Original cast member Jill Zarin on returning to 'Real Housewives': 'I should’ve been brought back four years ago'
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Jill Zarin might just be getting the redemption arc that she’s wanted for over a decade.
The original Real Housewives of New York City star hasn’t been on the show since Season 4 ended in 2011, but there have been calls for her return to Bravo ever since. While she isn’t back on the show that made her a household name, she is currently co-starring on Peacock’s Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club alongside some other legendary Housewives. It’s providing her an opportunity to rewrite her Real Housewives story.
In a recent episode of In The Know’s pop culture interview series We Should Talk, Zarin opened up about returning to reality TV after all these years, her thoughts on the recently announced RHONY: Legacy spinoff, where she stands with Bethenny Frankel these days, why she felt “insulted” by Bravo several years ago, and much more.
Listen to In The Know’s full interview with Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip star Jill Zarin below, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:
On who she thinks should be on RHONY: Legacy: I think if you’re going to call it a Legacy, it has to be first season [cast members] — maybe second. I definitely think that Sonja [Morgan] and Kelly [Bensimon], and then the original five. That’s it — not one more. I don’t think it should be any other Housewives if it’s going to be called Legacy. If you want to call it New York Housewives: Second Generation or whatever [you can include others] — actually, maybe the new show should be called [that] — but if it’s Legacy, you can’t have someone who came on in Season 5, in my opinion. There’s five original and then you’ve got Sonja and Kelly, and then you’ve got Simon [van Kempen], so that’s eight. Out of eight, even if you get five or six, you’re good.
On her recent run-in with Bethenny Frankel: I’m going to have to save that conversation for something. We totally reconnected, and it was really nice. I knew obviously that she took the picture, but I didn’t know if she was going to post it or not post it. I’m so sensitive to that word “thirsty,” so I wasn’t going to be the one to post anything. Nothing! I actually felt it with her — I’ve seen her over the years at various different things for a quick hello or whatever, and it’s never been antagonistic or anything. Regardless of what you see or read, it’s never been physically antagonistic or anything like that. But I have to say it was with open arms on both ends. We were literally sitting 35,000 feet above it all! You know, “I’m up here!” We were both above it all and reconnected, and it was great.
On thinking she was going to return to RHONY several years ago: I actually thought that I should’ve been — I’m not saying this as myself, but I’m saying this if I were a producer and knowing what I know — I should’ve been brought back four years ago. I’m the only one that’s still friends with [the cast]. I cast the show [in Season 1]. I actually was very hurt when, a couple of years ago, I spoke to Bravo about coming back to some extent, and they said to me (it doesn’t matter who) that I didn’t really fit in anymore, meaning that it was a different cast. I just let it go, because it doesn’t matter — it was a “no.” But, it wasn’t true! The only one who really friends with any of them was me. They would keep bringing people on who knew nobody. […] It was insulting to me to say that I don’t fit in. What does that mean?
On Ultimate Girls Trip giving her an extra final chapter on reality TV: What I’m really happy about is that, at the end of it all — at the end of New York, at the end of this, at the end of my life — that people, if they watch this, will get back what they started with. It doesn’t necessarily mean you liked me — we all have lovers and haters — but I think that there was a part in Housewives of New York where I changed and circumstances changed, and there were behind-the-scenes things that happened that nobody knows about nor needs to know about, and you don’t see the full picture in front of you. Whereas I think over the life of myself as a person, we all have our ups and downs, and where I am now is where I want people to remember me.
Watch In The Know’s full interview with Jill Zarin below, and stream new episodes of Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip on Peacock every Thursday:
If you enjoyed this interview, check out In The Know’s recent episode of We Should Talk with “Real Housewives of Dubai” star Lesa Milan here!
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