Real estate agent, investor, entrepreneur, and model, it seems like Massachusetts-native Emma Hernan does it all.
Hernan, who was born and raised in Scituate, recently added another role to her already extended résumé, joining the cast of the hit Netflix reality series Selling Sunset.
The show centers on an LA-based luxury real estate brokerage, The Oppenheim Group, and the drama surrounding the agents who work there. Hernan has worked with the Oppenheim Group since 2018, when she met the Oppenheim brothers, Jason and Brett, while looking for her first home in Los Angeles. The brothers, who were Hernan’s agents at the time, persuaded her to get her real estate license after realizing how quickly she was picking up on the ins and outs of the industry, Hernan said.
Although she has worked with the team for a while, Hernan only recently joined the cast, appearing on the show’s fourth season, which was released Nov. 24. The transition was a natural one, Hernan said, thanks in large part to her castmates.
“My co-workers, who are also my castmates, are like family. So for me, it’s second nature, jumping right into filming,” Hernan said. “And of course there’s cameras in your face, and it’s a new feeling, and it’s definitely not super natural to the average person, but just being around people that you love, and you’re comfortable with, for me, it was just a really natural transition and something that I wouldn’t change for the world.”
Not to say that Hernan’s entry onto the scene was without its challenges. Some of the most dramatic scenes from the season stem from the tension between Hernan and co-star Christine Quinn over a mutual ex.
Hernan tries not to let any “negative energy” get in the way of her work, however, she said. Drama aside, Hernan showed off her real estate prowess, successfully selling Swedish DJ Alesso’s $6,495,000, six-bedroom, eight-bath home.
Hernan’s success may be of little surprise to those who knew her when she was growing up on the South Shore. She started investing when she was just a teenager, she said, after learning about the stock market from a family for whom she baby-sat. From there, she was able to help her family grow the seafood company her grandfather started, Pembroke-based Yankee Trader Seafood.
The company, which Hernan still helps run today, is part of what inspired her to create her own Massachusetts-based frozen-food company, Emma Leigh & Co., which sells vegan empanadas (featured in a number of cameos throughout season four) in a variety of flavors, including beef, cheeseburger, and sausage pizza.
“I’ve been in the food industry my whole life, so it was only natural to transition into starting my own company,” Hernan said. “It’s definitely a mix between Boston, my heart and soul, and LA, which is very health-conscious. Incorporating the two is definitely what my company is about.”
Some might say that’s what Hernan herself is about, too.
Scituate “was a great place to grow up and kind of have those solid bones,” she said. “You know, when you grow up and you move around, having that nice foundation, I think that’s so important. It was honestly the most special place to grow up.”
Even now she’s maintained significant ties to the Boston area, where her family is still located.
“When I’m not filming, I’m in LA one month and then back in Boston another month. My manufacturing facility is back in Boston, so I’m definitely bi-coastal,” she said. “Boston will always have my heart, but I do love Los Angeles as well. … My heart is full when I’m in Los Angeles and Boston and able to travel between the two.”
Those hoping to learn more about Hernan’s East Coast roots in season five are in luck. “You’ll get to see a little bit more of my personality and my family,” Hernan said. “I’m really excited for the audience to kind of get to know me more on a deeper level.”
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