VH1 has another hit on it’s hands with Mob Wives, a reality show that follows four women after their fathers or husbands are convicted and imprisoned for crimes connected to metro-area mob activity.
TheBPlot contributor Michael Cook caught up with the show’s break-out star, Renee Graziano, daughter of Anthony “the Little Guy” Graziano, former consigliere of the Bonnano crime family, who, was reportedly third in line to the Bonnano crime family. In 1990, Graziano pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $250,000.
Michael: What is the origin of “Mob Wives”?
Renee: My sister Jennifer Graziano of JustJenn Productions is the executive producer and creator. The show is co-produced by Ben Silverman and Harvey Weinstein (Project Runway and Models of the Runway). Harvey and Ben are such great guys to work for and so supportive!
Michael: You’re show is going to have inevitable comparisons to the “Housewives” franchise.
Renee: I don’t think the comparison is fair at all. Most of the “Housewives” have husbands or ex-husbands, and they have large bank
accounts! I really don’t think we are anything like the “Housewives”.
We’re regular, down to earth women with struggles, and I think we are really relatable. I have received tons of letters from women that are in similar situations, and I’m so happy that I can give support to other women, if even if it’s from a reality television show. That was my ultimate goal, to be able to give support to others.
Michael: When you were originally asked to do the show were you scared of the inevitable backlash from family or friends?
Renee: Absolutely not. Deciding to do the show is truly the first grown up decision I made. People have talked about me for years, and now they can know why they talk about me - why I am the way I am. I’m not a princess, but this lifestyle made me all of the things that I am.
Michael: Now we know that Rob Cancelleri (owner of Evergeen Florist in Staten Island and Interlaken resident) keeps your home beautiful with his flowers. Does Renee have her own personal “glam squad” with an army of gays behind her?
Renee: First off, I love Rob! He is hilarious! I don’t have a “glam squad” but let me tell you this; I’ve gotten so much support and positive feedback from the LGBT community. They are wonderful people, and I am completely against judgement of any kind. I’ll put it to you this way: I have a tattoo on my back that says “Only God Can Judge Me”. That pretty much says it all.
Michael: What can we expect to see from the show this season? The trailer looks pretty heavy, will there be some lighter moments?
Renee: We definitely will have some good times, then Renee acts up again! LOL. We’re truly not your average women, we grew up in a different era. We’re regular moms, we just grew up in a different generation; while my parents were listening to Frank Sinatra, I grew up listening to Jay Z. The audience needs to understand the differences.
Michael: There is a “Gotti” movie already in pre-production. How would you feel about a “Graziano” movie and who would you like to play you?
Renee: I don’t know that my father would approve of a movie based on our family, but I would love to have a movie about my life! Who would play me? Let’s see..it would have to be someone with the beauty of Julianna Margulies, the funkiness of Fairuza Balk, and the drama of Angelina Jolie!
Michael: Considering your family is not thrilled with the show, would you be up for a second season? It is definitely getting great ratings.
Renee: I would totally be up for a second season; our ratings were 2.2 million viewers. You’ll see more of me, I have a greeting card company I am launching, so you will definitely get to see me starting a business and doing different things. There is so much more to all of us.
Michael: Last question; you’re on a deserted island with Drita, Carla, and Karen; The rescue plane has two seats; who do you bring with you?
Renee: Good question. I definitely think I would have to let the three of them fight it out; the strongest one survives!
For the new, January 26, 2012 interview with Renee, click here.
More about Mob Wives, click here.