Jennifer Graziano, pictured above with Karen Gravano, knew everyone in the cast of Mob Wives personally when she cast them for the show, which she’s the executive producer of. So when it came time to cast Mob Wives Chicago, Graziano has a more difficult job ahead, since she has fewer ties to Chicago than to New York.
The New York Post asked Graziano about her process for casting for the new show (for more information about the new cast, check out our post with all their bios), and she explained that it ended up being kind of like six degrees of separation. “I talked to a couple of family friends I had in Chicago and asked for some introductions. It turns out I did know a couple of the girls,” Graziano says. Like Nora Schweihs, whose father was in the same prison as Graziano’s. “We used to see [Nora] on visits. When my sister, Renee — she knows Nora well — and I used to visit she’d be there and my dad and her dad were friendly. We used to go to the [prison] yard with my father and wave and we didn’t realize we were also waving to Nora’s dad until this [casting] process. She said, ‘Don’t you remember me?’ It was really cool to realize that.” From there, the cast took shape through connections of Nora’s and beyond. Graziano explains that there’s a difficulty casting a show like this though. “This is definitely not the kind of show you can put a casting call out for. It’s a very quiet and selective process. It’s really based on relationships, and no one is going to trust a casting director walking into a city and saying, ‘Hey, we’re casting a mob show.’”
Mob Wives Chicago will premiere this spring.
[Photo: Getty Images]