Last season was a pivotal season for The Real Housewives of New Jersey and that is in so small part due to the addition of Jackie Goldschneider. This mini van driving suburban mom turned reality show star has taken both the fandom and the responsibility seriously, and is using her platform to shed light on serious topics like eating disorders. While tangling with fellow new addition Jennifer Ayden last season took up some of her time, Goldschneider also managed to squeeze in fostering real friendships with fellow Housewives Margaret Josephs and Melissa Gorga. With the season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey kicking off on Wednesday November 6th, the writer turned reality star sat down to talk with me about entering the Housewives fray after being a fan of the show and what we can expect from her this season
Michael Cook: You’re back for a second season; has The Real Housewives of New Jersey experience been like anything you thought it would be? And how has your life changed?
Jackie Goldschneider: It’s definitely different outside of the house. At home, I am still “Mom”, the minivan is still parked in the garage, the kids don’t care that I’m on a television show. It’s different when I walk around town though,, people know that Im the woman on the Housewives. So it’s a little different in that sense. I go to more exciting parties, I get to walk on red carpets, all of the people that I used to look at in the back of a restaurant and say “oh my God, so and so is here” now I am at that table and people are looking. It’s fun, it’s great.
MC: When you went into filming Season 2 did you make a conscious point to make it different this season? Your clashes during your first season with Teresa Giudice showed you going toe to toe and not backing down.
JG: This year, it was much more about letting the chips fall where they may. Last season, there were times that I thought that I could have stood up for myself more or been stronger on something. This season, I wanted to make sure that when something warranted my standing up for myself that I was very vocal about that and that I always advocated for myself and did what I thought was right.
MC: The season premiere definitely shows you standing up for yourself, that is for sure. Clashing with the women probably was not on your list of things to accomplish when you joined the show, especially since you were a fan of the show to begin with. Does it feel odd clashing with women that you used to watch on television and now you are actually on the inside as a cast member?
JG: Last season, it felt a little bit more awkward because it was still so surreal for me to be on the show. Going into the second season I didn’t feel that way at all though, they were just part of my friend group. I was still upset at the start of the season over what you saw in the first episode, so all those feelings you saw were very real and very raw.
MC: You are one of the Housewives who came onto the show and disclosed a great deal about your personal life right from the start. From talking about your parents legal issues, your relationship with your sister, and your weight issues. Was it difficult bringing up such personal things and sharing them?
JG: No not at all. I feel like I have no secrets, there is nothing in my life I am ashamed of. Everything that has brought me to this point I am proud of because it brought me here. I also made sure that everyone was on board. Before I talked about my parents issues, I called my parents and made sure that they were okay with it. I made sure that everyone that is part of my discussions was on board, so I felt good about it. I feel very strongly about the eating disorder issue that it is not something that should be kept silent or be a secret. I think there are a lot of people that should know that someone in the public eye has gone through it and came out of it. I had it in a very bad way and I go into that in detail this season. I think it will help a lot of people. I think the fact that I was a journalist in my old life and that I wrote a lot of first person essays helped because I was always very open about my life. I thought that if my life can help people think, laugh or relate that is what I want to do. I was never secretive about anything that I was going through.
MC: So many Housewives write books, and with different degrees of success. What do you think truly makes a good writer?
JG: Well, I am not commenting about any of my fellow cast members in particular, but so many celebrities that write their books don’t really write their books. If I was to write a book, I would write every word of that book, It would be a different experience than other celebrities writing books. I would want to be sure that it was my voice, my words, my everything. I would not do it with another writer, it would be mine. I think it would be a more involved process than other Housewives who may have written books.
MC: Are you still managing to carve out time to write now?
JG: One hundred percent. I still have my newspaper column, which is syndicated. I am also writing a lot for Good Housekeeping now, I am doing a lot of writing now.
MC: What would the Jackie that is now on her second season as a Real Housewife of New Jersey tell the Jackie walking in to film her first scene last year?
JG: I would tell her that she is a lot stronger than she thinks she is. Just embrace it and really have fun with it. Honestly, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s so fun and exciting. Enjoy it, roll with it, and really stand up for yourself. Be strong.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres Wednesday, November 6th (check local listings)
Art Courtesy of Bravo/NBC Universal