Meet Anna Shay, the rich, unbothered star of Netflix's 'Bling Empire'

Meet Anna Shay, the rich, unbothered Angeleno at the top of Netflix's 'Bling Empire'

1/16/2021 1:04:00 PM

Meet Anna Shay, the rich, unbothered Angeleno at the top of Netflix's 'Bling Empire'

The notoriously private heiress has her moment in the spotlight in the streamer's reality TV spin on 'Crazy Rich Asians.' But she's not in it for the fame.

Anna Shay, right, does yoga wearing diamonds on “Bling Empire.”(Netflix)AdvertisementOf course, it’s a luxury to be sogracious when it comes to money. But in today’s reality TV landscape, where stardom is most frequently pursued to promote a personal brand or business, it’s rare for cameras to capture someone so unabashedly delightful about their wealth.

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“To me, she’s like a real-life Asian-American Auntie Mame — someone who has all the resources in the world but has nothing to prove,” says “Bling Empire” executive producer Jeff Jenkins, who convinced his friend of more than a decade to be part of the series. “She was like, ‘No one’s gonna want to watch me, no one’s gonna be interested in me. I’ll wreck your show!’ But she really is special.”

Shay’s munificence is not just a contrived storyline for the screen.Whenever scenes were filmed at her estate, “Off-camera, she’d be bringing platters of filet mignon to the crew,” Jenkins recalled. “Many times, they couldn’t get out of there without a five-course meal.”

“It’s very simple. They work so hard, they’re moving around with all this equipment, and if it wasn’t for the crew, there’d be no show,” says Shay, who also shared some of the “pounds and pounds of caviar” she had on hand for a dinner party. “A lot of them didn’t know what caviar was, which is odd, and they kind of hesitated. They seemed to like it though.”

AdvertisementShay, who is of Japanese and Russian descent and has been married four times, stands out because she’s in her late 50s, so she’s some years older than the rest of the “Bling Empire” cast. But she’s also the show’s most guileless personality, with an unmatched buoyancy and knack for living in the moment.

“I never grew up,” she admits. “My sonalways tells me, ‘Mom, you need to grow up a little bit, you’re my mother!’ I said, ‘That’s OK, I’m still your mother, tomorrow and every day.’ But I’m really trying. I feel like I should be a little more responsible. Maybe.”

Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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Naaaaa, I’m good. Yikes.... so her first attribute is 'rich' - what a country EW. No, thanks blissfully unbothered by her