjoying very much what I’m doing.

What was it like when you began book signings for your latest tome, Eight Little Faces?
KATE:The weirdest thing is when they bring you a paparazzi photo for you tosign, they saw you out in public, they snapped a picture of you andthey want you to sign it.
JON: They developed it and then they ask you to sign it.

Do you think you are any different now on the show than you were during the first season?
KATE:We’re different, I mean it’s been four years. Everybody changes. We aspeople are different, but I don’t have time, really, to edit myself. Idon’t edit myself with anyone.
JON: It’s real.

Do you feel it’s always been an accurate portrayal of you?
KATE:Yeah, generally speaking. It is real and it all occurred, however, Irealize that my dramatic self doesn’t bode well with people watchingme. In the early days, it could have taken us two days to film oneepisode, but in 22 minutes you would see every meltdown I had, so itlooked like I was melting down constantly –- which happens, and I don’tcare. I really don’t care that people see it. I am who I am and there’salways going to be haters and there’s always going to be lovers andthat’s just the way it is.

Do you have a name for your hairstyle?
KATE:It’s my attitude! Everybody wants it. It’s work. I have very, verythick hair, so it’s not going to work for everybody. I’ve seen peoplecome through the book line with thin hair and it’s just won’t work. Myhair stylist gets calls from all across the country.

Do the children seem more camera savvy today?
KATE:We just went to the Smithsonian, where a different camera crew sat them ona stool and asked them interview questions and they answered them incomplete sentences, and appropriately. And I was like, "Wow!" I hadtears in my eyes. They’ve grown up, obviously, and they’re getting betterat it.

How does production work each week?
KATE: We film an average of three days. Sometimes they’re here all day, or just two hours.

What is off limits?
KATE: The kids’ bedrooms. Their rooms are a wreck anyway.

Do you call this the house that TLC built?
KATE:No, I call this the house that Kate and Jon bought and we will payfor, for a long time. We’ve worked hard, just like everybody else. Iwish TLC was paying for it, but that ain’t happening. Our mortgage islarge and hefty, and we have two mortgages, because we still can’t sellthe other house.

The fourth-season finale played like a cliffhanger. Was there a chance you wouldn’t come back?
KATE: Yes. All true.

What happened?
JON: I just decided it was to benefit my kids, I really don’t like the public life. There are a lot of positives, obviously.
KATE: Feeding the kids. College.
JON:Yeah, but the paparazzi thing and public eye, I don’t like it at all. Istill don’t like it. I don’t mind taking fan pictures and stuff likethat, but it’s strange to me, I moved back here to be away from thatall, we’re in the middle of the country, and now they’re here takingpictures, everywhere.

Can you believe how well the show has been doing?
KATE: I try not to think about it.
JON: I think it’s fun when guys watch, when guys come up to me.

Are you writing another book?
KATE:I do have one, but not necessarily picking up where the last book [Multiple Blessings] left off. Love Is in the Mix [which will be outthis fall] is basically a memory-filled, full-of-family tradition bookaround holiday food, meals and cooking. I’ve gotten more e-mailsrequesting that book than I can talk about. So it’s going to make a lotof people very happy.

How long can you see yourself doing this show?
KATE: Don’t say it. Hold that thought, we don’t know.
JON: It changes.
KATE: We take one day at a time.

Can life go back to normal after this?
JON: What do you consider normal?
KATE: That’s when I said that day that I realized we’re never going back. So that’s good and bad.
JON: I could do [computer work] but not in the same realm that I did.
KATE:I don’t ever want to go back. I’m very comfortable at this point infront of cameras, I love it, I go into a studio and I’m like, Ahhhh.It’s odd, because I would have never thought that of myself. But I’menjoying very much what I’m doing.

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