Courtney Veale is already a breakout star on this season of Below Deck Mediterranean, and after our chat with her, it’s easy to see why. Here, the bubbly third stew talks about why she was skeptical of Chef Mat’s knee injury, that mega crush deckhand Zee had for her during the season, and why she’s feeling just a little bit nervous about all the twerking we’re about to see from her. Plus, what it was like to be a former Disneyland Paris princess and details on a recent charter she worked which included Magic Johnson and his friends as guests!
Decider: First things first, we need to talk about your upcoming twerking which it looks like we will see on a few different occasions. Are you ready for that?
Courtney Veale: No, I’m definitely not ready for it [laughs]. I’m just gonna have to roll with it because it’s gonna be hilarious. I do it a lot during the season, so it just becomes a thing that happens, even in front of guests sometimes.
I did ask Captain Sandy about it and she said she tried and that was the best she could do, but I want to ask you how she was as a twerking student?
Yeah, she tried. She needed to bend the back of it more. She only tried for a few minutes, but it was nice that she tried. There’s probably room for improvement [laughs].
That is very constructive feedback! I know you’re on charter now, but have you been seeing the social media reaction? Have you been watching? What has the experience been like for you?
I’ve been watching when I can, and it was all a bit wild when it first started coming out and people were messaging me about different things. It probably helps that I’m on charter because I’m so busy. I’m doing the 6 am untill 10 pm shift. So on my breaks, I’m gymming and then sleeping. So honestly it feels like a blur, these past three weeks since everything started coming out. It’s been a bit crazy, but as soon as my head touches the pillow, I’m asleep, and then the rest of the time I’m working. So it’s probably a good thing, because I would hate to dwell when you get haters and stuff. People have been really nice so far. Like, I’ve been surprised at how nice people have been so far. But we haven’t had a night out yet, so we’ll see if that changes.
Where are you now? Where’s the boat and are you still a stew?
I’m a deckhand and personal trainer now on a 75-meter charter boat. We’re actually back in Croatia. Since then, I’ve been to the Maldives, the Bahamas, the US. And then we came back to the Med and we were in Greece. Then literally the week that all of this started coming out, we go back to Croatia, and I was in Split, Šibenik, and Dubrovnik, it was crazy. So yeah, what are the chances but I’m back here. I wouldn’t really know if we were in the same places because I was a stew and you don’t really go outside, so at least I’m going to see it a bit more this time.
What a full-circle moment! Tell me about a recent picture on your Instagram — was Magic Johnson one of the charter guests, what was happening there?
Yeah, so Magic and his wife and a couple of their friends were charter guests on the last trip, it was awesome. They were so nice. It was also LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson’s wife. So we had the full cool crew. They were such lovely people. We did an art thing with them, where me and one of the guys dressed up in togas and they had to do a live drawing of us, it was surreal. I went on a walk with them and Magic Johnson helped me get down a wall because obviously he’s so tall and I’m like five foot three. So yeah, it was a crazy experience but it was really fun.
You said recently on one of the episodes that your friends are getting dogs and married and whatever, but I bet all of the friends that have that and are settling down are texting you like oh my gosh, you’re living a dream life, you’re doing amazing. Am I right?
Yeah, you’re right [laughs]. All the time. They hate me because we’ve got a group chat and it’s constantly all about the dogs, their wedding dresses, their houses, what grass they’re putting in their back gardens or what tiles they use in their bathrooms and stuff. And I’m like, ‘Hey, guys, Magic Johnson’s here’ or like, ‘Hey, guys, I’m just in the Maldives right now’. Like, ‘Courtney piss off, we don’t want to hear about you’. I’ll send them a picture of me sunbathing, but it’s like you get a day off, or an hour on your break. Social media only sees the good parts of you, for sure. So they’re all super jealous most of the time, because I’ve got a group chat and there’s five of us in it, and I’m the only one that doesn’t have the boyfriend, a house, an engagement ring, and a dog.
Well, you are doing amazing. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the things that we’ve seen so far this season. What was it like when you had to jump into the galley to help out?
I’m quite good at winging things in life. Most of my life, because usually, I apply for jobs and I have no idea what’s going on in them. And then when I get there, I end up learning the job, basically. With fruit platters and meat platters and things like that, I’m fine with that. I could do that all day and all night. But the actual cooking side of things, definitely less confident with. I used to be a nanny, so I used to cook for the family, but that was super basic stuff, not stuff that you serve on charter. I wish we could have just done pizza, pasta, salads, but no, we went for lobster and steak.
Speaking of previous jobs, I wanted to ask you about playing a princess at Disneyland in Paris. That looked amazing, was that fun?
Yeah, you were meant to just say you were friends with the princesses because nobody wants to kill the dream for children. So I was friends with Ariel, Anna from Frozen, and Cinderella. It was really fun. I was Anna the most and Ariel was fun as well. It’s a surreal experience — you feel famous, but they’re not shouting your name. So it’s kind of like a false sense of happiness inside. But it is a really nice experience, seeing how you can make a child’s day so much better. It’s still funny when people see it on my resume.
Tell me a little bit about working with Katie. How was she as a chief stew?
Katie was great and we got on really well from the start, so that helps. We were cabin mates and we just clicked and I feel like we got on straight away as good friends, which kind of took over in the workplace. We just had a very similar mindset. We both have been on quite big boats with big teams prior to the Below Deck season. And usually on larger boats, things have to be a certain way: everything has to be perfect. It’s what people think superyachting is like, on steroids on some of these larger boats. So we both had the same idea of how things need to be done. She was really good at managing us, and we were on the same wavelength; I would think about things before she even asked me to do it, which then helped her and she could carry on with what she needed to do without being stressed.
We see that Lexi is starting to get on Chef Mat’s nerves a bit in Episode 3. How was your relationship with Lexi?
I’m not a very argumentative person, so I try and just bite my tongue a lot of the time because I prefer to just get it done than to moan about something and not be done, and then we wasted 20 minutes arguing about it. She’s quite an argumentative person, so from the get-go, I kind of knew that if anything did annoy me, I probably wasn’t gonna say it just because it was too much. But Mathew is very different to me, and he and Lexi are kind of similar in that sense that they are very strong-minded people and they just clash so bad. Things get heated for sure and I would be scared of both of them when they’re angry. To be fair, at the start me and Lexi got on quite well and it just changed during the season and during stress and all of that. You can’t get away from people because you’re stuck on the boat. So people change during a season for sure.
Tell me a little bit about Zee because I love this crush that he has on you. Did you know about this crush when it was happening and was it mutual?
I thought Zee was great. I thought all the guys were great. I’ve been in sticky situations on boats before with boatmances and I didn’t really want to get into that. So I was just trying to see them all as friends. And then tequila got involved [laughs]. Zee was a great guy, and I knew he was from the get-go. I didn’t know about this crush that I’ve seen now, these clips that he’s speaking about me and stuff. Obviously, it’s really nice to see but yeah, I thought it was more of a joking thing for him as well.
Looks like we’ll see that kiss soon that you didn’t even know happened?
Literally, I had no recollection of it which was really bad. We were just at a crew meal, we weren’t even allowed out because of COVID so we’re just partying on the boat and we still managed to let way too loose and go wild. Things happen, but nothing too bad happened which is good.
During another party night that’s in the trailer, we see everybody testing out that Lazy Susan in the crew mess. Did you get to experience that?
Of course I did, I think it was my idea! But that Lazy Susan, I feel sorry for it. I honestly think Lazy Susans are gonna go off the shelves when this comes out. Men everywhere are gonna be buying them for bachelor parties [laughs]. It went from 0 to 100 very quickly as you’ll see. Things get flown everywhere, there’s water involved, there are drinks, and we were trying to keep it PG.
Tell me a little bit about the wedding we see in Episode 3. We have to talk about the scene where you have to make small talk with the bride.
Oh my god, what went through my mind? ‘I hope you guys have a wonderful life’. I’m trying to be nice, but then I just talk about the weather? She’s about to walk down the aisle and I stood there telling her how it’s a bit chilly [laughs]. What a British thing to do as well, talk about the weather. I feel like Brits always do that, if we feel awkward, we talk about the weather.
During the whole trip, she was one of the quiet ones. We hadn’t spoken heaps of the trip and the night before they were arguing, they say that they aren’t gonna get married. The whole thing was very awkward and during that day we were all a bit like, Is it gonna happen? Is it not? Then we found out that Captain Sandy was doing it and the weather was a little bit on and off. So everything was just a bit crazy. Then it was just me and her in the tender garage, she’s in a wedding dress, I’m like, fuck it [laughs]. Next time, I’ll be a bit more prepared, but I also didn’t know that it was gonna be me down there standing with her, so that was also a last-minute thing.
Let’s talk about Mat. You were one of the only people that expressed how skeptical you were about his leg. Was everybody on the same page? What stood out to you when he came back?
It was very early days so nobody really wanted to say too much, and nobody wanted to bitch in case he was actually hurt. When he did go, I was worried, and then he came back and he was walking absolutely fine and he was ready. It was like he was refreshed and actually ready for the season now. So it was frustrating because we had just been through absolute madness for 48 or 24 hours, however long it had been. I don’t even remember, it was a blur. I think everyone did feel the same as me. But I’m quite an honest person and I get to a point where if I’m annoyed, and I feel like me and David had been thrown, even more so, into the deep end, because we were in the galley most of the time. I think I was in the galley nearly the whole time whilst he was gone. I just didn’t want my first charter to be that experience, because I know I’m a good steward, whereas I’m not a good chef. It was frustrating for sure but when he came back, I was like, sweet. It was good that he came back all happy and ready to go, because if he’d come back all mopey then I would have been like, oh, God he should have stayed off. I think Malia was also a bit skeptical. She was like, I don’t know if it was mental or physical, but at least you’re back.
What else are you excited for people to see later this season?
I’m definitely nervous about all the twerking everyone’s gonna witness, because there’s a lot. Lots of drunk nights out, there’s lots of falling over. But I’m excited for everyone to see how close we all get as a crew and actually how much fun we have together. I feel like past seasons have started a bit spiteful and crews always clash. I know that we have a couple of people that clash during the season, but I feel like the rest of us, we’re actually a big family by the end. It’ll be nice for everyone to witness and to see people changing during as well. I hope people find some of the moments as funny as we did because there are times when we’re all crying with laughter. I hope that everyone gets to see those moments because they were the best ones.
You already stand out as one of the funniest people on the show for sure, but was there somebody else in the crew that made you laugh a lot?
Mathew, he’s just hilarious. There are so many times me and Zee are crying with laughter because of the things that he’s saying. He’s just got very dry humor. But I’m glad you find me funny. That’s nice [laughs], I just find myself very awkward.
I think you’re very fun to watch and am excited to see more in this next episode.
I’m excited too because I have no idea what goes on, so I’ll be there with my popcorn as well. Like, what the hell actually happened this night, I can’t wait to see.
Special appearance by tequila.
Yeah, literally, tequila had a big part, the whole show.
Below Deck Mediterranean airs Monday at 9 pm ET/PT on Bravo, with episodes streaming one week early on Peacock.
View original post