EXCLUSIVE: Jenna Von Oy- Wife Swap Had Us Make Lifelong Friends With The Zarins
Fans of “Blossom” and of the “Real Housewives of New York City” likely tuned in to Wife Swap to see Jenna Von Oy (who played Six on “Blossom”) and Jill Zarin (from RHONY) swap homes. Recently, we got to speak exclusively to Jenna about the experience.
We first asked Jenna what it was like working with Jill. She told us, “Unfortunately, Jill and I didn’t really get to “work” together, per se, given the nature of Celebrity Wife Swap. I spent the week with her family, and she spent the week with mine, so you’d really have to ask my husband about that part of the experience! I finally had the opportunity to meet Jill at the tail end of our filming week, when we all came together for our roundtable discussion. The first thing Jill and I did was hug one another. We were both very excited to meet and talk about our respective adventures.”
While watching the show, we noticed Jill made many comments about Jenna’s town, claiming it looked like an area where people who work for her would live. We asked Jenna what she thought of comments like these that Jill made. She told us, “I think you have to go into a project like Wife Swap knowing there will be a few points of contention, and some major lifestyle differences that will lead to a dramatic episode. Otherwise, the show would be terribly boring! For that reason, the accompanying commentary has to be taken with a grain of salt. In retrospect, especially knowing Jill as well as I do now, I find all of her initial observations very amusing! We have a huge amount of respect for one another regardless of how it may have come across on the show. But our “job” was, in a sense, to highlight what was missing from the other’s way of living. In some circumstances, that requires brutal honesty. It helps that I went into the experience being confident and comfortable in my own lifestyle. I spent a significant portion of my career living glamorously, frequently attending red carpet events, and throwing money at material things. These days, I’ve chosen to live a more subtle and private life with my family here in Nashville. It’s not for everyone, but it works well for us! With that in mind, it’s tough to get too upset when someone else doesn’t see eye to eye with it. Cliché though it may be, ‘To each their own!'”
Next, we asked Jenna how she found living with Bobby and Ally. She said, “I adore them both tremendously. As Bobby and I like to say, we are members of the “Mutual Admiration Society!” The whole family (as well as their friends) was immediately welcoming, which was my one apprehension upon arriving at their house. None of us had any idea what we were in for, so we more than lucked out! It just wouldn’t have been the same experience had I swapped with anyone else. I don’t think most show participants can say the same, so I’m very blessed that things turned out the way they did.”
After discussing living with another family, we had to ask Jenna what the best and worst part of the experience of participating in “Wife Swap” were.
She told us about the best part, saying, “Truthfully, it was a very bizarre, fun, thought-provoking social experiment. It was the sort of once-in-a-lifetime adventure that I just couldn’t pass up! There’s something about stepping into someone else’s (very fancy) shoes for a week that reminds you not to take your life or family for granted. It also offers a sense of perspective, self-reflection, and inspiration. It certainly didn’t hurt to spend my week at a stunning beach house in The Hamptons, or to “live” with a generous, kindhearted family like the Zarins. Who knew one chaotic week on a reality show would lead to such a strong friendship? You’ll get no complaints from me!”
She next spoke on the worst part, saying, “Hands down, the toughest part of the experience was being away from my 2-year-old daughter, Gray. It was the first time we’d been separated for longer than a few hours, and it was rather excruciating. My husband and I have both had to travel for work before, so we are a bit more used to it. We are also equipped with the adult reasoning required to understand the situation, and to know we are both faring well despite the other’s absence. A child, on the other hand, is a different story altogether. Being away from Gray was miserably painful on my heart, though I think she handled it more gracefully than I did! My husband and my mother were both with her the entire time, offering love and support, so I felt secure in the fact that my daughter was well taken care of. Not to mention, once she warmed up to Jill they had a blast together. Gray still asks about her “Auntie Jill” often, and they Facetime one another whenever possible. They’ve developed a very sweet little bond!”
We wrapped up the discussion on “Wife Swap” with asking Jenna if she is still in touch with the Zarins today. On this, Jenna told us, “Absolutely! We’ve made lifelong friends in the Zarin family. In fact, Gray & I traveled to the Hamptons in July, in advance of our Celebrity Wife Swap episode debut. We spent the week staying at Camp Zarin, and enjoyed our time thoroughly. We can’t wait to go back again!”
It was so great getting the chance to talk with Jenna. Stay tuned to our other blog, www.realmrcelebrity.com where we will be running an article about what Jenna is up to today and talk about a “Blossom” reunion!