New York Daily News

Staten Islander keeping it ‘Real’

- BYBRENNA WALTON bwalton@nydailynew­

SHE’S FROM Staten Island. Don’t judge her.

That’s what Marie Roda, 22, said when she met her roommates after joining the cast of “Real World: St. Thomas.”

The 27th season of MTV’s original reality show, this time in the tropical paradise of the U.S. Virgin Islands, premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m.

“There are a lot of people who don’t realize Staten Island isn’t just about that guido, Mafia image,” Roda told the Daily News.

The borough has been represente­d in reality shows like VH1’s “Mob Wives” and MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” which stars a few Staten Island natives like Vinny Guadagnino and Mike (The Situation) Sorrentino.

“I represent the North Shore, which is closer to Brooklyn and doesn’t have as much of that vibe that many people associate with Staten Island,” Roda adds. “I want to show people a different side of the area.”

No easy task. “Real World” has long been notorious for bonding, and fighting, as a result of heavy drinking and partying.

Roda admits that was how she and her

‘There are a lot of people who don’t realize Staten Island isn’t just about that guido, Mafia image.’

roommates spent most of their time, since there wasn’t much else to do. The cast had their own little St. Thomas place, Hassel Island, with no neighbors, and had to take a boat to go anywhere.

She was quick to own up to her on-camera mistakes.

“I got a little too tipsy on the plane ride to St. Thomas,” she said. “I wanted to show Staten Island in a different way, and what do I do? Get drunk on Johnnie Walker Black and the accent and the ‘Statitude’ comes out. I was just so excited and got a little carried away.”

Once on St. Thomas, Roda and her roommates had to rely on their senses of humor a lot. Like many “Real World”-ers before them, the current cast faced harassment — but not from locals, presumably since St. Thomas relies so heavily on tourism. It was other visitors who gave them a hard time. They yelled and threw things at them, but Roda dealt with it her way.

“When tourists would gather to watch filming, I would hide in the crowd and ask what was going on while my roommates were being filmed, as if I was one of them,” Roda said. “Someone even said, ‘This cast is so ugly,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God, yeah they are!’ That’s just the kind of sense of humor I have. It made it easier for all of us to deal with that kind of negativity.”

Roda wasn’t the only funny one in the house. “Our cast is going to get a lot of laughs, but so many things aren’t going to be able to be shown,” she said. “Make sure you watch the ‘S— They Should Have Shown’ special.”

After filming, Roda returned to Staten Island to bartend while she figures out her next move. As a new member of the MTV family, she’d love to go on its “Challenge” spinoff, one of the reasons she auditioned in the first place. And she says she can’t wait to meet the “Jersey Shore” cast.

“I drank my weight in rum in St. Thomas and I’m still drying out,” Roda said. “So I haven’t met them yet. But I can’t wait to party with those people. I think they would understand me even better than my roommates.”

 ??  ?? Staten Island’s Marie
Roda is cruisin’ on MTV’s “Real World.”
Staten Island’s Marie Roda is cruisin’ on MTV’s “Real World.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States