The old adage that if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life isn’t quite true, at least for most people. Even jobs that involve our passions can make us feel claustrophobic or trapped after a while. That appears to be the case for Chip Gaines, who cohosted five seasons of the HGTV series Fixer Upper with his wife, Joanna Gaines, according to his comments in a new interview with Cowboys & Indians magazine.
“TV was a funny thing for me. I’m an authentic, sincere person. So, as long as things are natural and organic, I’m in my element. But the more staged something becomes, or the more required something becomes, it boxes me up, and I felt like toward the end of the Fixer Upper journey, I felt caged, trapped. Jo and I couldn’t figure it out,” Gaines told the magazine ahead of the Gaines family’s announcement they’ll soon be launching their own TV cable network under the Discovery Inc. umbrella.
He continued, “I mean, why? You’re getting to have all this fun, right? But it’s like if I put a camera in your face and said, ‘Hey, say something funny.’ Or if I put a camera in your face and said, ‘Hey, be smart.’ I just struggled with that environment. Especially at the end of it.”
Gaines told Cowboys & Indians that the first few seasons of Fixer Upper felt significantly less like a job. He said, “At the beginning, it was so fun. The first three years of Fixer Upper were some of the best years of my life. The last two years, not that we don’t look back on them fondly, but they were more of a job. So, something about breaking out of that has been liberating.”
Although a Magnolia-branded cable network may be in the Gaines’ future, per an announcement made on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in November, the pair have also been building their business in other areas, including their restaurant and their magazine, Magnolia Journal, which are both based in their hometown of Waco, Texas.
“We are having so much fun enjoying our family and growing this business here in Waco,” Gaines told Cowboys & Indians. “What the TV future looks like is a big, fat question mark.”