Stars of “90 Day Fiancé,” Loren and Alexei Brovarnik prove that true love knows no distance. Their fairytale romance began when Loren traveled to Israel to volunteer on a Birthright trip and, as fate would have it, Alexei was the medic for her group. Since Loren was living in New York at the time, the couple had to sacrifice a lot to be together, and when they shared their journey on Season 3 of “90 Day Fiancé,” they quickly became fan favorites. And although Alexei had never even seen the TLC show before they joined the cast, Loren applied for them, and the rest is reality show history.
The List sat down with the happy couple over Zoom from their Florida home ahead of the premiere of the new “90 Day Fiancé” spinoff “90 Day: Foody Call” on discovery+. On the cooking series, “90 Day” alums whip up their favorite dishes while fans send in their burning questions. Spoiler alert: things get very personal.
Loren and Alexei’s natural chemistry lights up the screen as they playfully prepare a multicourse dinner, including specialties from Alexei’s homeland, such as hummus and Israeli salad. The dynamic duo, who welcomed son Shai in 2020 and are now awaiting the arrival of their second son, show us that whatever they do together — even if it’s stuffing a chicken — they do with laughter and love.
How Loren and Alexei first got together
Tell us about when you first met. Loren, is it true you were wearing a neck pillow and a mask from your flight?
Loren: That’s very true… Wasn’t that a good first impression of me though, with the neck pillow and the eye mask?
Alexei: I wouldn’t call it a good first impression.
Who said “I love you” first?
Loren: I don’t know.
Alexei: You don’t know?
Loren: I really don’t know. I feel like it was mutual.
Alexei: It’s never mutual.
Loren: I think you said it first.
Alexei: What? No, I don’t think so.
Loren: I feel like people would expect me to say it first.
Alexei: I think you did.
Loren: I don’t know. I think that you fell in love with me first.
Alexei: The other one responded right away. There wasn’t any awkwardness there.
This is how Loren and Alexei's 90 Day stint came about
Loren, I read that your roommate encouraged you to apply to “90 Day Fiancé.” How do you meet her?
Loren: She did. In New York, back in the day, there was a website called roommates.com and I found her on that website. And funny enough, she’s actually from the same area that I grew up in. And at the time, we were watching the show and she was like, “You should write to them.” And I was like, “Okay.” She’s like, “I mean, you have nothing to lose.” I wrote to them, yeah.
Once you wrote to them, how soon after were you chosen? I know there is some kind of interview process.
Loren: There were a few. I remember I told Alex, I was like, “So in America, there’s this show. It’s called ’90 Day Fiancé.’ It’s not like a big show.” It was only two seasons in.
Alexei: All this time of interviews, and she was talking to the, whoever it was, producer.
Loren: The casting director.
Alexei: And I never watched it. She always nagged me. “You got to watch it.”
Loren: Just so you understand. I was like, “I’m going to write to them.” He was like, “Okay, let’s see what happens.” And then what, a few weeks later I was like, “Do you remember that show I told you about? Well, they want to interview us. So I have to set up an interview for you.” And he was seven hours ahead.
Alexei: The interview was in the middle of the night. I don’t even remember it or anything. Somebody was there. Asked me a couple of questions.
And you didn’t even know the show. That’s funny.
Alexei: I didn’t know the show. I didn’t know nothing about it.
Loren: And then like a few weeks later I was like, “So remember that show, the interview? So we’re gonna be on it.” And he was like, “Wait, what?” I said, “Yeah, we’re going to be on this show. It’s kind of popular here,” even though it really wasn’t at the time. But I remember when I wrote them, I literally put together a novel and I sent a million pictures of us and everything. Just to really sell us.
What the early days of Alexei and Loren's relationship were like
When did you guys know that you were going to get married? When did you feel that the other was “The One?”
Loren: I knew on the first trip.
Alexei: She was hunting for me.
Loren: Yes, that’s exactly…
Alexei: She was watching the show and hunting for me.
Loren: I was like, “Hmm, I want to be on ’90 Day Fiancé.’ Let me go find an Israeli.” That’s exactly what was in my head. [Laughs]
And you were flying back and forth from New York. So what was that like?
Loren: I flew five times in one year to see this guy. And I remember out of those times, two of them, I left on a Wednesday afternoon, arrived on Thursday morning, and then I took the red eye on Monday and I got into Newark [airport] at 5 o’clock in the morning. Went, dropped my bags off, went to work until like 4 o’clock. And that was it.
Alexei: In our 20s, we can do that. It’s not that difficult.
Loren: [Laughs] No kids…
For people dating in New York, we don’t even want to go from uptown to downtown, as you know.
Loren: Yes. Let alone take a cab. I’d rather take an 11-hour flight to Israel, than take a cab downtown. My God.
This is the most difficult 90 Day scene for the reality couple to watch
So what’s the most difficult scene for you to watch of your season?
Alexei: The bachelorette party. Definitely the bachelorette party.
Loren: Even now, though?
Alexei: Even now.
Loren: Yeah, definitely. That’s it.
What was going through both of your minds when Alexei finally got the visa?
Loren: Oh my gosh. I was so excited because in all realness, we had no idea. When I found out on camera, that was the first time I found out. For real. I remember when I saw him back in January, when we got physically engaged ’cause we were together, I genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen. Was I gonna have to move to Israel?… I had no idea. Were you excited? [Turns to Alexei]
Alexei: I was scared … “Oh s**t. It’s really happening.” Like the same with the show, at first I was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” And then boom, it happens.
I interviewed David and Annie also, and they told me that “90 Day Fiancé” is like one big family. So what cast members do you keep in touch with?
Loren: I mean, we really support everybody, honestly. There’s not like one in particular. If somebody’s down here and we’re able to see them, we support it. We’re very supportive with people on Instagram. We just wish everybody the best, honestly.
Loren and Alexei's advice to first-time moms and dads
What are the keys to having a successful marriage, especially one that we can watch on TV?
Loren: Alex, what are the two words in life that every husband should listen to?
Alexei: I’m still unbreakable. And “happy wife, happy life.”
Loren: It doesn’t exist. [Laughs]
Alexei: I don’t think that’s the way to go. It only works for a certain amount of time.
Loren: It’s when I’m pregnant; it works.
Alexei: Well, when she’s pregnant, okay.
Loren: I have a few more months of it. [Laughs]
Congratulations! So what’s your advice to first-time moms and dads?
Loren: Well, I think for parents in general, and you can chime in. I’m gonna let you chime in.
Alexei: I will.
Loren: I think the best advice is don’t take people’s advice and do what’s right for you. There’s no right or wrong. There really isn’t.
Alexei: Best advice. Don’t take no advice.
Loren: People give so much unsolicited advice and judgements, especially through social media.
Alexei: Don’t take it difficult. Listen, but it doesn’t have to be that you’re wrong and they are right.
Loren: Right. There is no right or wrong. If it’s working for you and the baby and your family, then that’s the right way.
Alexei: And listen to your gut and your hunches and whatnot.
Loren: And your wife.
Would you guys ever want to film a spinoff with your kids one day?
Loren: I mean, one day. Why not? It’s always crazy here. Who knows what’s gonna happen, right? From your mouth to God’s ears.
When he came to America, Alexei was surprised by this food item
So what was it like filming ‘”Foody Call?” I enjoyed your segment. It was really cute.
Loren: Thank you. I can’t believe I cooked.
Alexei: Where is it?
Loren: What do you mean? I mean, we’re doing a promo for it. It’s not out yet.
Alexei: Oh, okay.
I got to see a preview so I can ask you questions about it.
Alexei: Ah, okay. Because I want to see it too.
It was very cute.
Alexei: No it was fun. It was really fun…
Loren: It was fun. I will say this. This is a very true story and Alex can vouch for it. When we met, I did not know how to cook anything.
Loren: I remember I went to Israel one time and his mom gave me a bag of potatoes and a knife. And I was like, “Well, what do I do with this?” He was like, “You got to peel it.” I was like, “Don’t you have a peeler?”
Alexei: But she’s very…
Loren: I had the little nubs.
Alexei: She’s very good with following instructions.
Loren: Thank you.
Alexei: So it’s good. If she gets it, you know the recipe…
Loren: To the T.
Loren: And he can cook anything.
So did you get to choose the dishes you prepared on the show?
Loren: Ones that we know how to cook. We had to look good. Ones that we like, things that we actually do cook and like in our house.
So like hummus, for example — you make that often, right?
And then you also made Israeli salad because, Alexei, you said that the salad in America is very different, right?
Loren: I actually made that salad for you this week.
Alexei: Yeah, we have it in the refrigerator now. The salad here is basically all lettuce or some kind of other grass. And that’s it. Here’s a salad.
Loren: His first salad here, we went to a restaurant. He goes, “I’ll have the salad.” And he was thinking it was gonna be vegetables. Then it gets here and he goes, “What’s all this grass?”
Loren and Alexei open up about filming 90 Day: Foody Call
On the show, you also got questions from fans and some were pretty personal. Did any of them surprise you?
Loren: A lot. Like all of them. I can’t believe people were pouring their hearts out to us like this.
Alexei: And then the stories, the cheating during the party…
Loren: During the wedding.
Alexei: During the wedding.
Loren: Somebody saw the groom.
Alexei: “What would you do if your groom…”
Loren: What would you do? I would kill them.
Alexei: If your husband cheated on you on your wedding day?
Loren: You know what I would do? I would pull a Lorena Bobbitt. I would get a scissors and I would chop that thing off and I wouldn’t feel bad about that.
One of them was the husband with the sister or something. Wasn’t it? Something like that?
Loren: Mind-blowing. I was like, “Maybe I shouldn’t be reading this with a knife in my hand.” [Laughs]
And one fan asked you what the hardest part about marrying someone from another culture is, so tell us what you answered for that one.
Alexei: Well, yeah, it’s not easy. I mean, you got to adjust. You got to learn to learn from the other person.
Loren: It’s not even the living together that’s hard. We got very lucky. We adjusted very well to living together easily.
Loren: But I feel like it’s our demeanor. I am a social butterfly. I have a sarcastic attitude and personality. And I think it took Alex a little while to understand that I’m very sarcastic. And even today, we still … there’s misinterpretations on some things. And with this one, the Vlad over here. Sometimes when we’re talking, he gets very stern with his tone and I’m like, “Oh my God. Stop yelling.” He’s like, “I’m not yelling at you.” And I’m like, “Okay.”
Alexei: We are very direct.
Loren: You are very direct.
Alexei: Oh yeah. That’s okay. I’m asking you, “Do you want this or no?” “That’s okay.” What does it mean, “That’s okay?” You want this or you don’t want this? I know it’s okay in general.
The lovable pair has no plans of retiring from the 90 Day franchise
So what are the positives and negatives to showing your life on television?
Loren: That’s a good question. I’ve actually never thought about that.
Alexei: The negative is that everybody’s in your business and everybody’s giving you advice. And judging you about everything.
Loren: Judging. They think they know everything about you based on snippets. And that’s not true.
Alexei: But the positives are that you get also a lot of love and support.
Loren: And you get an opportunity that a lot of people strive for. We like to use it for good.
What has been your favorite part of your “90 Day” journey so far?
Loren: Honestly, we’ve grown so much.
Alexei: I don’t look at it like a “90 Day” journey anymore.
Loren: It’s just us. We’ve literally –
Alexei: Seven years after.
Loren: Oh my God. Are we in that seven-year itch? No. Never.
Alexei: What is that?
Loren: Seven-year itch is like…
Alexei: You don’t need to tell me.
Loren: Oh, okay. Well, no, I truly think that aside from the show, our journey, coming from where we came from and now, we have grown so much individually and as a couple. Having the “90 Day” behind it, it just kind of goes to show for a lot of people who are going through it, it can work. It really can. You just have to have patience.
So what are your future plans? Do you have any plans to retire from doing the spinoffs?
Loren: No, we like it.
I asked David and Annie the same thing. They said “no” too.
Loren: We like it. You know what…
Alexei: Why would we retire?
Loren: It’s fun and we’re very, very lucky. We have got a very loyal following. We have a very supportive following and not just for us, but for them. They love seeing Shai, I mean who doesn’t? And let me tell you, they probably can’t wait ’til he becomes a big brother. So you know what? Why not show the realness?
Alexei: And even I got used to it now…
Loren: Don’t let him fool you.
Alexei: It used to be so difficult for me to be on camera and stuff. It was such hard work. Harder than I don’t know…
Loren: It was like prying open a clam.
Alexei: But now, I go with it.
“90 Day: Foody Call” streams on discovery+ on May 29, 2021.
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