Saturday, February 16, 2019

iRealHousewives Exclusive Interview With RHOV Star Mary Zilba!

I recently had to opportunity to interview Mary Zilba from The Real Housewives of Vancouver! Mary, who is well known in Vancouver's social scene and in the entertainment industry as a philanthropist, singer/songwriter, producer, television personality, entrepreneur, former Miss Ohio and now a cannabis activist. Mary talks to us EXCLUSIVELY about life after RHOV, her podcast, Eat Drink & Be Mary, future projects and much more. Read out exclusive interview with Mary Zilba below!

First and foremost, congratulations on the success of your podcast, Eat, Drink & Be Mary. What inspired you to create a podcast?
MZ: Thank you so much! As many may not know, my dream when I was young was to be a journalist and broadcaster.  I went to University and obtained a BA and worked in the sector for many years, including working as a reporter for a network in Ohio to founding my own production company down in Florida where we used to produce, write and host travel shows. I eventually moved to California and pursued my TV and music career and when music started to take off, I had to put my interview hat away for a while.  However, in the past couple years, I have always wanted to get back into my roots of TV work and journalism again, so I started another production company and decided to embark on my own podcast taking me back to a career I’ve always loved.  I have always had a very strong curiosity about people and their stories, and the beauty of podcast’s, is that there is really no time limit which makes it a perfect for me to really interview people in depth and a way to launch back into the sector.

What are some of your favorite interviews you’ve done for your podcast and why?
MZ: I hand pick all my guests and literally all of them are my favourite.  I will have to say though, it was absolutely such a thrill to have been able to hunt down my dear friend Christina Kiesel from RHOV season 1 and interview her in South Carolina.  I also really enjoyed meeting the lovely Roxy Earle from RHOT - I had never seen the series before interviewing her, so it was fresh and I had no preconceived thoughts. She was down to earth and it was great to see her doing so well outside of the series.

I am trying to keep the content of the podcast fairly diverse and I have so many interests and know so many incredible people, so you never know who I might put on an episode. From celebrities to doctors, from cannabis to bad ass police women.

Credit: Eat, Drink and Be Mary Podcast

In your podcast you reunited with your former RHOV cast member, Christina Keisel. How was reuniting with her after all these years?
MZ: It was such a blast!  She and I got along so well on the show and developed a real and wonderful friendship - I remember being so disappointed when she wasn’t coming back for season 2. It was tough without her! She is a beautiful and intelligent free-spirit and a decent human being. I adore her.

Speaking of RHOV - what made you decide to join the series?
MZ: It was a very long process (laughs). I was going through quite a rough patch in my life when the producers of RHOV gave me a random phone call to tell me I was on the “short list” to be on a reality series. Of course they didn’t tell me which one until I signed an NDA, but I was curious. They sent me the paperwork and it was for RHOV. Funny thing is, although I had heard of the Real Housewives series, I had never actually watched one, so I wasn’t entirely sure what I would be getting myself into. However, after some due diligence, I quickly realized I was NOT cut out to be on a show with potential wine glasses flying and nasty women hating on each other. So, I originally declined the offer. It wasn’t until my sister and mother literally persuaded me that all I would have to do was “be myself” and I’d be okay. They also were adamant that because I had been in a personal dark place at the time, I needed a distraction - so I said OKAY and the rest is history.

I must say despite the drama, the first season was so iconic. What were some of your favorite moments on the show?
MZ: YES the first season was Iconic (laughs). I think the trip to Mexico was my favourite part of season 1. It was with Christina and Kevin and no other wives, so it was so enjoyable and it was my birthday and I will never forget Christina “fire dancing” in someone’s leopard print leotard! I also really enjoyed recording HERO with my son and watching it do so well in the UK.

Your feud with Jody Claman became the center storyline on the show. Why do you think she had it out for you?
MZ: To this day I have NO IDEA! It was all too much. People ask me all the time about Jody and I simply don’t say much.  She is who she is and she was awful to me.  Some people just don’t like you for the sake of not liking you. Some people are troubled inside and  I have some internal thoughts, but I think I will keep those to myself.

Do you have any regrets about doing the show, if so why?
MZ: Probably during filming my answer would have been “yes I regret it all”, but oddly enough since the dust has settled,  I really don’t have any regrets. There isn’t really anything I regret saying or doing in the series either.

RHOV Season 1 Promotional Photo, 
Credit: Slice

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about doing a reality show in particular the Real Housewives series?
MZ: The biggest misconception is that the show is SCRIPTED - I am here to tell you not one thing was scripted! None of us were hired actors and if you look at the credits there was no writing in the series. What all of us said and did came from ourselves. Don’t let anyone tell you differently!!!

What‘s the biggest lesson  you learned about yourself from doing RHOV?
MZ: I think the biggest lesson I learned was that I have a tremendous amount of resilience and an ability to stay true to myself even in the height of being ridiculed and severely bullied. I always said before doing the series, that I would never let a tv show ruin everything I’ve worked for all my life and especially wouldn’t embarrass my 3 boys.

Do you still watch any Real Housewives shows from time to time, if so which ones are they?
MZ: I don’t!!! Although I’ve met a few of the Toronto housewives now and know a few from other American franchises, I still can’t bring myself to watch any of them.

During your time on the show, you introduced us to your three cute sons. Can you give us an update on how are they doing now since they’re all grown up?
MZ: My fave subject ;) Thanks for asking. My eldest son Cole who everyone got to see travel to NYC and work for President Clinton, has since graduated from UCLA with a double major in political science and History, is applying for law school and working at a Vancouver brokerage house in the interim.

My middle son, Chase who people saw play on my single “Hero” is living in LA and currently attending Santa Monica College pursuing his career in music. He’s been seizure free for 10 years!!

My youngest Chad, who wouldn’t be on the show lol is in school in Vancouver and working on his own line of men’s clothing called Sunset and Park. In fact, all the boys are partners in this new line based out of LA :)

Since appearing on the show, you have worked on so many successful projects, including a podcast, yoga clothing line, beauty line, wine line and you released new music. Plus creating new shows as a producer. Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us that are in the works?
MZ: Yes I have worked on a lot of projects (laughs). In fact I like to say I have a graveyard of startups, but have certainly learned from each business venture. Currently, I am still producing series, but have just embarked on a new big venture as founder of a new public fully integrated global cannabis company. I have always been a medical cannabis enthusiast for many years as many family members have had to use cannabis with so much success for various ailments. I am very dedicated educating especially women on the many benefits of cannabis.

I am also very busy with my new podcast called Eat Drink & Be Mary which took me back to my journalism roots. Its been such a fun project for me which has enabled me to speak to so many incredibly interesting guests.

Would you ever release new music in the near future?
MZ: YES! With all the business ventures going on, I have been missing my passion which is music. I am just researching songs to go into the studio to record an album of my fave standards and covers. Looking so forward to it!

RHOV Season 2 Promotional Photo, Credit: Slice

If RHOV ever came back for a third season and you were asked to return, would you?
MZ: Hmmmmmmmmmm....well that would depend on the other cast members. I would never do it again with some of the other wives from our seasons.

Can you clear something for us - why did Slice decide not to do a reunion for the second season?
MZ: I actually had the opportunity to speak to the head of the network after the series was canceled and she point blank told me it was because of the bullying. The network apparently has so much backlash and negativity from the nastiness of the show that they had to give in to public pressure. She said regardless of the ratings it wasn’t fun for people to watch anymore.

In your podcast, you’ve interviewed many interested people. If you could interview anyone - living or dead. Who would it be and why?
MZ: Good question :) I think I’d like to interview Saint Peter or the Blessed Virgin. I’d like to find out the truth behind religion and the interpretation of the Bible.

You’ve been a big cannabis activist as of late - for those who are not aware can you educate us on why you support the use of medical marijuana?
MZ: There are so many reasons I support cannabis, but mainly because of the benefits I’ve seen! Three of my family members have had to use cannabis, for seizures to cancer to Alzheimer’s and the results have been incredible. I also personally use medical marijuana to for bouts with sleep insomnia and most recently since I’ve herniated all 5 of my lumbar discs!! It truly is a miracle plant.

Would we ever see you in any other reality shows in the near future?
MZ: Never say never (laughs)!!

Credit: Mary Zilba

Anything you would like to say to your fans?
MZ: Yes! I want to thank my fans for being there for me during the series and helping to keep my head held high. It’s wasn’t easy and the fans kept my moral up and were so kind. I still talk to fans all the time and am so grateful for each and every one of them. As my career has moved in many directions they have stayed with me and as of late are there supporting my podcast. I am blessed and grateful.

Thank you Mary for taking the time and giving us this interview.
MZ: THANK YOU and thank you for always being so so so good to me honey!!! 😘🙌🏻🤗❤️

Follow Mary on social media via TwitterInstagramFacebook and YouTube or visit her official website: https://www.maryzilba.com/

Mary's Podcast, Eat, Drink and Be Mary is available on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud

Photo Credit: Mary Zilba

Copyright: Partial reposting is permitted with a link back to the original article.

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