Speaking to The Real Housewives is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. This is truly the case when chatting with Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s Amber Marchese. On the show she comes across intense, a fact that she will openly admit to, but over an iPhone she’s quite calm. She describes herself as laid back, a quality she regrets we didn’t see much of on her rookie season. Currently enjoying the comfort of what she calls her own little world, she can easily reflect on the ups and downs of Real Housewife-hood, with a level head. However, don’t mess with her husband, or those claws will still find their way to the surface…
TBB: Congratulations on surviving your first season of Housewives. How did you get involved with the show?
AM: Thank you I thought you were going to say breast cancer (laughs).
TBB: We will definitely talk about that later on!
AM: I was taking acting lessons and auditioning so my name was out there a lot and (Bravo) caught wind of me. They started asking me questions and asking about my life. Then they found out I was friends with Melissa (Gorga) and thought that was an intriguing fact, even though we were friends in our twenties.
TBB: What was her initial reaction when she heard she was going to be working with you?
AM: She texted me and said, “Congrats and welcome to the show!” I thought she was really happy, but as time went on I felt like she didn’t stand by my side in the way a good friend should have.
TBB: I’m assuming, since you knew Melissa, you had been a viewer of the show. What was your biggest worry coming into it?
AM: Actually I was not a viewer. I would watch it once in a while since seeing Melissa on there. I talked to her right before she was going on and she asked me if she should be going on and I actually told her not to do it! Now, here I am five years later and I’m eating my words. My biggest worry was how much time it was going to take me away from my children. It was a pleasant surprise that it didn’t really take me away from them at all. We filmed a lot together as a family and most of my interviews were in the house while my kids played upstairs. It’s truly a dream job for moms. Of course, my life is different and (the show) pulled me away sometimes, but I also have a very supportive husband who is an active father. We really are a team. Not to toot my own horn, but I am so good at being a mom and I devote my every waking moment to these kids that even with the show filming, I didn’t skip a beat!
TBB: What was your most cringe worthy moment that made the final cut?
AM: I think there was a lot of them, but the one that stands out is when I cried on the phone with Teresa (Giudice). There was so much behind that phone call. I was just getting my news about the 5 year (breast cancer survival) mark not going so well and there I was getting on the phone after I’d just heard someone’s bad news and I lost it. I was really hoping they wouldn’t include that one. Also when I was drunk in Florida and I smoked that cigarette. I wish they hadn’t shown that, but hey, I’m not going to beat myself up over having a brief lapse of judgement.
TBB: Was there anything you filmed that didn’t make it to TV that you wish had?
AM: More of my family, especially my Christmas.They showed everybody else’s Christmases but decided not to put my family’s Christmas on there, which I don’t know why. Also more of the tenderness of my husband (Jim Marchese) and how he was so super kind to Dina (Manzo) even after she was acting like a big baby because he said, “Does anybody here have an IQ above 12?” after I was attacked at our best friend’s party. My husband actually took her out to dinner to apologize. He even gave her ideas for the Project Ladybug event that they filmed for the finale. He was nothing but kind to her, nothing but kind to all of the ladies, yet they decided to go after him and they deserved what they got!
TBB: Jim was quite the controversial personality on RHONJ. What are your thoughts about his on camera and online behavior?
AM: I think he gives out exactly what he needs to give out. He’s getting attacked all the time and there’s no reason for him to be called all the names he’s been called. (His) best friend (Bobby Ciasulli) gutted him! Bobby caused all the trouble and I think (Jim) did everything he should be doing. When people are calling him names he has a right to defend himself. It took a lot for him to get to the point he got with Joe (Gorga). Again, I had just been attacked and he was asking him about why we didn’t go bowling. My husband is so well respected in his position (at work) and he’s such a kind and generous man. He’s got a huge heart and employs many people who all adore him.
TBB: You are a proud breast cancer survivor. What is it that you hope having been on this show will accomplish for others with this disease?
AM: What I’ve seen so far since the end of the show has been wonderful. People have emailed me, direct messaged me, even wrote me letters saying they are stronger because they saw what I went through. Some said they had mammograms and got lumps checked out after seeing me and caught (cancer) in time. (Housewives) was a hard show to be on, but that was my purpose for being on the show.
TBB: Complete this sentence … “I used to think blank about reality television, but now I think blank“…
AM: I used to think it was easy to be on reality TV, but now I realize it is very, very difficult. I didn’t realize how cutthroat it is. The egos on the show are always competing. There are people out for blood and they will do whatever it takes to make it. It doesn’t matter who they hurt or not hurt. I just would never do that to anybody. I would never hurt another person, especially over a show.
TBB: Are you open to being on another season?
AM: I’m a very simple creature, if the money’s right then of course. If it makes sense for my family and it pays for my kids’ college tuition, then why not? It was fun. I enjoyed the ride. There were some good points and some bad points, like any job.
TBB: The holidays are right around the corner, how will the Marchese family celebrate?
AM: The Marchese family always takes a trip every single year. This year we’re going to Hershey Park (PA). I love to create that magical Christmas for my kids…and of course there will be lots of family and food!
TBB: Is there anything else you would like the fans to know?
AM: I was just telling Jim that I feel so far removed from the show at this point because it’s been so long since I filmed, so it’s hard to imagine what I was feeling at the time. I felt like I stood my ground enough, that I didn’t buckle under pressure, however, on an everyday basis I’m pretty laid back and I don’t really feel like viewers saw that side of me. Of course I get angry and sad sometimes, but if you film only those points in my life than of course I’m going to seem intense. I really just love my friends and family and shutting the world out and staying within my family, my little world.