Cynthia Bailey may no longer be a peach holder on The Real Housewives of Atlanta but she’s booked and busier than ever. Bailey has filmed a Housewives All Stars season, competed on Season 3 of Celebrity Big Brother, has several hosting and acting gigs and is starring in a new Lifetime thriller. She’s doing all of this while running multiple businesses.

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The 55-year-old model-turned-television star and thriving entrepreneur is proof that it gets greater later. She views this next act of her life as her best and that’s productive–and she’s keeping up with the momentum!

Shadow and Act spoke with Bailey ahead of Lifetime’s Cruel Instruction, which premieres on Saturday, March 12.

Bailey also dishes on her time in the Big Brother House, life after RHOA, why she doesn’t regret her stance in her fallout with Kenya Moore, taking acting advice from her famous acting legend ex Leon and the reinvention of her businesses.

She says her lack of strategy in the ‘Big Brother’ house worked in her favor

Bailey came in third on Season 3 of Celebrity Big Brother. The former supermodel later learned that she was played like a pawn by Todrick Hall, one of her close friends in the house. Bailey has admitted previously that she never really watched the show and didn’t have a strategy on how to play the game. Looking back, she believes her lack of knowledge is what she attributes to getting her to the final three. 

“My strategy was just to go in and have a good time and be myself,” she said. “And for me, once I realized that we had one door for 11 people and there was nobody coming to save us, I immediately went into Cynthia Bailey mode.”

She found that being a caretaker in the house helped her slide through. “I started thinking, ‘OK, we got to eat because if we don’t cook, we’re not going to eat. And we got to keep these toilets together because we got 11 people sharing this thing.’ I think that’s a pretty good strategy,” she explained. “I never got blood on my hands. I never was in any position of power and never won anything. And for me to actually – this may be the first time somebody made it this far with never being in any position of power. And I think people just kept me around because they liked me. And I kept the house together.”

Outside of hosting and appearing on other reality shows, Bailey is jumping full speed ahead into acting. She says her new role in Lifetime’s ‘Cruel Instruction’ was relatable due to her real-life role as a mother

Bailey had a recurring role on Season 2 of the BET sports drama Games People Play. She views acting as the next phase of her career. In her new role in Lifetime’s Cruel Instruction, she plays the mother of a teenage girl who at the suggestion of a school counselor, sends her daughter to a “program” she thinks will benefit her and later learns it’s a mental institution.

“I was attracted to that role because I can relate. I have a 22-year-old daughter and now I have two bonus daughters with my husband, so I understand the role of a mom, which is to ultimately protect their children,” she said. 

More than anything, Bailey is happy that this film highlights mental health and the abuse that takes place in some of the institutions. “I don’t feel like we talk about these institutions,” she explained. “So I’m so excited to be a part of this movie and for Lifetime for shining a spotlight on this issue.”

Right after filming her last season of ‘RHOA,’ she began filming ‘Ultimate Girls Trip.’ The show chronicled her fallout with Moore. Bailey says they remain estranged of sorts. Looking back, she has no regrets about how she reacted to certain situations. Bailey also has a message for viewers who took issue with how she handled things on the show

Bailey says being on Housewives for 11 seasons, viewers of the show should be familiar enough with her typical “take the high road” attitude. Working on Ultimate Girls Trip, she says she quickly learned that it was time for her to take a different approach, especially in terms of the way she deals with Moore. 

She previously told S&A that she grew frustrated over the years with Moore’s lack of reciprocity in their friendship. Moving forward, she expects to receive the same energy she gives out to Moore and others.

“I’m a 55-year-old woman, I’m going through menopause, I have mood swings. I’m older, so I don’t have the same patience that I used to have. I just wasn’t having it [on Ultimate Girls Trip],” she explained. “I think for the most part, when you look at things that I’ve been a part of, for the most part, I’m pretty positive. I’ve always been a team player. I try to get along with people, I give people passes all the time to just keep the peace because I’m always on a quest for peace…So if anyone’s going to be upset with me for living my truth in that moment, then they could just have that because that’s just how I felt. And once I got in my feelings, it was hard for me to turn that energy around. Get over it.”

Watch the full interview below: