Snooki talks leaving—but not regretting—the drunken antics of 'Jersey Shore'
In the pilot episode of MTV’s Jersey Shore, then 21-years-old Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi announced that her ultimate dream was to ”move to Jersey, find a nice, juiced, hot tan guy and live my life.” 10 years later, the reality star now lives in North Jersey with her husband, Jionni LaValle (who she met at Karma, the famed Seaside Heights club), and their three children: Lorenzo, age 7; Giovanna, age 5; and Angelo, 10 months.
Now that’s manifestation, mawmas.
After more than a decade starring in the vodka-filled franchise that launched her career, Polizzi announced in December that she wouldn’t be returning for Season 4 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. She said on her podcast that she’s, “not comfortable filming that show anymore with the direction it’s going.” Her announcement followed news of an incident where producers reportedly forced her, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, and Deena Cortese to ruin Angelina Pivarnick’s wedding.
These days, she’s focusing on her family and solo business ventures—The Snooki Shop, a New Jersey-based clothing boutique, and Nicole’s Craft Room, an Etsy shop where you can order “Where’s the beach” shirts hand-wrapped by the guidette herself. HelloGiggles caught up with Polizzi at home, where she’s currently quarantined and only drinking two (sometimes three) glasses of wine at night. Below is our conversation on the drama, the drinking, and the future.
HelloGiggles: Were you supposed to be shooting something right now, or what is your next entertainment project?
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: Honestly, I don’t know. I’m figuring out what I want to do next because I left Jersey Shore. So we finished filming that last fall, so right now, I’m just figuring out my next move. I was in the process of taking meetings and figuring out all that when we got locked down.
HG: A couple of your former castmates said they think you are going to be back. What do you say to that?
NP: I just want to move on. I’m not in the mood to do this drama with Angelina anymore, and I just want to be happy and positive and film fun shows. I’m a mom of three, and I’m 32 years old, so when I leave my kids and film a show, I want to have a good time and not be around negative energy. So, yeah, I don’t think I’m going back.
HG: In your podcast where you announced you were leaving Jersey Shore, you talked about how people were sending death threats to you and your kids and leaving negative reviews of your shop. Why do you think people came at you with such negativity?
NP: I just feel people take this show way too serious, and I don’t know—people are just crazy. They’re trolls and they try to attack people and I’m not down for it. So I just had to walk away.
HG: It also felt really sexist to me.
NP: It wasn’t just sexist. It was everything, ya know? You can attack me all you want, but when it comes to my family and you’re attacking them, that’s when I’m like, “ehhhh, not gonna happen.”
HG: What are you really looking for in your next show?
NP: I would love to do something with Jenni again. Just because filming Snooki & Jwoww, our spin-off from Jersey Shore a while ago, was the fun-est show ever.
And I definitely want to try to get into hosting. Like a fun game show or something, where I could do something fun with the people and it’s not all about me, ya know? I hosted MTV’s tattoo show [2018’s How Far Is Tattoo Far?]…and that was really fun because it wasn’t just all me. I like having that break of not always being “on.”
HG: In your Etsy craft store, you sell shirts with your mugshot on them. You’re also the queen of clapbacks on Instagram. Have you always been this good at embracing yourself, or is this something you had to work on?
NP: I feel like I was always that way—especially after high school. Because in high school, I had to deal with catty girls and bullies and rumors and all that, and it kind of broke me. But then one day I said I’m just not going to take it anymore and I ended up standing up to them, and they never bothered me again.
So I feel like if I never went through that experience in high school, I would definitely be broken when it came to going on TV and everybody having an opinion about me and attacking me. I find it comical, and I love the attention. So, keep coming at me.
HG: What is your plan for when your kids are older and want to watch Jersey Shore?
NP: I mean, I’d rather they not ever watch it. But I feel like it’s bound to happen. They’re already on YouTube, and my daughter and my son always ask me, “Who is Snooki? when I go out and people are calling me that. I’m like, “Oh, you know, it’s just my actress name.” They think I’m an actress right now.
So I’ll tell them that until they are old enough, like 16 or 13 or 14, and [then I’ll] explain to them, “Mommy’s college years were on video for everyone to see, and if you do see it one day, learn what not to do from Mommy.” So I’ll guess I’ll use it as a learning experience on how not to be trashy.
HG: Would you call what you did trashy, or would you just say, you know, it’s what you did?
NP: Oh no, it was definitely trash. I was chugging vodka in the shower. I was a disgust.
HG: I love how you just said that your college years “were on video.” My generation grew up with you and were doing the same thing—it was just that your experience was on national television.
NP: Exactly! And that’s what I always used to tell anyone who would judge us. Like, oh you never got drunk and peed? Okay. [laughs]
HG: Has that been helpful in trying to sell “where’s the beach” merch on Etsy and trying to control the narrative?
NP: Well, yeah, I love the fact that I have my Etsy shop because it’s kind of like a personal gift [between] me and my fans—being able to make them [merch from] my funny, memorable quotes from the shore … I love all my outrageous moments. Honestly.
HG: Why did you want to have physical storefronts for The Snooki Store?
NP: It’s honestly been my dream… I’ve always had my online store, and I’ve had that for almost 10 years, so I said you know what, let me just try a little boutique in a town near me. And it was amazing and I loved it and the town loved it and so many fans came in, especially for my events, so I said, “let’s do this,” and got a bigger space. So I’ll be open for three years [now].
HG: Would your younger self wear the clothing in your shop?
NP: Yes, because I make sure I have a ton of leopard print. I’m still wearing tight leopard print dresses when I have my moms night out, so I definitely have the same style. It’s just now I’m always dressing down like I’m homeless because I’m tired all the time. But if I were to go to a club, I’d probably wear almost the same type of outfits.
HG: Do you ever think you’ll leave New Jersey? You seem so rooted there.
NP: I always kind of wanted to move to Florida because they don’t have state [income] tax, and it’s beautiful there always. But I just feel like with our family…because of the kids and my mother-in-law and my mom always watching and helping—I just feel like we wouldn’t survive. So I doubt we’ll ever leave Jersey.
HG: Is there anything you have coming up that you really want to let people know about?
NP: I’m moving into my [second] store [in Madison, New Jersey] and hopefully when it’s okay to open, I’ll be having VIP events and stuff like that. I’m super excited about that.
And I have a stroller line coming out, which is supposed to come out in June with Buy Buy Baby. I collabed with Your Babiie, and I made a couple strollers, I made high chairs, some travel systems like diaper bags. But I feel like everything is being pushed back, so I don’t know when but I feel like definitely this summer it’s going to be available for all my Mawmas. I actually called it “Mawma.”
HG: What is your advice for people that feel mommy-shamed? How do you handle it?
NP: Me and Jenni used to do a show that was called, Moms with Attitude [on Go90, Verizon’s online streaming platform, in 2018], and that was one of our huge topics that we’d always talk about. Because mom shaming is so huge…and I’ll never get it because everybody parents differently.
That’s why I try and show the real deal, because I’m not trying to be a cookie-cutter mom, and I want moms to know everything is not perfect. Like, my kid is still wearing Christmas pajamas and he’s a mess and my daughter forgot to brush her teeth today—and if you’re going to shame me, you’re an asshole.