From his relationship regrets with Rosemarie Vega to his dating journey on 90 Day: The Single Life, “Big Ed” Brown opened up to Screen Rant about his journey for love and time on reality television.
Big Ed rose to reality television fame overnight when he appeared alongside Rose on 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days. The 90 Day Fiancé spin-off show featured the older American pursuing the significantly younger single mother in the Philippines. Big Ed was criticized for their large age gap, but the 55-year-old has moved on to be one of the most high-profile figures in the franchise. The San Diego native is currently looking for his life partner on the Discovery+ spin-off show 90 Day: The Single Life. If you’re curious about Big Ed’s rise to fame and controversial relationship choices, check out the exclusive interview below. It’s filled with juicy information and touching details about his personal life, romances and overnight rise to fame.
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Describe your ideal partner.
Big Ed Brown: My perfect mate would be somebody that is sexy, that is sassy, that is somewhat of a smart ass. I like a woman with wit. They have to be witty and they have to be secure with who they are. I don’t want somebody that has a lot of baggage.
What are important qualities you’re looking for in a partner?
Big Ed Brown: I want someone that’s not going to try to change me. I want someone who is going to let me be Big Ed. And that’s one of the big reasons why my marriage failed. Most important would be they’re going to accept me for who I am and I’m going to accept them for who they are equally.
What would your dream reality show look like?
Big Ed Brown: It’d be a lot easier if they’d put me on a show like The Bachelor. Bring the women to me in a room and let me pick. It’s so much easier for me. I would love to be on a Bachelor show- like an international Bachelor show. I want to ride my Vespa through Vietnam and have the cameras follow me.
What’s it like living with your mom while dating?
Big Ed Brown: It feels really, really good. My mom is such a giving person. She raised six of us kids. Her and my dad made sure we had everything we needed, not necessarily what we wanted. My mom had had a crappy year. She lost the house she was living in when it was sold by the family, her boyfriend passed away, she was hit by a car and had back surgery in October and had nowhere to go.
I have been pretty selfish the last probably 20 years living onhttps://screenrant.com/90-day-fiance-big-ed-dream-dating-show/ my own. I knew this day would come and I would be the one. My brothers and sisters are married and scattered. The minute I found out she was losing her house, I found a kind of cute two-bedroom bungalow and I fixed up the yard and put in a hot tub and fire pit. I’m not used to having a roommate, but I couldn’t be happier to be able to be the son that I want to be for my mom at this stage in my life.
Is your mom receptive of your dates?
Big Ed Brown: She lets me be who I am which is really nice. [She says] ‘Don’t date girls who are so young and you need to cut your hair.’ I’m not going to cut my hair and I’m not going to stop dating younger women.
What have you learned from your relationship with Rose?
Big Ed Brown: I learned a lot from Rose. Rose opened my heart to love. That’s why I’m on this new show. I don’t want to be alone. For years I did. I didn’t want a girlfriend for so many years because I was having so much fun. I appreciate my great life, but I realized at a certain point that I wanted more. I missed the idea of having somebody in my life, but Rose kind of gave me the confidence to want to have a relationship.
I give Rose a lot of credit and I was actually able to FaceTime with her a couple of months back and really just tell her that I’m sorry for the way that I acted and I want the best for her in life. I don’t think I could have found a more perfect opposite anywhere in the world and I think that had a lot to do with the success of the show. We were the least two that knew we were wrong for each other. We thought that this was fantasy and love and the whole world’s like oh my god she’s so wrong for you and he’s so wrong for you in many more ways. I think that we were a perfect storm, and I give Rose a lot of credit for just being who she was. Her facial expression the way that she reacted and acted that was all real.
How have you dealt with heartbreak?
Big Ed Brown: You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. Love’s a battlefield. You have to be willing to get your heart splattered. And that’s what Rose taught me. And now I’m willing to get my heart splattered. Each incident you grow a little. And I’m still learning. I don’t want someone who wants me for my money or my fame. I want someone who wants to be with me for me. It’s important that we love ourselves and I’ve learned to do that over the years. Heartbreak can be painful, but without the pain, you won’t get the prize.
Would you consider getting married again?
Big Ed Brown: Absolutely. “I’ll often go into Tiffany’s just to look. They’re like “find the girl and we’ll find the ring.” I definitely want to be married again. I’m not going to always have my mom and I don’t want to die alone. I want a life partner. I want somebody that I can take care of, that I can spoil and someone who’s going to take care of me and spoil me.
Do you think you have been accurately portrayed on television?
Big Ed Brown: [My television portrayal] was absolutely accurate. It was almost too accurate. I’m not that great with women to be honest although I’m somewhat charismatic. There are ways that I could have worded things differently, but everything that came out of my mouth were my words and my actions. I say a lot of dumb things. I said a lot of dumb things to Rose that I probably shouldn’t have. I put mayonnaise in my hair, I showered with my father-in-law. All of those were real. That wasn’t planned, it was very impromptu. I’ve kind of been that way all my life. I’ve always been very spontaneous. I don’t think before I speak ever. I’ve always been that rally comical friend kind of that class clown so to speak.
What are some of the wildest DMs you’ve gotten from fans?
Big Ed Brown: “The craziest DM that I got was just about three days ago. I couldn’t even use the word on TV. The girl was like I want to F you. And just like that- not like hello, how’s it going. Just like straight out. So I said yes- I’m just kidding. I even showed it to my mom and she was like don’t you dare, Pony, and I was like mom I would. I get some pretty crazy [DMs]. People want me to marry them them now. Someone in England wants me to marry them.”
How has fame affected your dating life?
Big Ed Brown: I’m on six different dating websites. I’ve been catfished over 15 times. I’ll show up on a date – first of all, they look nothing like their picture. They’re like 10-15 years older than their profile picture. And some of them will just sit and go, “I just want to learn about the show.” After the third or fourth time they just want to talk about the show, I’m like you know what I’ve got to go. I’m actually trying to find a girlfriend. It’s going to be impossible for me to go out on a date and for someone not to know who I am. I get catfished quite a bit. It’s actually going to be quite difficult for me this day forward anywhere in the world right and have them not know who I am.
Does your daughter support your dating journey?
Big Ed Brown: My daughter will always be unhappy with me when it comes to me having a girlfriend- regardless of age or money- just unhappy. She cares about her dad. I don’t think I’m ever going to find anybody that’s going to be good enough for my daughter. The dad is a daughter’s hero and I have to be that hero for my daughter all the time.
Why do you date younger women and would you consider changing your stance?
Big Ed Brown: The reason why I think I like younger women is I think I’m trying to capture what I missed out on. I want those years back. My comfort zone is 28- 2. Rose was way too young, oh my god. I’ll never date that young again. But right now 28 to 34 are all my friends. They’re who I can relate to. I don’t relate with women my age. Women my age or most women my age, they drink chardonnay and they read books and they’re in bed by 8 o’clock and they have three cats. That’s not Big Ed, that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for someone that keeps me young.
How did your hangout with David and Annie come about?
Big Ed Brown: David and Annie reached out to me on Instagram when I had an opportunity to visit friends in Scottsdale. They said to give them a call and we’ll all go to dinner. They’re wonderful people they really really are.
Who else in the franchise are you close with?
Big Ed Brown: My favorite person on TV is me. I’m kidding. I don’t follow a lot, I didn’t watch show before until I was on it. I still wonder about David from last season, like what happened to him. I hated Angela Deem before- I just thought she was like a bull in a China shop. Then I did a Pillow Talk with her and my mom. I like fell in love with her. She is the way she is and it’s real and she’s obnoxious. When she’s mad she opens her mouth. I messaged her, “I wasn’t a fan of yours at first and now I dig you and respect you.” She’s one of my all-time favorites now. Tom [Brooks] is kind of funny. He’s always dancing on Instagram. I like watching him. Everybody finds Darcey interesting. I’m trying to figure it out. She’s like so amazingly popular, so I do watch her stuff.
Out of the women on the show, is there one that you would want to date?
Big Ed Brown: Yeah, but she’s already taken. I’ll probably get in trouble – she’s married. [Juliana season 7], I think she is stunning. I think Avery [Warner] would be a close second. Varya [Malina] from Russia would be a third. And there’s a new girl on the Single Life [Fernanda Flores]. She gets my motor running man. She’s a hottie.
On having Klippel-Feil syndrome and being a role model to others:
Big Ed Brown: I grew up with the condition called KFS, Klippel-Feil syndrome, where it looks like I actually don’t have a neck. But I do. I have three vertebrates that are the size of two when most normal humans from this world have seven. And I have a bigger than normal chest cavity so I’ve been bullied all my life. I learned at a young age I can either let this condition define who I am or I can accept that God made me this way.
All of the bad memories came back to life when the show first came out, but then I started receiving letters from people. One man, Abe from the East Coast, wrote in. He was very depressed and somewhat suicidal and asked me, “How do you rub mayonnaise on your hair on national TV? Where do you get that confidence?” You can love who you are. There is nothing you can change about yourself. Accept that and you’ll be fine. What started out as a reality show turned out to be a platform where I can really help people get through the bullying side of life which is not good.
What was it like becoming famous overnight and did you anticipate the fame?
Big Ed Brown: It was incredible. I actually fell in love with Rose. I met her on social media. I bought a ticket and I posted that on Facebook and my buddy Richard who’s on the show sent me the link. I’d never heard of 90 Day Fiancé and I filled out the link. I filled it out like it was a lotto ticket. The next thing you know I’m on this reality show and I’m in the Philippines. I thought it was a waste of time and it was ridiculous and no one would watch it. It all changed in January 2020 with the premiere. Overnight like literally overnight people would stop me on my Vespa. I couldn’t even walk down the street or an airport without being berated. You know I love it too. I wouldn’t change anything although it’s changed my life in every facet. I kind of like where I’m at. It feels good.
Is there anything you regret saying or wish wasn’t aired?
Big Ed Brown: I would tell people I would look fat on camera and they would say the camera adds 15 lbs and I would say but how many cameras did they have on me? [On 90 Day: The Single Life] I wanted to work on not just my mind- hiring a dating coach- but also on my physical appearance. Basically, it’s really simple you eat less and you move more- watch portions and exercise everyday.
How do you deal with negativity from viewers?
Big Ed Brown: My brother said, ‘If you walk through the gutter every day and look down that is your life.’ When you read negative comments about your life that aren’t true you become that sad person.My life is surreal. I don’t get how I got here. My fans drive dump trucks, they drive trash trucks. They’ll stop in the middle of the street. I like how my fans are real people and I think that’s the rub with Big Ed. They think they can relate to me, they feel like they can relate to me. And nothing touches my heart more than when an 8-year-old walks up to me and says you’re a legend or says ‘hey you’re that TikTok guy.” For me to be able to move and inspire a youngster like that and give them some positive words, I’m trying to pay it forward. God put me here for some reason and I’m just going to try to do the best I can to be the best I can.
What’s one thing you want people to know about you that they don’t?
Big Ed Brown: I want people to know that I’m actually a very nice and caring person. I really care about people. I care about the world, I care about my environment. I spoil my friends. I’m very generous with my friends. I’m a caring and generous person and people don’t know that about me.
What is the best part of being in the 90 Day Fiancé franchise?
Big Ed Brown: One thing I do like about the TLC franchise is they really really let you be who you are. They don’t tell me what to do. They basically just follow me around with cameras and I do enough dumb things that I don’t need any- they just turn the camera on and I’m eating guacamole off my face or I’m rubbing mayo in my hair or I’m Nairing my back. I’m kind of just a natural fuddy dud I guess. It comes natural. The cool thing about being on reality TV is this is who I am. There’s no hiding it.
“I just want to be me. There are people that are going to like me and there are people who are not going to like me and I’m okay with that. You have to be. I had to go into this knowing I was going to piss off a lot of people. I didn’t realize how many people I would make happy. I never in a million years would have realized that I could connect with so many people. I like being in my own skin. I’m comfortable with who I am, I do wish I was taller though to be quite honest. And I wish I didn’t have to keep dying my hair. I’m just trying to figure out why I’m here. All I did was I bought a ticket and posted on Facebook and here I am a year and a half later. The show’s worldwide and I’m just dealing with the flow.
In what ways has being on 90 Day Fiance changed your life for the better?
Big Ed Brown: I don’t know what I did to deserve this. But I’m thankful to God that this late in my life that he’s given me this opportunity which means that I have to return the favor. I’ll never be rude to a fan I’ll never turn down a picture ever. Not to gloat- I knew at a young age I was going to be famous but I never knew how. I never at a million years knew that at 54 years old I would be an international meme. Now everyone knows who I am and it’s crazy.
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