RHONJ’s Jackie Goldschneider-“I Am Stronger Than I Thought I Was”

From the moment that the Season 11 premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey kicked off last night, we saw a brand new side of cast member Jackie Goldschneider. Sparring with Teresa Giudice is nothing new to this Housewife, but this battle was sparked by one of Jackie’s most passionate places; her love for her family. Jackie and I recently sat down to chat about what it was like filming the new season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, how she is navigating quarantine with family and with her co-stars, and after several seasons on the show, what does she know now that she might not have known then. 

Michael Cook: The season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey  kicks off with quite a firestorm between you and Teresa Giudice. The first question is, how are you?

Jackie Goldschneider: I am fine The thing is, you have to develop a thick skin when you are on the show. I don’t think I was fine during the episode, but I am fine now.

MC: Your husband Evan has become what is many calling the “Hottest House Husband”! How are you all dealing with his newfound heartthrob status?

JG: I know, I love this for him. I have always though he was the most amazing and hottest guy ever and I love that the whole world knows that now.

MC: What was this season like for you? Historically, Housewives can end up really raked over the coals at times and it certainly looks like it might be your turn.

JG: I think that everyone on the cast really put it all out there. It was a great season in terms of seeing a lot of real stuff that was going on in everyone’s relationships and everyone families, so it really wasn’t just me. What happened with me, it was difficult; it came out of nowhere and it got very heated. I have a beautiful marriage and this rumor put me and my family in a very difficult situation that we never had to deal with before. I am so proud of the way that Evan and I handled it and got through it and I am really excited for everyone to see it.

MC Filming during a pandemic must also add to to the stress of the situation. How has that been in your packed household?

JG: I am not gonna lie, there is some yelling that goes on (laughs). However, fortunately we live in a big house; Evan has made his home office in the basement and I work in my office on the main level, and all the kids have desks in their rooms. We are making due; is it ideal, no. We actually really enjoy each other; I would like a vacation, but we do enjoy each other’s company though, so it has worked out.

MC: The one thing that truly triggers you and that you are completely and truly passionate about is your family. Is that fair to say?

JG: Absolutely.I can’t imagine that your family is not your priority for anybody. There is one mantra; that is husbands and kids are just off-limits. That is why I was so furious about the situation; husbands and kids should just be off-limits. 

MC: You and fellow Housewife Jennifer Aydin joined the show together and seem to have a definite rollercoaster friendship of sorts. Do you think you have finally gotten to place where you have leveled off and are getting along? 

JG: Yes, and that is the beauty of being part of an ensemble cast. You have to find a way to get past issues and to be able to be together and form a friendship. I think Jennifer and I are fundamentally different people and I don’t think our values align so much so I dont think we will be best friends, but at the end of the day we are both good people who love our families. There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to be together and have a nice relationship. 

MC: You had an already close friendship with Margaret Josephs, but you developed a close friendship with Melissa Gorga on and off-camera. Does having true “girlfriends” on the show help you during the experiences that come up? 

JG: I wouldn’t stay on the show if it wasn’t authentic to me. I wanted to experience the show and I was so glad that I did it for a season, but if I didn’t really enjoy the relationships of who I was working with, I wouldn’t keep doing it. Margaret and Melissa are such good friends. I am on the phone with Margaret multiple times a day, sometimes every day. I am with her for holidays, I was at her house the day after Thanksgiving, we have developed such a close friendship. Melissa also, we all had lunch together last week. We just really enjoy each other. If I didn’t actually have their support and have friends that I felt had my back, I don’t think that I would do this. 

MC: You have heard veteran cast members like Teresa or Melissa consistently be asked if they would welcome back a cast member like original Real Housewife of New Jersey Caroline Manzo, but it’s rare that newer cast members get to offer their opinion on that. How would you feel about welcoming Caroline back to the show? 

JG: I would love Caroline to come back. I just feel like a lot of the cast is connected to Teresa in a way that it makes it difficult to spar with her. It is difficult to be the only person that stands up to her. I am all for Caroline coming back. As you know from the days that I was called a “stalker”, I was a fan of the show since day one and I love the old school New Jersey Housewives.

MC: It’s your third season and many people have been clamoring for a book from you since the beginning. Are you possibly working on one?  

JG: I am; I am working on my first one. Right now, I have my agent and my proposal is going back and forth until we get it solidified. That is all that I can say right now, but it is going to be fabulous. I also think that it is going to be the first book-no shade to any of the Housewives-but it will be the first book that is written without a ghostwriter across the Housewives franchise. I think Carole Radziwill had an issue with it on New York, I am well versed in all the Housewives (laughs). At least on the Jersey franchise though, for sure. 

MC: From filming during a pandemic to interacting with your castmates the way you have, what do you think you have taken away the most from this season and learned the most about yourself? 

JG: I think I learned about my relationship that we are pretty much unbreakable. I realized that you can’t just say “family first; it has to be something that you live and you really do have to put your family first. I made some difficult decisions with the women this season and I did that because my family came first. I think I learned that I can keep my cool under any situation because I think I remained pretty calm throughout. I also learned in terms of being on a reality show, and you could see right from the beginning-I was just all in it. I let it all happen on camera and I was really authentic. I think I am just so much more comfortable now watching myself back and putting it all out there. I am just stronger than I would have thought I was. This was a really challenging year and I think I handled it with a lot of integrity. 

MC: You have never shied away from the fact that you were most definitely fan of the show before becoming an actual cast member. What would you tell the fan that was following the show about joining the show? 

JG: I would just say that being on a television show does not equal happiness. Your happiness is going to come from the things that you do outside the show in your life. Being on the show is not going to automatically bring you happiness. I remember watching Teresa and thinking “Oh my God she’s famous she must have the best life” and it does not just happen like that. You have to make your own happiness. I love being on the show but you still have two create a life for yourself outside of it. 

‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ airs on Bravo Wednesday nights (check local listings). 

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