A conference room on the 37th floor of a Manhattan office building seems an unlikely setting for two women known for their antics on beaches and in bars.
Snooki and JWOWW of "Jersey Shore" fame are sequestered in this room, attended by a hairstylist and a publicist, to promote their spinoff, "Snooki & JWOWW," launching Thursday, June 21, on MTV.
Capitalizing on the phenomenon that is "Jersey Shore," the women's unscripted series follows their housemate's show, DJ Pauly D's "The Pauly D Project" on Thursdays, part of MTV's campaign to keep Thursday "Jerzday."
"I'm excited to show a different side of us, not partying," Snooki, who is five months pregnant, tells Zap2it.
"Yeah, well, I'm partying," JWOWW says.
Snooki, who prefers her given name of Nicole Polizzi, signs her new novel, "Gorilla Beach," written with Valerie Frankel. She wears extraordinarily long fake eyelashes that look as if it must be a struggle to keep her eyes open.
JWOWW, whose real name is Jenni Farley, calls them tarantulas and says, "It's like a workout for your eyelids."
Neither looks thrilled to be here, but they warm up as the interview progresses.
Snooki's hair has blond streaks, stark against the black hair, and she is in very full makeup. JWOWW's hair is streaked magenta. She wears leopard-print stilettos with studded heels, tight jeans and a tank top; JWOWW has the sort of figure that if she's walking and a man driving notices her, traffic accidents are likely.
The women, as has been proved on "Jersey Shore," are not big on censorship. They talk about Jenni's breasts (surgically enhanced), their not-so-private parts and boyfriends; it's hard to imagine a taboo topic.
In the new 12-episode show, the women set out to live on their own. They look for apartments in Jersey City and wind up moving into a former fire station, where the chief and captain's offices are turned into bedrooms.
Though Snooki refers to it as "the city," and Jersey City is indeed an urban place, it is not The City, which is what most in the New York area are referring to when they say "the city."
"It is a city, but it is more relaxed and quiet right there," Snooki says, explaining why they picked it.
In the pilot, Snooki's dad explains to her that living independently includes paying electric bills. This comes as a shock.
"Say we don't put any light bulbs on and use candles," she says. "You would actually save a lot of money, if you think about it. I know a lot of Amish people do it. They don't use electricity, and they are rich. I feel they have their own frickin' companies."
For those new to this world, that is a genuine Snooki-ism. The petite reality show participant has been living very publicly for three years, and by now, most who follow her know she's engaged to Jionni LaValle.
Though JWOWW is her best friend, Snooki waits until the end of the pilot, shot in the winter, to show her the ring and tell her that she is pregnant. By then, the women have picked the cute apartment.
"The kitchen looks like a man's kitchen, with a barbecue and grill," JWOWW says.
They moved in Feb. 27 and moved out when the show wrapped shooting in April, JWOWW says, explaining they lived there strictly for the show. But they completely decorated and made it their home, Snooki adds.
"We transformed the place," she says. "It took us a week to decorate. We did 18-hour days."
The two talk a lot about being best friends. Snooki, 24, and JWOWW, 26, met when "Jersey Shore" cast them to live in the beach house three years ago. Each recalls her first impressions of the other.
"The first time I saw Jenni, I saw how hot she was, the boobs, and how hot she was," Snooki says.
"She goes from zero to 60 in a second," JWOWW says. "My day-to-day [mood] is very chill. She's like, 'Let's go, let's go.' "
They curtailed their partying because of Snooki's pregnancy and are healthier.
"She smoked like three packs in one day," Snooki says.
"It was a pack," JWOWW says, twirling a plastic cigarette between her fingers. "At Christmas, I OD'd on cigarettes and Red Bull."
She has since quit both. The days of falling-down drunk are over, Snooki insists. She picks at fruit in a takeout container and says she has steered clear of booze since she found out she was pregnant.
"I feel awesome," she says. "I don't feel pregnant. I am resting a lot."
Snooki wants to continue branding herself, like her role model, Jessica Simpson. "I was so pissed," she says of the story that had her lambasting Simpson's size while pregnant. "I friggin' love her."
That branding includes wanting to start a line of animal-print baby accessories. JWOWW's goals include opening a puppy day care center "K-9-ergarten." And Snooki likes the idea of the two of them hosting a talk show.
As for this show, their housemates from "Jersey Shore" make appearances. And as JWOWW says, "We just live our lives."
Photo/Video credit: MTV
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