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Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi says she wouldn’t let her kids do ‘Jersey Shore’

Speaking to, the 35-year-old says her children find clips of the MTV show on TikTok — and have questions.
Nicole "Snookie" Polizzi
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi spoke about her successful stint on "Jersey Shore" with Spellman / FilmMagic

When Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi first signed on to star in "Jersey Shore," she would never have guessed that viewers would still be hungry for more of the MTV reality show 14 years later.

“When we first did the show, we thought it was just going to be a one season thing and done," the 35-year-old tells over the phone.

Polizzi went on to film six seasons of "Jersey Shore" and several spinoffs, including the wildly popular "Jersey Shore: Family Vacation," which just returned for its sixth season last week.

"It's definitely been a crazy ride, but I feel like it’s because of the fans. They’re so invested," she says.

"Jersey Shore Family Vacation" cast.
"Jersey Shore Family Vacation" cast.Dusty Kessler / MTV

These days, the show looks a bit different, with less bottle service and more baby bottles, since many members of the cast bring their children along for their wildly entertaining family vacations.

Polizzi, who rose to fame as the girl who burst into the "Jersey Shore" house saying, "The party's here!" is now a mother of three with several business ventures. She married Jionni Lavalle in 2014 and they share son Lorenzo, 10, daughter Giovanna, 8, and son Angelo, 3.

As the reality star prepared to celebrate the Season Six premiere of "Jersey Shore: Family Vacation," she took some time to chat with about this season, her relationships with her co-stars and her "Jersey Shore" journey in general.

Snooki spills on this season of ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’

What can fans fans expect from this season of “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation?”

A lot of trips. There’s a boys’ trip and a girls’ trip, and then we go all together for Mike’s (Sorrentino) cornhole tournament. Then we go to New Orleans. It’s just a fun, packed season with us traveling and having a good time.

I definitely would say we had more good times than drama, but there’s definitely drama. I like to stay clear of all that and just have a good time because that’s not my speed. I have too much drama at home with the kids. I don’t need this high school drama anymore.

Vinny (Guadagnino) and Angelina (Pivarnick) have always had a love-hate relationship. Are we going to see that play out again this season. Do you think that they would ever date?

This season is the most dramatic when it comes to them liking each other or trying to give it a chance. I think this season fans are going to get a lot more than they’ve been getting. We were all shocked too. It’s going to be good.

The cast has traveled to so many places in the past few seasons. Is there anywhere on your bucket list for future seasons?

I know everybody wants to go to Italy again (ed. note: the cast filmed a season of the original “Jersey Shore” there) cause I feel like we didn’t appreciate it. But then I just think of my kids and I’m like, "Yeah, I’m not going." We like places that are kid-friendly so that if we bring the kids, they’ll still have a good time and they’re not stuck in a room. I think anywhere kid-friendly, gorgeous and has a lot of places to have fun and do things. I’m down to go anywhere as long as it’s safe.

A lot of you are married and have kids now. What is it like to watch your “Jersey Shore” family keep growing? How, if at all, has that changed the dynamic of these trips?

We already have a whole next generation of “Jersey Shore” little babies, but I doubt that I would ever let my kids do “Jersey Shore.”

It’s crazy how we’ve all changed. We’ve all grown up, but when we all get back together and we don’t have our kids and we’re doing a fun adults night out, it just feels like we’re all 21 again.

Why do you think people are still so into the show after all these years?

I think it’s because we were such a huge show and everybody grew up with us. They still want to see what’s going on in our lives.

Also, our show isn’t fake. We don’t have scripted scenes. We don’t do any of that, which a lot of reality shows do, so I feel like our fans appreciate that. Then we still do like crazy sh-- together, so I guess we’re still entertaining.

On her relationships with her co-stars

How often do you see your castmates? Do you consider them your family?

We talk every single day in group chat. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that we’re not talking in that chat, which is nice. But it’s definitely hard to see each other. I’m like an hour and a half away from Deena (Buckner), Jenny (Farley) and Angelina. I’m more up north (in New Jersey) and they’re all down south.

I’m always traveling, doing my own thing or with the kids, so it’s really hard to get together. That’s why we love our trips, because we have that time together. (We’re) definitely family and I think it’ll always be that way.

Which of your castmates do you talk to the most?

Me, Jenny and Deena have a sisters’ chat and we’re just talking about mom stuff constantly. Like, "Oh, this is what my daughter did. This is what my kid did." So I feel like as moms and best friends, I think we talk the most just because we all have so much in common.

Who has changed the most, in a good way, since you started filming the original show?

I would say Mike. Back in the day, Mike was on drugs and like the worst person ever. Having to deal with that, it was just a lot for all of us. (Now) he’s almost seven years sober, he’s a great dad and he’s a good friend to all of us.

Many of you have kids now. Did any of your castmates surprise you, in a good way, when they had children?

The girls, I wasn’t surprised — I knew they were going to be amazing moms. I would say Mike. When I introduced him to (my son) Angelo when he was a tiny baby, Mike was so nervous. He didn’t know how to hold Angelo and he was freaking out.

I think he was so nervous to be a dad because no matter how ready you say you are, you’re just not. So (when I watched) Mike become a dad, it came natural to him like it should.

On her 'Jersey Shore' journey

How long does the cast see the show lasting?

We all have a general consensus that we could do this for as long as MTV would love us to do this. Obviously, it gets harder and harder with the kids and them getting older and stuff like that, you know, scheduling wise, but we would love to do it. As long as the fans want us.

How have you changed as a person since the show first premiered and what’s something that people might still get wrong about you?

When I started the show, I had just turned 21 so I was able to legally get into bars and clubs. So of course, I went crazy and enjoyed myself. I feel like I’ve grown up in general, like having kids and being a mom. I just think I’m definitely way more responsible. I’m an adult now.

But I still have my moments where I want to be silly and be funny and have a good time with the girls and drink our wine. We’re all the same people. We just grew up.

Did you ever feel like you were misunderstood during this time?

Everyone thought I was raging alcoholic 24/7. I would be dead if that were the case. Whenever people met me outside of the show, at Target or something, they’d be like, "Oh, you’re so calm. Why aren’t you drunk and doing cartwheels and going crazy?" Everyone always thought I was that party girl 24/7.

On her life as a mom and businesswoman

Do your three kids come on all of the “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” trips with you?

I’m the only one that doesn’t bring my kids and I’m only there for like three days while everyone’s there for like a week and a half. I’m not going to pull them out of school and sports for that. If my kids were off, I would love to bring them. But it just doesn’t work out like that. Kids come first.

Do your kids watch the show with you? Have they seen the early seasons?

I let them watch when I know Giovanna is going to be on for a scene. But we don’t know how it’s edited. We watch it with (audiences), so we have no idea what’s going to be shown. So I’m still a little hesitant because we’re still drinking and me and Deena still act like mom meatballs sometimes. I want to censor what they’re seeing.

Giovanna and Lorenzo see things on TikTok. They’re like, “Mom, I saw you doing this.” And I was like, “Oh yeah, don’t worry. I’m just acting. You know, that’s my job. Like I pretend to be silly.”

What are your kids into these days?

Lorenzo is 10. He’s busy with wrestling and has a ton of matches all the time. Giovanna is eight. We’re busy traveling around for (her cheerleading) competitions. And then Angelo, is three. So he’s still running around the house naked and being crazy.

You have a lot going on outside of the show, like your own wine line and stores. Is there anything wise that you might want to do in the future that you haven’t checked off your business bucket list yet?

I have a book of things that I want to accomplish. But right now, I’m good. I’m not trying to put more on my plate because I am busy running my stores and trying to open new locations. And then (with) my new wine coming out, I'm trying to get those into liquor stores everywhere. There are always things that I want to do in the future.