What is the status of your friendship with Drita now that your professional relationship is done for now?
Well, to be honest, a lot of things transpired over the years that I’m not happy about. I think she could have and should have handled things a lot differently, and better. I’m sure she thinks the same about me. I think on a professional level, obviously, we worked together throughout the entire life of the show, so professionally I’m able to maintain that but I don’t think we have a friendship any longer.
Over the years, women have come and gone on the show, who do you think was the biggest loss when they left the series?
The biggest loss to me was Karen, which is why she came back. For many reasons, one, because of the authenticity of her family name, and if you know anything about New York history, whether you find it to have a negative or a positive connotation, her father’s name rings bells. That was one reason, the second reason is because of the deep-rooted history she has with all of the cast members and obviously that manifests itself in fun times and contentious times, and it brings drama and adds to everything you’re looking for in reality TV.
The second biggest loss, and Karen’s probably not gonna like that I said this, but I think Alicia. I think that Alicia brought something that we didn’t have. Not only did Alicia have a history as a true mob wife but she had her own legal case going on which I thought brought a fresh dynamic. Like okay, not only do you suffer maybe emotionally or have to worry about sending your husband commissary but Alicia had to worry about somebody sending her commissary. She had to worry about leaving her children. I think that was a fresh look at what could really happen if you really marry a guy like this.
Plus, I like the way she argued because it was never like, “I’m gonna punch you in the face.” It was always, “I’m gonna tell you exactly how I feel and I don’t care if you like it, and you can tell me how you feel. We’re never gonna get physical but I’m never gonna back down either.” I liked that because some reality shows, they want you to fight and hit. That’s never what I wanted, especially between my friends. I liked the fact that Alicia was able to bring the drama without taking it too far. And she had a great sense of style, so, I think she added a lot to the show.
What is something that happened that you really can’t believe happened?
I would have to say, the first thing that comes to mind is when my ex-brother-in-law turned himself in, and then the same day, my father was arrested. We learned along side the entire world that my ex-brother-in-law was wearing a wire, and ratting on my father. I mean that was the hardest to watch, especially the downfall and the effect that it had on my sister, as well as my father obviously, and what happened to my family. That was the most difficult to live through while filming. The most unexpected I would have to say is probably the 127 person mob bust that happened because we couldn’t have even scripted that on a show like this!
In the wake of Big Ang death, do you feel like you have any insight into where the women stand?
Well, I think too much has transpired between Karen and Drita to ever feel any type of bond for each other. [They can say,]okay, we can be in the same room to honor someone we both love, but once we leave that room, I’ll never look at you. Karen and Natalie [Guercio] hated each other, but after Big Ang’s funeral everyone went out to the Drunken Monkey to honor her and Karen and Natalie kissed each other and were like, “F–k it, Big Ang is gone.” It’s not even important what we fought about anymore. So Karen and Natalie definitely are in a better place.
I think Carla, even though she and Drita are estranged, I think she’s the type of person, maybe years from now to just get passed that. My sister Renee looks at it like, okay if we have a season seven I’ll work with all of you. I don’t gotta like you, but we can work together.
I think the only really heavy, irreparable relationship is Karen and Drita.
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