Check out my latest interview with Red Carpet Roxy! This is a long one, and if you’re a fan of the show or me you’ll definitely love to hear everything I’ve got to say.
The gregarious Jill Zarin from The Real Housewives of NYC is one witty lady with which to chat about almost anything-her “explosive” show, Prop 8, the other Real Housewives, obesity, posing nude, marriage, love, and life. You name, she’s got an opinion on it. But make no mistake-she can and will back it up, which is exactly what I found out recently when I sat down for an hour long, sometimes serious, but mostly funny and blunt, heart to heart with this very Real housewife. And boy, did she give me the scoop! **Warning-some spoiler alerts below about her show!!
RCR: Do you think the media helps to portray negative body images?
JZ: I don’t know if I blame it on the media. It’s a cruel world and people judge you by what you look like. I know that everyone says the politically incorrect thing about being obese is that isn’t not healthy, and that is correct. And the fact of the matter is the first impression is your first impression of someone and I think if it is a job interview and someone’s really obese, you think to yourself well if they can’t control their lifestyle of eating, will they be able to do the job? But it has nothing to do with the other, but it’s the truth. And I am always about the truth. And that is my truth-that is what I believe. So I do think it is a cruel world, and I do think it is a health issue. And I do think down the road we are all going to pay the price. I got this email, I wish to God I had it! It was a joke email so, it was a receipt. OK, this is in the year 2100. It said pizza pie=$8, high cholesterol=$2 surcharge, drinks beer=$3 surcharge, 20 lbs. overweight=$5 surcharge, and so on and by the time you got done, you had a $100 pizza pie! And if you think about it, will we be eventually charged for the bad choice and habits that we have? Should we all pay the same health insurance if you choose to drink or do drugs or eat a lot or all the unhealthy things and you choose that. I am not talking about things like Cancer that you get, but things that you cause, should you pay a higher premium because you choose to do those things? It’s sort of like if you drive a Ferrari you pay more insurance than if you drive a Chevy because you choose to drive a more expensive car. Sort of like I choose to pollute my body and I am going to pay the price. Down the road, will society start to tax people on that? I am not advocating it, I just saw it as a funny joke email and it made me think about it.
RCR: It is controversial.
JZ: Well it made me think about smoking. As soon as cigarette went up to $20 per pack, gee, a lot of people quit. It’s a luxury tax.
RCR: What is Ally (Jill’s daughter) up to?
JZ: She is an environmentalist. She is the president of Teens Turning Green, which is a national organization to promote being green. And she is going to study something very complicated in college, it’s a part of environmental studies. She wants to save the world which is great. We all want our kids to do that.
RCR: Let’s talk about the show (Real Housewives of New York City). It is premiering very soon.
JZ: March 4th! The premiere of Season 3. And it is explosive! I have not seen it, but I have lived it and I can tell you it was explosive to live it.
RCR: So are you still friends with Bethenny?
JZ: I can’t say.
RCR: Can you give me a little something that nobody really knows?
JZ:**Spoiler Alert**-There are 2 new housewives on the show, who I really like. I am not sure how they are going to bring them in and I’m not sure if one is going to be more prominent than the other, based on timing. It will be later in the season. One is Sonia Morgan, married to a man from the J.P. Morgan family, but divorced and has a daughter but her daughter can’t be on the show. So it might appear weird. Sonia is very voluptuous, very sexual, might even seem cougaresque. But she is actually a Mom with a 6 year old, but you are never going to see that because her daughter can’t be seen on the show (due to legal reasons.) And then there is another great lady named Jennifer Gilbert who owns a company called Save the Date, and they are like a $30 million party planning business in New York. She is just really bright, a Mom-she’s got 3 kids. I think she has the nicest apartment on the show. I think seeing her place on the show will be a lot of fun. Are we going to lose a character or 2? I don’t know how they edit it. I know we all filmed, and we all filmed some together and we all filmed some apart. And it is really up to the editors to write a story. Bethenny is leaving-she got her own show. She is starting next year, I guess.
RCR: So will Bethenny be on RHNYC this season?
JZ: She will be on this next season. There were a lot of rumors saying that she wasn’t coming back and it was really a misinterpretation of the facts.
RCR: And what do you think about Bethenny being pregnant and engaged?
JZ: I am thrilled for her. I don’t think she expected it to happen this way, this fast, but you are never rich enough to have kids, it’s never the right time to have kids. It’s never the right time to get married. We make plans and God laughs and clearly the plan for her was to settle down and have a baby. So I am really happy for her.
RCR: And what do you think about your neighbors-the women of The Real Housewives of New Jersey?
JZ: I love them! They are very different than us and I love that. They are fun and crazy!
RCR: What about Teresa Giudice and the whole table flipping episode?
JZ: It was just an accumulation of a lot of different things. Teresa is not a violent person. She is just the loving, sweet Mom of 4 girls who has no housekeeper.
RCR: She doesn’t have a housekeeper for that big, old house?
JZ: No, just once every 2 weeks. In fact I was talking to her husband, Joe, and I said Joe, you know we could never be married-I live in a 2,000 square foot apartment and have help 4 days a week! Teresacleans her own house, she does her own laundry, her Mom comes and helps with the baby. She is a really hands on Mom. Contrary to the Real Housewives of The OC’s Alexis (Bellino) who judges everybody on their life and how she is an at home Mom, and Christian and the whole thing. She has 2 helpers for 3 kids! I don’t like how she judges everybody like Vicki (Gunvalson) who works while Alexis says she stays at home with her kids. Really, because I see 2 nannies! Teresa stays home with her kids everyday. You have 2 helpers and go to the gym everyday. There is a big difference-you are being very judgmental.
RCR: And what do you think about The Countess LuAnn de Lesseps new singing career?
JZ: It’s great-her song “Money Can’t Buy You Class.” One of her lines from the show, elegance is learned, and I really think it is.
RCR: So you think she is a good singer?
JZ: I think she is a good singer. And I think it is a fun dance song. You are going to hear it in discos, clubs, and very St. Barth’s/St. Tropez type of song. It’s great.
RCR: So when are you going to release your song?
JZ: Never! I will never sing, I can’t sing. I will be there behind my friend LuAnn helping her sell albums. I am always the friend. I am the supporter.
RCR: And the connector!
JZ: I am the connector! I will introduce you to anyone I can, but I will never compete with her. I try not to compete with any of my friends.
RCR: So are you still happy on the show, do you want to keep going with it?
JZ: Every season I finish, I say I am never going to do this again.
RCR: You do?
JZ: The last week of filming I am so strung out that I say I will never do this again. Then somehow, it is like having a baby, after you have one you say never again and then they forget. So over time, the next few moths, the good stuff comes. It is really a lot of work-it’s exhausting. I have a lot going on-I wrote a book (Secrets of a Jewish Mother), I developed a bedding line coming out early this summer and I am the brand spokesperson for Kodak. And I work a lot-of course, Zarin Fabrics. I was exhausted. And now, this is the fun stuff-promoting the show.
RCR: So what do you think about Kelly Bensimon’s Playboy spread (on newsstands right now)? Do you think Ramona (Singer) is going to freak out (like she did when naked photos of Alex McCord surfaced on the internet)?
JZ: Ramona can’t freak out because she has done her own pictorial stuff. Not naked. But Ramona doesn’t care about that. I think Ramona freaked out about Alex because Ramona felt betrayed in a way. She felt that Alex had this persona of this angelesque kind of girl, and then these very dirty, filthy pictures came out. And it wasn’t Playboy. And Alex lied because on the Reunion show when we asked about the photos, are there any more and are they “south of the highway” as we liked to call it, like “south of the belly button” she said “no.” And that the only pictures taken of her were “north of the highway,” and that was a lie. Kelly, on the other hand, Playboy is Playboy.
RCR: Would you pose naked for Playboy?
JZ: I am never going to have that problem, so it is easy for me to say no. I will never get asked. Way too many scars on these reduced breasts!
RCR: Everyone likes a good cougar!
JZ: Not this old cougar! Would I do it? I could see where I maybe once could have done topless, if I had this amazing body and I made a living using my body as my tool if I was a model. Which is what Kelly is. Kellyis a model. Her body is her canvas. And she certainly isn’t embarrassed of it, nor should she be. It’s different than Penthouse. It’s just not the same. I don’t think (Kelly vs. Alex) is a double standard. it is just different. I think it’s OK that Kelly did it. Really what I was concerned with with Kelly was her children. I was more concerned with not how she did it, or how it was, but how are your children going to feel about it. Are they going to be embarrassed?
RCR: Safe to say that you and Ramona will be getting into some cat fights this season?
JZ: Oh, it’s a safe bet! No more tennis. Tennis has been played out, no pun intended!
RCR: Is what we see that has been edited what really goes on?
JZ: Up until now, yes. I can’t speak for Season 3, I haven’t seen it yet. (Laughing) I am sure I will be denying everything! It is going to be a rough season for me. I skated by for 3 years-I am in it now. I am so tripping on the tires, every scene with everyone! I don’t know how I got involved.
RCR: So you are in the middle of fights?
JZ: People are picking fights with me, I am in the middle of fights with people. It’s coming at me from everywhere and all I am trying to do is fend it off and say leave me alone!
RCR: Tell me about your book, Secrets of a Jewish Mother (release date April 15th).
JZ: I was offered to do the book alone. And it just didn’t sit right, and I said no, I’ve got to do it with my mother. I like an ensemble. Maybe down the road I would do a talk show, but I would like to do it with someone. It’s more fun. It’s not about the money and it’s not about my ego. So I did the book with my mother and sister, and my sister actually wrote the book with my mother and me being a big part of it. The book is the secret for marriage. money, everything. And really funny! I am going to Israel in April and doing a book signing at the American Embassy there.
RCR: Turning the tides a little bit, how do you feel about Prop 8?
JZ: I believe in gay marriage, I do. I have a lot of gay friends who don’t believe in the marriage part, but they believe in the civil union. And in order to get gay marriage passed, I think the gay community needs to give up on the technical marriage part in front of the church, God. I think they just need to focus on getting the rights and liberties of a married couple, and just do one hurdle at a time. And then in 20-30 years, get the marriage part in and let the Conservatives absorb one thing at a time. I think they would do well by that. Going all in or nothing isn’t the way to go.
JZ: I feel like I am talking to my girlfriend!
RCR: Me too! Well I will let you go because I know you got places you need to be. So nice to meet you!
JZ: So nice to meet you too. Thank you!
The Real Housewives of New York City Season 3 premieres on March 4th at 10/9C on Bravo.