Dishes On How It All Began And Behind The Camera
I got a chance this Christmas season to interview Missy Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, who is married to Jase Robertson, one of the four sons of family patriarch Phil Robertson. Like all the women of Duck Dynasty, she is down to earth, positive, fun, witty and passionate about her family and helping others. She’s done it all when it comes to hunting, shooting and being right there on camera with the guys. The men really do go hunting all the time, it’s not just an occasional hobby.
It was revealing hearing what it’s actually like behind the scenes – it’s not as easy as it appears to those of us watching, even though the reality show is unscripted. But what we see now on TV is not how the family first got into it – the show has grown way beyond their first small venture into media.
RACHEL ALEXANDER What is Christmas like for the Robertson family?
MISSY ROBERTSON It’s a lot of fun. We usually spend Christmas Eve and morning with our separate families. My parents live in town, and same with all the Robertson wives. We get all together down at Phil and Kay’s between four and five p.m. for a big meal. Now, that’s the one day that Jase won’t hunt in the morning. He spends the time with us. Phil can’t stand it, but he joins him later in the afternoon for hunting.
RA What has been you and your children’s experience with hunting?
MR I’m not a hunter, but I have been hunting in the past. I went deer hunting once on Duck Dynasty. I don’t mind duck hunting. It’s a little different when you’re hunting with the Robertson’; it’s not just a casual past time like it is for other men, who just go hunting on their days off. Instead for many men, like ours, it’s their livelihood. It’s how the Duck Dynasty men make their living. When Jase goes hunting, he goes to work, there’s not a whole lot of recreational time. I don’t mind hunting once a year, but it’s a lot of pressure, especially when you add in all the cameras. Our kids hunt, fish and shoot. Reed just killed a deer, so we’ve been eating it and two that Jase killed for the past three weeks. Jase cuts deer up as soon as it’s killed, and keeps it in an ice chest in our garage, and we eat it every day until it’s gone. Now, the bigger the deer, the worse it tastes. Jase doesn’t care about showing off by killing a big deer with a huge rack. He goes for the small ones since he wants the best tasting. Deer tastes a lot like beef – you can substitute deer for beef. You can grind it and make spaghetti, deer burgers or steaks. There’s no fat and you can avoid the gamey taste.
RA Anyone in your family like to fish?
MR I encourage the guys to fish because I love to eat it. We grill it and make fish tacos. I’m usually the one who encourages Jase to go fishing! We love crappie, which we call white perch; it’s a white, flaky fish that we blacken. It’s everybody’s top favorite. We do not eat seafood in a restaurant because we do it so well. Same with grilled and blackened shrimp.
RA What made you decide to do the show?
MR We had the opportunity to think it through in 2009 through 2011, when we had the first reality show on the Outdoors Channel. As a much lower-profile show, we were able to be ourselves. It got a lot of awards at the Outdoors Channel event every year in Las Vegas. That caught the attention of A&E. Even before that, we had the hunting DVD that the guys did. It was really baby steps to get to where we’re at now.
RA How are you able to survive the public and media scrutiny? I’m sure some can be negative and brutal. You have said things yourself in the past, like “God is not politically correct.”
MR We’re pretty grounded in our faith – that’s the main reason. It doesn’t affect us the way people expect it to! We’re not trying to make sure everyone likes us and agrees with us. God has given this opportunity, and so we use the opportunity to shine the light on Him. We’re not perfect – we have a lot of flaws. We simply know there is a Savior and we appreciate Jesus and what he did for us.
RA Duck Dynasty came out with a Christmas album last year, and I see you’re singing on three songs, including “I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Baby,” “It’s Cold Outside,” and “Why I Love Christmas.” I listened to those songs, and you have a really beautiful voice. Do you have much singing experience?
MR My mom has a master’s degree in choral training, so she’s been my vocal coach my entire life. I’ve always sung. For about 23 years now, I’ve sung with the Praise Team every Sunday in church. After the first time on Duck Dynasty where I sang “Silent Night,” people asked on social media if I would make a Christmas album. Willie found out about it and wanted to do an entire family album, and that’s how it all happened.
RA You recently released a book with the other women of Duck Dynasty, The Women Of Duck Commander. What is that about? Also, I saw the five of you interviewed on Fox News and was impressed that you all get along so well!
MR That was a great opportunity for all five Robertson women to be able to share a tiny portion of our lives with the public. There’s actually more to share. I’m writing a book about Mia’s story that will be out in August or September of next year. We tried to hit the hot spots in the book. All five of us have very different background stories. Yeah, we get on each others’
nerves, but we don’t fight. You don’t have to air everything all the time; that’s where our Christian views come in. It does nothing but harm each other. You have to forgive if you expect to be forgiven. I don’t want to stand in front of Jesus on Judgment Day asking to be forgiven if I haven’t forgiven.
RA You’ve become outspoken about raising awareness for kids born with cleft lip and palate, after discovering your daughter Mia was born with this. What should our readers know about this condition?
MR Mia is one of the bravest kids we’ve ever known and she happens to be ours. We knew nothing when she was diagnosed about cleft lip. We now know so much because of our own experiences, which includes being financially strapped back then. We want to help families make better and more informed decisions. We put out information on miamoo.org. And Mia wanted to make sure that kids didn’t have to be scared going into surgery. WSJ