“BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER”: “MOB WIVES” FLORIST TALKS TO TheBPlot!
Picture it. Staten Island, the daughter of a former Bonnano crime family consigliere and the gay owner of a successful flower shop. Sound like the premise for an infamous and extremely popular reality show? Well, it kind of is.
Interlaken resident Rob Cancelleri is a supporting personality on “Mob Wives,” a reality show focusing on the lives of six women whose fathers or husbands have been convicted of crimes connected to the mafia.
I spoke with Cancelleri about his long-time friendship with the star of the show, Renee Graziano, and his unlikely 15 minutes of fame.
TBP: How did your reality show stardom happen?
Cancelleri: I knew of Renee thru friends way back from our high school years on Staten Island. Ever since I opened Evergreen Florist in 1996 she came in and visited. We would chat and catch up on the gossip about our mutual friends.
A couple of years ago she started talking about a reality show her sister Jennifer wanted to do. One day she just showed up at the store with contracts for me to sign and the rest is history.
Renee and I have the same kind of personality and humor. I just love her. She is funny, eccentric and loud.
It is always great being around Renee… add wine and it’s off the charts. Like the time on the show when we were drinking and talking about dating and relationships. She is hysterical.
A lot of people do not know that she is also caring and loving and most of all, loyal. Absolutely loyal in the best way every friend would want. She is one of those rare people who would genuinely give you the shirt off her back if you asked for it and not tell a soul. The show does not show enough of how wonderful a friend she is.
TBP: The show is polarizing, which as Howard Stern told me is a good thing – people should either love or hate you because that means you are on their radar. If they don’t have an opinion, you have a problem.
Cancelleri: It is funny, a lot of people condemn the show saying it makes Staten Islanders look bad. I think it is a great show that explores a small slice of people with big personalities. And though there is a lot of drama, I think most of us can relate to one of the girls, their families and everything that goes with big families. It’s fun to have an opinion about the girls.
Like “Big Ang” (Angela Raiola, the nice of Salvatore Lombardi, the deceased captain of the Genovese crime family). She has to be one of the nicest and the most sincere hard-working single moms. She is a great addition to the show and has a lot of people talking.
TBP: But Renee, she is no delicate flower. What is her favorite flower?
Rob: Oh, that’s easy – Gerber Daisies. On the show about Renee’s “Life Party” there are huge vases of Gerber Daisies that I made.
TBP: You are the florist to the “Wives.” Are you ever afraid if you create a bad arrangement you will “swim with the fishes?”
Cancelleri: (laughs) I have done a lot of work for high profile people like Renee and my motto is always give them what they want and make it showy and they will love it. Bigger is always, always better.
For TheBPlot’s exclusive interview with Renee Graziano, by Michael Cook, click here.