Margaret Josephs isn't afraid to say what everyone else is thinking.
Perhaps that's what has made the "Powerhouse in Pigtails" such a welcome presence on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" over the past couple years: She's proven time and again that she'll go up against the likes of Danielle Staub and Teresa Giudice without batting an eye.
"I love Teresa, but if I think she’s doing something wrong, I’m not going to blow smoke up her a-- and say she’s right even when she’s wrong," Margaret told AOL's Gibson Johns during a recent interview promoting the upcoming tenth season of "RHONJ," premiering on November 6. Of Danielle, she said that "she did not want to hear the truth, even though I truly had her best interest."
While she called her friendship with Danielle a ship that "has sailed and sunk," Margaret believes that she has been able to maintain a "deep relationship" with Teresa, especially amid the "horrible" deportation of her husband, Joe.
"We are very bonded, and I think that’s what keeps our friendship together," she told AOL. "Though we do argue and don’t see eye-to-eye on some things, we always come back together."
Keep reading for our full interview with Margaret Josephs ahead of the season 10 premiere of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey":
Everyone's excited for this tenth season of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," and the trailer promises some truly explosive moments. How do you think filming went your third time around?
We had a great, authentic season, and I think we’re going to blow away last year, which is hard to top, let’s be honest. But we have a great mix of ladies: Spicy and funny.
The cast really is a great mix, and everyone's returning from last season, which many considered to be the best season of "RHONJ" in years. What makes the group work so well on the show?
Everybody is very authentic to themselves, no one puts on any airs, no one’s afraid to share their real life and everybody’s really different. We bring different aspects of women to the show, and everybody can relate to that. I’m older, divorced, I’ve had two husbands, I don’t bring my kids on the show, but I have my mother, so I bring one thing. Jennifer is a younger women who still has small children and Jackie also has that, but they both have different parenting styles. We’ve seen Teresa’s whole evolution, and everyone is just a different type of woman. Everybody is also extremely relatable.
This is your third season on the show, which is wild to me, because it feels as though you've been part of it for way longer than that. When do you feel like you solidified your spot on the show? When did you truly feel engrained into the cast?
To be honest, I have to say it was the first year, because I came on so hard and heavy. I thought I was going to have an easy first season. I was like, "They’re never mean to the new girl, this can’t be happening," and it came on so hard and fast. I was like, "Jesus, I’m in deep." So, it really was the first season where I was like, "Okay, here we go."
I asked Melissa about this in my latest interview with her, but I'm curious what your thoughts are on the natural divide that happened last year, with you two and Jackie on one side and then Teresa, Dolores and Jennifer on the other. Why do you three get along so well?
We have a more modern viewpoint, and I think we view loyalty differently. Loyalty doesn’t mean sticking by the person whether they’re right or wrong. We can still be loyal and tell our dearest friends that they’re wrong, and sometimes the other girls don’t agree with that. I love Teresa, but if I think she’s doing something wrong, I’m not going to blow smoke up her a-- and say she’s right even when she’s wrong. I think that’s what it is: Myself, Melissa and Jackie view loyalty as, to be a good friend you have to be completely honest and transparent, and if your friend does something wrong you have to tell them.
Talk to me about your friendship with Teresa. Do you ever feel like she's threatened by how close you are to Melissa?
I don’t think she’s threatened by it, [because] her and I have a very deep relationship. It’s interesting: Every time I’m with Teresa, she sees that I cry for her and Joe and she always says that, "Out of everybody, you cry the most for me," because she sees the emotional connection I have with her. But it frustrates her sometimes. I always say to Teresa, "You have faulty logic." We are very bonded, and I think that’s what keeps our friendship together, though we do argue and don’t see eye-to-eye on some things. We always come back together.
Did you watch her and Joe's sit-down on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen"? What did you think of it?
I watched it along with the rest of the world. It was super emotional. I don’t think people realized that Joe could not see Teresa, because he was on satellite, so I think people gave Joe more of a hard time. For me, it was hard to watch because I know Teresa has a lot of emotion about it, and I do feel like they’ve both resided themselves to the way they feel: They love their family, but we don’t know until they see each other what’s going to happen. I’m there for Teresa whatever happens.
You've never been shy about sharing how you truly feel on the show, perhaps especially when it comes to Joe's deportation situation. Can you explain your mentality around broaching that subject? Because it's obviously a very sensitive one.
I think it’s horrible that he was deported -- devastating and heartbreaking for the family. That’s my first thing, and I think they were really harsh on Joe. He served his time, and there’s no way this should’ve happened. With that said, I think Teresa and Joe are making the best decisions for their girls, and they’re operating not as a couple, but as a family and I think that’s the way you have to do it when you have children. I respect them for that, and that’s what I’ve said all along.
Switching gears a bit, I'd like to talk about another big force on the show from over the years: Danielle Staub. You two were very close during your first season on the show, but your friendship imploded last year. Where does your relationship stand now?
Like I like to say, that ship has sailed and sunk. It was definitely the Titanic. There is no recovering in that friendship. I do think that can happen in friendships, and I do believe that I gave Danielle a fair chance, but I just saw too many things. Again, I don’t blow smoke up people’s a--es, and she did not want to hear the truth, even though I truly had her best interest. To me, she manipulates and twists stories and says half truths and doesn’t have everybody’s best interests. She’s not even good enough to be a wolf -- she’s a coyote! And I’m not interested in that.
What about your friendship with Dolores? The first season, it seemed as though Siggy Flicker sort of stood between you two and any potential connection you could have, but now you have cultivated a pretty great relationship.
Dolores and I happen to be extremely close. We speak on the phone every day, which is funny and people don’t realize it. We have very similar views on things, but we just say them in a different way. We realized that we were really meant to be close friends. Siggy had put a wedge in that, and Dolores is a loyal friend, which is why I said to her, "Dolores, you don’t always have to be so loyal to a fault." She’s such a good person, we’re both super philanthropic and her and I do so many charity events together. We realized that our priorities are very, very similar, we get along, we do a lot of laughing and neither of us is needy. That’s what we like about each other. She gives me great advice and vice versa.
Finally, I have to ask about Marge Senior, who has pretty much cemented herself as one of the iconic "Real Housewives" mothers alongside the likes of Mama Dee, Dale Mercer, Mama Joyce and Lisa Rinna's mother. It must be fun for you to have this whole experience with her.
It’s a lot of fun being with Marge Senior, but Marge Senior is a total handful! She’s hilarious. She’s just like another housewife. The woman is so opinionated, and I love that at her age she could shine and she’s had a second chance. You get to see this season that she’s really living her life. The woman is 73 and she still has life goals, and she’s super inspirational for the older generation.
This interview has been edited and condensed.