That hard-headed realism makes sense for a couple with four children—Arianna and Maddy, 14 and 12, from Savant's first marriage, plus six-year-old Jack and baby Lucy—but it's rare to hear successful actors speak so candidly. "A hit show gives you the appearance of prosperity," Leighton notes. "We get by," Savant adds. "We're not yet getting ahead." The three of us giggle as we speak the single word that is going to terrify them for decades: tuition. We laugh more heartily at other, more encouraging words: residuals … syndication … back end.
Meanwhile, Housewives fever rages. "It's great that, at events, people want their picture taken with Doug and are pushing to get to him," says Leighton, who has had roles in two critically acclaimed but short-lived series, Skin and Eyes, since her Melrose jackpot. "I'm not offended, it's just what it is. What's different for us is that we have a heightened awareness of how temporary it is. This is Doug's ride—and I'm thrilled he's on it."
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And Savant knows that Leighton has star power of her own. "My wife is smoking hot. When we’re on a red carpet, they don’t look at me."
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Jesse Kornbluth is the founder of HeadButler.com, the cultural-concierge website, and a contributing editor at Tango.