'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Kathy Wakile Talks Kids, Drama & More!
The mother of two teenagers, Kathy is a no nonsense when it comes to raising her kids.
Celebuzz chatted with Kathy about what it's like to join the Real Houswives family, some of her favorite Bravo shows, all of this season's crazy drama and much more!
You’re a relative newcomer to the franchise. How do you want to be perceived on this show? Well, that’s a tough question. I think that I want people to really see me and my husband and children for what we really are. We are very common to most families that I know in New Jersey that are very, very family oriented. We love, we have issues, like this past week you can see, I share my daughter’s story with you. That was a difficult decision to make, to share that story because it was a traumatic time for us and it came completely out of the blue. There was never any indication that this was even happening with her. She just fainted on the beach and it was by being in the right place at the right time, with God looking over us, and it changed our lives forever. It was a miracle to have two healthy children to start with is more than anyone really could ask for, people take it for granted. Then, when you have a scare like that, and you are granted again a miracle. You have to stop and look at your life and say ok let’s get all of our priorities in line. Work is important and going, going, going is important but you know what, when it’s good let’s grab the good and let’s not dwell on the misfortune. Life is that way. Let’s not dwell on them, because when you dwell on them you are going to go from one misfortune to the next misfortune. You are never going to have a happy time, it’s just going to be a constant haul. So, for us, when it’s a good day, we grab it and we enjoy it. We pack up and we’ll take it, take a ride, just let’s go. It gets a little exhausting sometimes, because your like ok can we just sit around, like Sunday I wanted to just sit around, and my husband is like oh no it’s great let’s get in the car and go. So that’s what I want people to see, life is about ups and downs and it’s the decisions you make and the way you approach each up and down is the important thing and together with the love of your family and the support of your family you can really be productive and a good example to society and passing and paying it forward, that’s what it is about. We are lucky yeah, but they are some people that aren’t as lucky and let’s always remember those people and try to do good and give good.
Besides RHONJ, what is your favorite Bravo show? I have to say it’s split, I love Top Chef. I love to be in the kitchen obviously you see me in the kitchen all the time. I bake and I cook. I have been in baking since I was a kid. I love things to look pretty so I think it’s easier to make desserts look pretty than it is food. For me, it’s always about appetizers and desserts and I love to present them beautifully because it’s about the first impression and that finishing, lasting impression. The middle course is great but I like the idea of appetizers and desserts because you usually don’t have to move it around and their small, when you are eating a steak you aren’t really socializing and I look at eating as a social event not just something to fill your tummy. I also love Flipping Out. I think they are hilarious because it was so funny on Sunday night Andy Cohen had Jeff Lewis and Jenny on and the fact that they compared my son to Jeff was just hysterical because I say that my husband is the street Jeff Lewis. When I see him and his assistant, and my husband has an assistant, they have done a lot of work with, they do the same thing he was buying houses and refurbishing them, then the real estate market crashed so I watch them interact and I think its hysterical because my husband does the same thing with his assistant and he is kind of short like Jeff is, also very particular and OCD a bit, you know the way that Jeff is, my husband is the same way, and he’s funny so that’s hysterical to me. I can’t wait to meet him, and Jeff loves chap stick and my husband will never leave the house without it. That’s the funny part to me and I love those two shows.
Have you met any housewives from other franchises? I met Alex and Simon from the New York Housewives and they were very, very nice, extremely nice. They are really real and they are kind and they take the time out to smile and be nice to you and ask you questions about what’s going on. They were really great to my kids, if you treat my kids good, you’re winners.
What are the best and worst parts of being a real housewife? The best part is the new experiences. You are meeting new people. I was a hairdresser for so many years, I would stand and work on my feet all day long. I loved interacting with people. I still love interacting with people. That’s the best part of it for me, meeting new people. Some people come up and share their story with you, it’s inspiring to know that maybe one word, one sentence I may have said touched someone. I am getting a lot of people that are emailing me and telling me thank you so much for sharing your story about Victoria and that they are experiencing it in their life. They don’t know how to move forward, I have a girl that emailed me yesterday and I want to sit down and email her back and tell her that even though everything turned out ok she is still having a hard time coping with what happened. You consistently think that something is going to happen again or you may have a reoccurrence. So to know that you reached someone on a more intimate level is very fulfilling to me and I think my family feels the same way. I think the downside is of course your privacy of course is really pushed a bit. Then, the fact that people really think they know everything that happens and they have such strong opinions. I think that the main thing, and I have discussed it with my kids, we get episodes a few days before. We get the episode, we get to view it so we can make our writer blogs and comment on it. We don’t even watch them a lot of times, you know we watch them once and then put it away. People ask, “so did you watch the episode?” not yet, we didn’t get a chance to, well why didn’t you watch it, well the only reason why I do watch it because I have to write my blog, other than that, I know what I did, I know who I am, and that’s what I can not, and my children can never lose site of, when we close the door, we know what our real reality is. That’s what we put forth, the only thing they put together, what everyone is going to see, is just a snippet of reality. I really can’t get caught up in someone’s opinion of me because I know my intentions, I know why I did something, and I know whatever our reality is has been working for us really, really well so we have to remain focused on that. So that’s the only thing when people have really strong opinions, you’re like ok, it does hurt, but it takes a little awhile to put things into perspective. I think the first trailer that went out, I was right upstairs and they told me the trailer was out, I got on my PC and I started to look at it and it was a snippet about me telling my daughter that they told me she may have cancer. We both looked at it and we didn’t really think much about it, they didn’t show the rest of it of course to make it more dramatic, and then I started getting calls from everyone, from everyone that knows me, asking what it was talking about and saying I wasn’t telling them something. I didn’t like the way that they did that. Other people’s opinions start to effect the way you think. We sat everyone down and we said this is going to happen every single week, we have to just keep focused, we know what we said and we know what we did, we know what the truth is. We know how things can be perceived, don’t let other people’s opinions of who you really are effect who you are going to be. I think a lot of people get caught up in that, they start, “oh this is the image I portray on tv, oh I am going to start becoming that image.” You get boxed in, you can’t let that define you. You have to just keep going about your life as normal as possible as you can.
For even more, check out Kathy's interview with Socialite Life!