EXCLUSIVE: ‘RHONJ’ Stars Margaret Josephs And Joe Benigno On What They Do In The Shower Together, (It’s Sweet!) And The Housewife Whose “Soul Is Black”

I’m no zodiac expert but I think it’s only fair to declare this year as the year of the pigtails. In her sophomore year on The Real Housewives Of New Jersey, Margaret Josephs has been the name on everyone’s lips…including those that resemble a monkey’s…well you know. (If you watch you know what I’m talking about!) This season, we have seen Margaret deliver ingenious one-liners, partner with an amazing organization, toss a glass of red wine at one New Jersey’s OG’s and toss that same OG’s husband into a pool. With her every step of the way was her charming husband Joe, who managed to sneak in a few iconic moments himself. Marge and Joe are hilarious together, so be sure to read this with thoughts of my shrill laugh echoing around each answer. 

It’s the question on everyone’s mind…how did the pigtails start and when did you decide they would become your signature look?

Margaret: Now you know, it’s very funny, I wore pigtails as a little girl and then I gave it up for a while and then back in my 20s I started them again. Everyone was like “oh my God you look so cute in pigtails.” It’s just so easy to do. I wore them all the time. When I started my business everyone was like “oh my God we’re going to call you ‘The Powerhouse in Pigtails'” and then I knew it was really something.

I have been trying to convince people that my big ears and gapped teeth are my signature look but I don’t think they are buying it just yet…

Anyway, Andy Cohen’s baby shower looked like the baby shower to end all baby showers. Did you partake in the dance contest?

M: I hurt my ankle at Watch What Happens Live two days prior but I did get up on the table. When Lisa Rinna was like “get on that f*****g table,” I got on that f*****g table.

What does one get Andy Cohen’s baby? That baby is going to grow up with a silver spoon so big he could clean a pool with it!

M: Dolores (Catania), Jackie (Goldschneider) and I chipped in and we got him a beautiful Hermès blanket. You have to go over the top for Andy Cohen. This baby is going to have everything!

Speaking of Andy Cohen, he tweeted that this was RHONJ’s “comeback season.” And I think it’s pretty clear that you were the star of this season. How does it feel to be a part of something that is such a phenomenon? You’ve become a household name!

M: You know, it feels great. I didn’t expect it. It’s fabulous. I’m a part of an amazing ensemble. I couldn’t do without such a great cast to be a part of. All the girls are just fun to be with. It was a good year, they gave me a lot to work with.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently this season?

M: Uhm…No. I feel comfortable with everything I did.

Margaret’s birthday is the day before mine, making us both Aries. As an Aries, I know we mean what we say and say what we mean, so I LOVED this answer. Maybe I am a zodiac expert?

Joe, your wife may have joined the hit reality series but after getting a drink thrown on you and helping to push another house-husband into the pool, you are officially a Bravo icon. Did you ever think you would be one of the stars of a housewives franchise? 

J: Marge has a big personality. I knew she would take over but I just figured I would sit back and enjoy the ride.

Do people treat you differently now?

J: My friends, like my close contractor buddies do because contractors are a bit crude. So I get my chops busted everyday about everything. As far as meeting clients when we go to places to work, usually the women want to come up to me and go “are you on the housewives?” And I say “yes” and then I have to stop for 20 minutes and answer their questions.

M: Well they see my house! So he’s obviously doing something for someone else.

Side note: Margaret and Joe revealed that they were only living in their home for two weeks when filming began last season. Marge might not think Joe is the speediest contractor for their own house but you can’t really blame them for having some work left to do!

It’s no secret that Joe and Margaret were both married to other people when they first met. It’s no secret because the couple has been very open about how they got together. It’s become a bit tiresome that some of the other ladies still bring up the past even though it has clearly been de-scandalized. Joe, what’s the secret to maintaining such a successful relationship in spite of all the criticism?

J: We take a shower every morning together. She can’t have the phone in the shower and she has to actually talk!

M: You know what, we did a lot to be together. We knew we were meant to be together.

J: We’ve burned all the bridges so we may as well stay in the the same boat.

M: We knew we were meant to be together. We’re really in love. When you go through everything to be together it doesn’t matter what anybody else says. We were friends before we were lovers. It took us a while to get together. It’s not like he came to my house and I was like “oh my god, there’s Joe.” We got to be very good friends for a while. We had seen each other for years and years and nothing had ever happened. Then Joe came to do work in the house and it still didn’t happen right away.

J: When I walked into the house Marge was just another client.

M: It was after spending time together that we realized “hey, we are really meant to be together.” We were both in bad marriages. No one leaves a happy marriage. And we really enjoy each other’s company. A lot of people on the show have little kids. We don’t have little kids at home. All of our kids are adults. I do have a biological son, as well as stepchildren. Joe has two kids. All of our kids are up and out, so we get to spend time together to do fun things.

J: Everybody’s gone so it’s just the two of us deciding what Marge wants to do.

“We take a shower every morning together. She can’t have the phone in the shower and she has to actually talk!”

Another relationship I have to highlight is the one between the two Joe’s. Joe, Are you and Joe Gorga as good of friends as you appear on the show? Please lie to me if you’re not because in my mind I’m developing a six part mini series centered around a wacky fishing trip the two of you take.

J: I mean to be honest with you I never met Joe before I started the show. We instantly clicked as buddies. And now we work together. Today actually after I leave here I have to go to work for him.

M: Yeah, they have a real bromance. We all spend a lot of time together but Joe actually spends more time with Joe (Gorga) than I do with Melissa (Gorga).

Margaret, you and Melissa seem like true blue friends too.

M: She’s definitely the housewife I’m closest to. Like I was on the phone with her this morning. We do dinner together. You know, she’s never been despondent to someone. She sees that I’m very honest, I’m up front and I’m not going to do something behind someone’s back. I’m not sneaky. Some people have an agenda I have no agenda. So we are very close. She’s a great girl. Shes fun. She’s a girls girl. Our mothers get along. It’s very organic.

Melissa has her boutique, Envy, and you have your lifestyle brand, Macbeth Collection. Would you ever do some sort of collaboration with together?

M: For sure. For sure. We’ve discussed a few things because I have clothing coming out. We definitely talk a lot of business things. We definitely want to do something together.

Speaking of friendships, Margaret you seem like you are able to get over things quickly. You and Dolores patched things up after a rocky season last year. You and Jennifer Aydin buried the hatchet in Cabo this season. What is it about Danielle Staub that prevents your friendship from moving forward?

M: She is very manipulative. I did not like the way she behaved at her wedding. Everything is an end to a means. Her soul is black. I saw what she does to people. I saw what she did to Marty. She tried to separate him from his children. Me, being a stepmother I don’t go for that. I don’t care how old the child is or what they say about you. You have to do everything to bring the family together. I just thought she was only concerned about her and her children and nothing to do with Marty. And he was good to her, he was good to her.

“Her soul is black. I saw what she does to people.”

You might want to put a pillow down housewives fans because my floor hit the floor during these next few questions…and pretty much stayed there.

M: She wrote an apology on February first. Texted me saying she was extending an olive branch. I did not answer her because she knows we will be going back into filming and she just needs more life lines than just Teresa (Giudice). Then she writes about me all over social media. Everything she does is not authentic. It’s always a manipulative move to get what she wants. Jennifer and I get along. Jennifer is very genuine. What you see is what you get. Is she tipsy, tequila Jennifer? Yes. But she doesn’t make stuff up. She is a one-upper but that’s who she is. You know what you’re going to get it. Danielle is always very manipulative. She apologized and I didn’t answer but if she really felt that in her heart, she wouldn’t be trashing me all over social media. And that’ts what she’s doing. Making up stories, lying.  It’s something I can never be a part of. It’s not somebody I’d associate with.

How do you both feel about Danielle’s now ex-husband, Marty Caffrey?

M: Before we pushed him in the pool he sounded like he was Danielle. It was never something Marty would say, all those words. She put that in his head. He is somebody with a good character. He had to get away from her.

J: If you were to go and listen to the way he spoke when he came onto the show, he was pretty mild mannered. Quite a normal guy. Every single one of those points where he and I had words with each other, he wasn’t even speaking in the same manner. He was speaking like a crazy man. Those are all words that were shoved into his mouth by Danielle.

Along with the pillow you may want to keep a mop handy because the answer to what I thought was a silly question will BLOW. YOUR. MIND.

Hypothetically let’s say next season the execs say they are bringing one housewife back full time. It’s either going to be Siggy Flicker or Danielle Staub. Who’d you rather have on the roster?

M: Danielle.

M: Danielle is nuts but Siggy is evil. We take Danielle. I think Siggy has borderline personality disorder. She’s obsessed. She’s still tweeting about myself and Melissa. Danielle is like a damaged, sick bird but Siggy is just calculated, envious and weird. I say Danielle has a black soul but it’s because she just wants to be loved and it stems from her nasty childhood. I don’t care what happens to Siggy. As far as I’m concerned, I wish she would just move away so I never have to see her again.

Ok so a pillow, a mop and a defibrillator?! My heart definitely skipped a beat with that unexpected answer!

This season hasn’t been all about drama though, Margaret was able to accomplish some real good. Margaret has partnered with the amazing organization, Brave Gowns. The company designs and creates children’s hospital gowns that look more like costumes and aim to cheer up and provide comfort to children with long term illnesses. On the show, we saw the beginning stages of this partnership. What’s the latest with Brave Gowns?

M: The brave gowns are currently being made in the United States. They’re expensive, so we’re trying to get them made overseas to get them less expensive. In the meanwhile, the reaction to that episode has been tremendous. Literally, I’m going to have to hire someone to answer the messages and get everybody on the mailing list. It’s very emotional. To be honest, I spent a lot of days crying from reading all the messages. This was a great idea I wanted to be involved in. People have such great hearts. You always think the world’s a [not nice] place when we read the newspaper but you realize how amazing people really are when something like this happens.

In an effort to prevent myself from an emotional outburst…let’s change the subject. What can you tease about the reunion? It looks like on for the history books!

M: Teresa comes in hot, hot, hot for Melissa and Jackie. And the guys are on and I think the guys bring a nice twist to it.

J: It’s gunslingers.

M: Gun and mud slinging.

Now I get why they call Marge a powerhouse! What an exciting end to exciting season. Don’t forget to tune into part one of the season 9 reunion on February 20th at 9pm on Bravo. I know, I can’t wait either, so click below to see a hint of what’s in store!

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