After the intensity of the Mob Wives reunion, which was the first time most of the women has seen one another since filming ended in May, I was a little nervous to talk to them all. Tension was still pretty high, although, as Karen Gravano mentions below, the women were on their best behavior for the taping. Still, emotions are still very raw and very real for them, but they graciously spoke with me not five minutes after the tapes stopped rolling.
When the interview began, I was standing on the set with Karen and Renee, and we were later joined by Carla.
What do you think, did the reunion go as expected?
Karen: I think that everybody was on their best behavior. I mean, I think to really have it all out we might have to have another reunion.
Renee: We were on our best behavior because they made us sign something!
Karen: I think we were good. People were very emotional. There were a lot of things that happened that were very emotional and we’ll see what happens in season two if we can get past it. Maybe we can. I feel like the truth sets you free so when Drita’s ready to admit the truth, then we can move past it.
I think one of the most interesting parts of the night was when Renee said not everyone was 100% honest, to a degree you’re a little phony with each other for the sake of the show.
Renee: Absolutely. Our relationships are not peaches and cream —
As Renee is speaking, Carla walks over to give Renee a big hug goodbye, despite just having rehashed their big fight.
Renee: Oh God! In front of everybody. Does this mean I have to go into season two as your f—ing friend??
Carla: Yeah, you have no f—ing choice.
Renee: You’re making me feel bad. Now I gotta like you.
Carla: I don’t care. Don’t worry, in a week you’ll find something else about me to —
Renee: I think this is probably the most therapeutic thing, after I screamed and yelled and I calmed down, I do feel much better. I feel much better about everyone —
Carla: —I am the easiest person to get along with. The easiest!
Renee: And it’s funny because I say the same thing about myself.
Karen: And I say the same thing about myself, I really am the easiest one to get along with.
Renee: But you put us all in the same room and you have strong personalities, you’re gonna get what you got in season one, and season two will definitely be a trip.
Karen: I have a violent streak, I ain’t gonna lie.
Do you think there was footage that was shown tonight to antagonize you guys a little bit and make you upset?
Renee: I was actually very calm going in to it but when they rolled it from the very beginning I literally felt my blood starting to boil and I think that’s the only time I get mad of Carla all over again is when I see that particular fight between the two of us. I think that definitely triggers everything again so that emotion, especially the fact that we were friends for as long as we have been and never even raised our voices to each other, let alone gotten physical — she’s not a physical person, and neither am I.
Carla: I don’t like to get into an argument with someone I know. If it’s a stranger, you go off and tear them apart. But when it’s someone you know, it’s really—
Renee: Especially when it affected friends outside of us as well, her friends as well as mine, I know people look at our relationship differently and people do take sides because people don’t really know the truth of the matter 100%, and you can’t tell everybody everything outside the show because you’re bound by contract, so it’s like “You don’t like her?” “No, I don’t f—in’ like her.” I mean, I tell her when I don’t like her.
[To Karen] Do you feel the same about watching footage that you were involved in, did it feel like it was purposely trying to dredge up feelings?
Karen: From the finale? No, I was mad, I was hot. I felt like when Drita pulled my hair and I came up, I was in a vicious mode, I wanted to fight her right then and there.
Carla: You’re always gonna be vicious in that heat of the moment. You can’t get nice, which way you gonna go? You have no choice, even if you don’t want to, there’s no control.
How do you guys bounce back so easily from these fights?
Karen: It’s called reality and that’s what we’ve been through and to be honest we understand, that’s the whole message of the show, no matter what knocks you down, you’re gonna pick yourself up and keep going forward.
Renee: I think it’s Italian families. Listen, she [points to her sister Jennifer who approaches our group] once stabbed me in the stomach over a meatball. OVER A MEATBALL. Who would have thought? [They hug as Jenn explains the story.]
Jennifer: I left my meatballs out on the table, and clearly said “These are mine.” They were the last two meatballs and I wanted them. And she disregarded my instructions.
Renee: My point is, I think in Italian families ––
Carla: She ate your meatballs?
Jenn: Yeah, so I went after her.
Renee: I took a frickin’ bite of the meatball and she almost killed me! — in Italian families, more than anything we fuss and fight and come Sunday, everyone is around that table. I don’t know if it’s in every other culture, we could kill each other and then gather on Sundays.
Carla: You ever seen Italian women fight? They curse each other and then they’re like “Mama! See you tomorrow!”
Renee: 100%! My grandmother was one of thirteen and all day long they would sit around and curse and then kiss each other goodbye. It’s an Italian thing. But let me not speak for all Italians before I get the Italian-American people on me. Not that I give a s—.