July 20, 2012 3:04pm PT by Diane Gordon
'Real Housewives of New York's' Aviva Drescher Talks About Upcoming Bal Harbour Trip
Aviva Drescher is a new face this season on The Real Housewives of New York, where she's tasked with dealing with strong personalities from those around her. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Drescher to get the dirt on Monday's episode when she, Ramona and Mario Singer we well as Sonja Morgan hit the road to Bal Harbour, Fla., to visit Aviva's dad to get the scoop on her experience and tease what's ahead.
The Hollywood Reporter: How familiar were you with the show when you signed on?
Aviva Drescher: I was familiar but not a diehard fan. I watched intermittently and knew what was going on. I knew I’d get scrutiny but I was not prepared for how much scrutiny. Now I wish I’d watched every episode, and read every blog.
You seem very genuine and unaffected.
I don’t have anything fake, except for my leg. (Laughs.)
What’s been the trickiest thing or person to navigate?
I would say it’s the scrutiny. I am even at times horrified by something I might see on the web. I never thought in a million years I’d bat an eyelash at that. One site called my hands “alien hands.” I claim no perfection of body parts, and that’s been difficult to navigate. It's cruelty.
The other person difficult to navigate is Ramona. What I learned later on in filming is, you never know what you're gonna get with her, like a box of chocolates from Forrest Gump -- I know not to trust her. I’m going to do a song called “Ramoniac” -- to the tune of "Maniac" from Flashdance. But I really don’t take this very seriously. I don’t think Carole [Radziwill], Heather [Thomson] or myself take this gig seriously at all.
My focus primarily -- beyond the charities I work with -- is that a lot of teens watch the show and when they see a woman with one leg who has earned a couple of degrees, married, divorced and remarried, when they see that they, too, can do whatever they want to do, with whatever challenge they may have (pimples on their face, whatever) it’s really hard and can scar you for life. I never thought I’d get married, I never thought I’d be able to have kids because of some of the antibiotics after my accident. If I had someone like me on TV to give me the visualization of being a wife and mother -- whatever your baggage is -- it’s worth all the cruelty coming my way. Or even an adult who has had an accident, or diabetes, or whatever. I’ve always reached out to people on a one-on-one level, and now on the show, I reach a lot more people. They email me and tweet me and tell me that.
Monday’s hour is the Bal Harbour episode and you’ve invited Ramona and Sonja along. Why did you want to fix Sonja up with your dad, who you describe as a sex addict?
My dad is very handsome, he's pretty successful and he’s also totally with-it and brilliant and funny and he’s unfiltered. He’s also really really sexual for his age, which is bordering 80. Sonja was married to someone 30 years her senior before so I thought, "Why not?" The worst thing to happen is they end up friends, and they both love sex so I thought there might be some compatibility there. I thought, why not set them up? I’m used to my father’s inappropriate antics which remind me of Ramona’s inappropriate antics. If Sonja can put up with Ramona’s antics, she can put up with my dad’s antics. I often wonder, who’s more inappropriate, my father or Ramona? (Laughs.)
What’s the most fun thing about doing the show?
Being in the front row of this phenomenal show which is a huge part of pop culture today. Being a part of it is such an honor and being part of it in such a positive way, and helping people, seeing how the filming is done, and how the editing is done. Seeing the people who are so interested in every word we say and what we do and what we wear, it’s so fun and so hilarious. I get that watching a show about real people is far more interesting and relevant to your own life than a scripted drama. I’m very happy to talk to people about it, and for them to see if I’m like I am on TV. I myself wonder if Ramona is really like that or putting it on for the cameras.
Anything to tease Monday’s episode?
I’m thinking about the scene where my father and mother-in-law are present at the same time; only a woman made of steel can sit through that dinner. And please don’t hold me responsible for my father.
Carole tweeted that the clip at the end of Monday’s show is crazy and a preview for the rest of the season. Care to comment?
I don’t think you’ll see a crazier Housewives show than the next eight episodes of the show. I can’t believe it and I lived it.
What do you think of Aviva? The Real Housewives of New York airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
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