Though Sandra Bullock might not be a natural redhead, Jill Zarin believes the actress (Oscar-nominated for “The Blind Side) would be a natural to play her on the big screen.
“She’s like the Southern me,” Zarin says in reference to Leigh Anne Tuohy, the force of nature character Bullock plays in the popular movie. The film chronicles how Tuohy took orphan, Michael Oher, under her wing, something Zarin can relate to.
“I pick up all the orphans,” Zarin says. “Ask Bethenny.”
Indeed, Zarin, the popular star of Bravo’s hit reality show, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” (premieres March 4, check local listings) fills the role of Mama Bear on her show, much like Jeana Keough did on “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” for over four seasons. As fans of the show know, Zarin and fellow cast mate, Bethenny Frankel, in particular bonded due to Frankel’s sketchy childhood, with Zarin providing sage advice and a shoulder to cry on. However, there may be a new chick in the nest, as Zarin says she “picked up” Season Two villainess, Kelly Bensimon (and Frankel’s nemesis) this season, something that may surprise viewers.
“I didn’t really know Kelly and was told not to be friends with her,” Zarin says in a veiled jab at Frankel, who she is allegedly feuding with in Season Three. “Kelly’s a good person and she gets a fresh start this season.”
Zarin takes mothering so seriously, she penned a book on the subject with her older sister, radio personality Lisa Wexler and everyone’s favorite Jewish mother, Zarin’s mom, Gloria Kamen. Zarin says it was Gloria who inspired her to write the book.
“I have the most amazing mother in the world and it never occurred to me not everyone has a mother like Gloria.”
According to Zarin, “Secrets of a Jewish Mother,” slated for release April 15, 2010, shares stories from her and her sister’s childhood and is meant to both provide inspiration and give practical advice to all mothers. Viewers of the show know Gloria is especially adept at sharing her opinion of the world and the way it works. Zarin says though her mother is tough, she’s taught her the importance of sacrifice for your children, such as the time her parents were left with only $5,300 to their name and spent $5,000 of it on her bat mitzvah. They reasoned “we gave it to your sister, we wanted to give it to you. We knew the money would come back.”
“They were obsessed with us both being treated equal. My mother says you give equally because love is equal.”
Though Zarin only has one child, she has taken Gloria’s words to heart when it comes to the rearing of her own daughter.
“I sacrificed material things to make sure Allison had the best of everything,” Zarin says. “I always did everything for Ally.”
Zarin thinks troubled Orange County Housewife, Lynne Curtin, should give Gloria a call for some parenting advice. She also has a practical solution for the family’s money woes (they were recently evicted from their home.)
“Lynne has a good heart, but she’s not a great parent. This is the time for she and her husband [Frank] to say to the family ‘we need to cut back.’ They should go to work for Vicki!”
As for her own show, Zarin says to expect the unexpected during this season of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”
“It’s a bizzaro season. A lot of alliances change, a lot of things shift.”
Sounds like appointment TV.