HomeEntertainmentWhy ‘Fixer Upper’ Star Chip Gaines Felt ‘Caged’ and ‘Trapped’ on HGTV Version of Show

Why ‘Fixer Upper’ Star Chip Gaines Felt ‘Caged’ and ‘Trapped’ on HGTV Version of Show

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TIME)

In 2018, Chip Gaines and his wife Joanna took a break from the silver screen after finding incredible success with their HGTV show Fixer Upper. In a 2019 interview with Cowboys & Indians, he explained that he’s grateful for his spot in the limelight, but at times, he felt “caged” and “trapped” while filming the popular renovation series. 

These days, Chip is a busy man with a growing home renovation empire. He’s currently filming a new series called Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, and he and his wife have their own Magnolia Network, which debuted in July. Target also carries their decor line, Hearth & Hand, nationwide.

But after wrapping up the series finale of Fixer Upper three years ago, Chip took a short break. During his time off, he sat down with Cowboys and Indians to tell them about his experience on the show.

Why Chip Gaines Struggled in Front of The Camera

When asked how his break from the small screen was going, Chip Gaines explained that he’s enjoying his downtime because filming Fixer Upper wasn’t always as fun as he made it look.

“TV was a funny thing for me,” he said. “I’m an authentic, sincere person. So, as long as things are natural and organic, I’m in my element,” he said.

But the producers often put Chip on the spot, and that didn’t sit well with him.

“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. I mean, why? You’re getting to have all this fun, right?” he said. “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.”

Chip Gaines is known for being goofy and quirky. He complimented his wife’s calm and serious demeanor well. In fact, his personality was a big reason why so many people loved the show. But apparently, his jokes and stunts often felt forced. He told Cowboys and Indians that he was more at ease during the first few seasons of Fixer Upper, but the last two years were uncomfortable and awkward. 

“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. Jo and I are both just kinda giddy, just like, Man, what’s the future look like, and what’s the next step? Because we’re both business people, and that’s fundamentally who we are.”