Being the cousin of "Real Housewives of New Jersey's" fan favorite-turned-villain Teresa Giudice can't be easy. But Kathy Wakile seems to be managing just fine.
Kathy, Teresa's expressive "Real Housewives" co-star, is heading into Season 4 (premieres Sunday, April 22 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo), which is her second season on the show.
When we last saw Kathy, she -- and the rest of the housewives -- was coping with the fallout from Teresa's cookbook, still reeling from the "unattended" baptism accusation, raising her two teenage children (Victoria and Joseph) with her husband Rich (the bespectacled Lebanese Jeff Goldblum) and starting up her own catering company.
Below, one of the newest New Jersey housewives -- Kathy and Teresa's sister-in-law Melissa Gorga both joined in Season 3 -- talks about her reaction to Teresa flipping a table on TV, her husband's dry sense of humor, her breakout star sister Rosie, the surprising thing she learned from watching herself on TV and more!
Did you watch all of Season 1 and Season 2 before you agreed to sign on to do the show?
Yes, I did.
What did you think about your cousin Teresa while you were watching? When you saw the table flip in the Season 1 finale, were you surprised by her behavior?
Honestly, yes, I was. I was very surprised because I'd never seen her do something like that. I know that she can get feisty, but I've never seen her do anything like that before.
Were you at all nervous about putting your family on the show? You guys seem to be a very grounded family and you're a very protective mom.
We discussed it at length so many times before we agreed to sign on. My kids were really answering all of our questions in the right way and anything that we were afraid of, we discussed and we've remained on that same page till now. We've always had an open line of communication with my husband and my kids. We just thought it would be a different opportunity, a different adventure and we thought it would be fun. And for the most part, it has been.
And your husband Rich in particular seems to have a lot of fun. I mean, that scene with Victoria's prom date and the nuts and him telling Victoria to put on jeans under her dress. Was there anything he did that surprised you or embarrassed you when you watched the show?
Not really because that's Rich. There's really nothing he does that surprises. There may be some things I'm not too happy about, but it doesn't surprise me one bit. He's very dry, he's very quick-witted and he comes up with things that you may be thinking in your head -- and most likely, you are thinking those things in your head -- but you would never say them. His delivery from the day I met him has always been the same. He's just right on point and he seems to get a pass most of the time.
And your sister Rosie was also a surprising breakout star in Season 3.
Everyone just loved her.
She's a magnet. When you meet Rosie, you know her presence is in the room and you immediately love her. I think you're gonna be happy because if you liked her in Season 3, you're gonna love her in Season 4.
Really? That's great because anytime she popped up, people got so excited.
Oh, I know. They went wild!
So looking back at Season 3, was there anything that you watched or saw of yourself that wanted to change?
The thing is that we really didn't have much of a break between Season 3 and Season 4. So it seemed like one continuous season for us. So there wasn't really any retrospect because we were already in it. There wasn't any time to readjust your thinking or anything like that, but … When you are authentic to who you are, you make mistakes and everyone does because we're human. So at the end of the day, if you are being true to who you are and the camera catches it and it's not showing you in the best light, you do one of two things: You either deny it or you own up to it and say, "Yeah. OK. That was stupid." So what are you gonna do? You have to be true to yourself.
I have to say, something a lot of people noticed about you when watching the show is how expressive your eyes are. Did you realize you spoke so much through your eyes before seeing yourself on TV because it's so rare that people see themselves talking like that.
Of course! Because no one walks around with a mirror to know the facial expressions they make as they speak. So that was very, very eye-opening. No pun intended. I didn't realize I spoke with my eyes that much. They give everything away.
You mentioned that they was hardly any break between Season 3 and Season 4. In the first episode of Season 4, all of your families head to the Shore together. How long was that after the cookbook came to light at the end of Season 3?
I think it was only a few weeks so yes, it was very fresh.
So how tense was that?
Well, you know, it was tense because for me, the things she wrote about, whatever. I'm not gonna let that kind of stuff get to me because I knew where it was coming from and why it was written in there so it didn't really bother me so much. She wasn't specific that it was me, but I'm sure she was talking about me or my husband, but it's not that big of a deal. But I could see how it would bother everyone else because I just don't think it was necessary. I just don't think there was a place for it. But, you know, everyone has their own way of writing and expressing themselves and that's the thing about freedom of speech.
In terms of you and Teresa, viewers know that you two were once very close, but your relationship already seemed strained when we first met you at the start of Season 3. Was it her going on the show that affected you two or something else?
I think she felt there was a divide between she and I because I had become closer to Melissa and Joe. But I'm pretty capable of sustaining more than one relationship at a time. So I think that she took it as, "OK. You're hanging out with them now? That's fine. We don't need to hang out." She took it as if I was choosing a side, but it's one family -- it's not two separate sides, it's one family. And that was my goal, all season … to bring the family back together.
Is that more of what we'll see in terms of your relationships with Teresa and Melissa in Season 4?
I maintain that same goal. I don't want to get involved in anyone else's business; I just want to try and bring the family together once again and try to remain someone who has their best interests at heart and can see the bigger picture.
What else can you tell us about what's to come in Season 4?
Well, I think it's gonna be very eye-opening. It peels back some layers. You can clearly see we're not just a bunch of ladies that have been thrown together. We have a connection. Usually, it's six degrees of separation, but, at most, we're at two [degrees] here. We're all connected in one way or another. As big as New Jersey is, it's very small ... To be able to understand people's relationships fully, you need to peel back layers. I think this season sheds a little bit more light on our relationships.
Can you tell us at this point where your relationships with Teresa stands?
My relationship with Teresa is cordial. We've been in communication a little bit; texting through the holidays, sending cards and stuff like that. But we're both very busy so it's hard. And when you have free time, it's really for your immediate family. So it's hard to reconnect sometimes. But if I see her, I'm cordial with her; I'm happy to see her. I always wish the best for her so I hope that that can keep rolling.
Do you watch any of the other "Real Housewives"?
Oh yeah. I watch them all.
So who's your favorite non-Jersey "Housewife"?
It's not really a fair assessment because I really love Camille [Grammer, formerly of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"], but really, true and true, she's from Jersey originally.
Isn't she the most improved "Housewife" ever?
Yeah. I think that the first season she was under a lot of stress so she came off differently. But second season she really came into her own and found her own independence and her own voice and her true Jersey girl came out once again. So I related a lot to her. I find a little something special about each and every one of the ladies. I really, really love Sonja Morgan. I love the way she just loves life and loves people. I've had the pleasure of spending some time with her and I really do like her as a person as well.
She seems like a lot of fun.
Oh, she is. And Ramona. I just love Ramona's spirit. That woman is just a spunky woman and I love her. And I do believe that she doesn't mean any harm. She's blunt, but she doesn't mean any harm in her words. And I really like her.
And you two both have the expressive eyes in common.
Yes! Isn't that funny? We found kindred spirits through our eyes. [Laughs.]
The fourth season of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" premieres Sunday, April 22 at 10 p.m. ET.
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