Robyn Levy appeared as a friend of Teresa Giudice on the seventh season of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey and while she may not have become the franchise’s first lesbian Housewife, she is making waves as the star and creator of the new LGBTQ+ reality series Facts Of Wife.
Red Coral Casting is currently looking for outspoken and dynamic members of the LGBTQ+ community for the docuseries, which will eventually stream online. With the launch of the company’s national casting call, I had the opportunity to chat with Robyn, who will also be appearing on the show as a full-time cast member.
Congratulations on the new show, Robyn! Bravo viewers are most familiar with you from your time on RHONJ but you’ve had a long career in the TV industry. What made you want to get into TV production?
I went to school for TV. I was introduced to it from a production standpoint and editing. I was in communications in university and they created a massive building for editing suits and I found myself in a class.
I worked for MTV in casting when I first got out of college. I worked at the Jersey Shore beach house so it was right on the boardwalk in Seaside, I did it in the summer. It was super cool. I met tons of cool people, tons of big celebrities at that time. You know, Will Smith coming down, it was crazy. Really, really cool people. I learned a lot when I was there.
You’re the creator of Facts Of Wife and have been pouring your heart and soul into the project. What has it been like to be working behind-the-scenes again from a production standpoint?
I listen to a lot of motivational speeches in the morning when I go for a run and I listen to things about failing because failing is probably the most important thing to do in order to succeed. I like to say that I don’t fall backwards, I keep falling forwards and that’s what landed me into what I’m doing now.
I’m so persistent, I will never give up on something I believe in. I started working on Facts of Wife with tons of production companies, people that have been in the entertainment business for forever. Any time someone said ‘no’, I realized someone would say ‘yes’. I never gave up on my dreams and here I am pursuing it.
Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community myself, I feel like Facts of Wife is necessary for a few reasons. People want to see themselves reflected in the talent on screen more and more.
Exactly. I really want to do good for people and all my family knows is love, that’s what we’re all about. For my children, and for all future children, whether they have gay parents or straight parents, we want to be in a place where we’re just all the same. It doesn’t matter who you love, as long as you have a big heart, and that’s what I want to show.
There’s a lot that we need to do to make change in the LGBTQ+ community. There is diversity from an ethnicity standpoint, a racial standpoint, so we’re looking to combine all of those things. We want to create change in a world that needs it.
Red Coral Casting has launched a national casting call for Facts Of Wife. Tell me a little bit about what you’re looking for.
We’re looking for all different types with this open casting call, tons of diversity. We want to have certain debates, lively discussion. I don’t want to fight with people in the way that Housewives is driven, but what I do want is for people to have different views and different perspectives, that way the topics that we cover on the show and the people that are featured are able to engage in different ways.
You’ve mentioned that you’re looking for a really authentic feel.
Right. For example, one of my favourite people on the Housewives—and there aren’t many of them—was Bethenny Frankel. From a business standpoint, I totally get her brain and I’m totally on the same page. I get her.
When Bethenny was on the show, she didn’t have Skinnygirl to where it was now and there was a scene where she was pushing her cupcakes in a supermarket. Look at where she is now, she can’t sell a cupcake without paparazzi jumping out of the bushes. So we’re looking to replicate that authenticity, and to introduce people that want to create change at the same time. I want to show the honest truth, and how things evolve.
Breaking the fourth wall has become a huge part of keeping fans connected to these shows, and it sounds like that’s what you’re going to do here.
The transparency with the show is I think something that viewers deserve. Why hide? We want to be transparent and keep it real. I hate that about the Housewives! [Laughs] I’m not knocking the franchise, what they’ve done is amazing, it just wasn’t the right fit for me.
I re-watched some of your episodes of RHONJ. It was nuts.
It was embarrassing, to be honest. It was an abomination. First of all, we filmed so much more than they aired. They could have used us in a million other ways for the first lesbian couple but that wasn’t even talked about.
Look at Andy Cohen, he was so excited when we first got cast. He did an interview talking about us, ‘They’re going to be the first lesbian Housewives!’ and then they didn’t even push any of that. They wanted me to fight with Jacqueline Laurita for three months.
Why? I wanted to know why. I didn’t know her. I was super close with Rosie [Teresa’s cousin] at the time. I would go on vacations with her, but I don’t think she wanted me to be on the show. So when she saw me, she was like the devil to me.
They showed only a bit of your disagreement with Rosie.
It was the weirdest thing in the world. Dolores [Catania] and Siggy [Flicker], everyone had it out for me because they were friends with Jaqueline.
Then they both called me at the end of filming. Dolores called me and said ‘My daughter said I was like really mean to you and I just feel really bad about that now’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, yup.’
There seems to be a pattern of talking about gay issues without actually featuring a gay voice, and I feel like that happened here.
Teresa [Giudice] said one hundred times to them, which I don’t even remember if they cut it or not at this point, but she was like, ‘You’ve known Rosie forever.’ She didn’t get it. It was all organic. I was literally friends with Kathy [Wakile] and she introduced me to Rosie.
I had known Rosie for years but when she found out the producers wanted to get to know me, she got upset. When Teresa filmed [her spinoff show] Teresa Checks In, I was featured because I’m friends with Joe Giudice. I went to their house, he invited me to film, and Rosie was also there. The producers met me and told me I should come on Housewives.
And then, when I got there, everyone pretended they didn’t know me. And that’s a true story.
You were being called Teresa’s soldier when you knew all of them before and actually had met Teresa through her husband Joe Giudice.
I grew up in Montville. I grew up in this area, so all I could do was laugh. I’ve known a lot of these people and those around them for a long time.
Looking back, what do you think about your time on RHONJ now?
It was an amazing learning experience. I learned so much. I wouldn’t change it in a million years.
The truth is that I know that I’m a good person. I don’t need people to tell me that. I don’t have anything bad to say. It just wasn’t right for me but that doesn’t mean the way that they run as a franchise is wrong, it was just wrong for me personally.
What are your relationships with the other women like now?
If I saw any of them, I’d give them a hug, I’d be happy to see them, but it’s just not for me. We have a short time to live our life and I want to live it around people who want to be around me and love me and I don’t want to fake it. I’m busy! [Laughs]
For more information on or to apply for Facts Of Wife, Robyn’s new LGBTQ+ reality series, visit RedCoralCasting.com. Follow them them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and check out Robyn Levy on Instagram.