Caroline Manzo became one of The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s best-loved Bravo-lebrities with her outspokenness and fierce devotion to her family. Now, the fiery redhead has her own show, Manzo’d With Children (Premiering Sunday at 9pm ET with back-to-back episodes). Manzo laughs when asked if there will be any similarities to Housewives: “it’s apples and oranges,” she says. “Housewives was based on drama, this show has a fair amount of, I’ll say “predicaments,” but there’s always a resolution and we do it, “our way,” as a family.” Caroline took time from taping the show, helping plan daughter Lauren’s wedding, sons Albie and Christopher moving back home, and celebrating her 30th anniversary wtih Al, to answer our 7 Questions.
1. You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Food & Wine, A bridal magazine — because that’s what we’re doing right now —and a travel magazine.
2. If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
Bravo. Duh. Fox News, I’m a conservative. And I watch Dancing With the Stars and Glee with Lauren.
3. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Grated cheese, otherwise Albie will have a stroke. Christopher likes steak, so good steak for Christopher. And for Lauren … tons of vegetables and turkey burgers.
4. What has been your strangest fan encounter?
One woman came up to me while I was shopping and wanted to smell me. I’m like, “I don’t know what to say to you.” But she insisted, “I just want to smell you,” and I said, “Okaaaaaay, but no… but it’s nice to meet you.” And I shook her hand. But she did not smell me; I did not allow the smell to happen.
5. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
I guess the most starstruck I’ve ever been was when I met Hugh Heffner and he knew who I was. He’s such an icon and when he knew who I was, completely blew my mind!
6. Is there a movie you can watch over and over?
Yes, The Odd Couple, the original Odd Couple.
7. If you could have a talent that you don’t currently possess, what would it be?
A talent that I don’t normally possess? My God, I’m so talented, what talent don’t I have?!? (Laughs) I want to be able to do my hair. I want to be able to blow dry my hair; is that asking too much? That, to me, is a talent. While everybody else is asking for normal, everyday things; to me, that’s a huge friggin’ talent. I just want to be able to blow dry my hair! I’m not asking for much in this world, I don’t want to sing, I don’t wanna read minds, I want to blow dry my hair and have it look good.
image © Robert Ascroft/Bravo