More to the Story:
By Taylor Harrington 2/17/2021 11:11am ET
Sitting down to talk with Amanda Bertoncini was like grabbing a cup of coffee with an old friend. Calling in from her home in New York, Amanda shares her story from starring in Bravo TV Network’s Princesses of Long Island, to hanging out with The Sopranos, and interviewing Paris Hilton.
Amanda has a knack for interviewing celebrities and a passion for journalism and truly believes there is always more to the story. Amanda is grateful for all the lessons that 2020 taught her, and her ability to connect to others on a deeper level has lead to some amazing opportunities in her career, and we cannot wait to follow along in the rest of her journey.
How did you get your start on Bravo TV Network?
I was working in the fashion industry on Seventh Avenue in the city and then I started my own company, which was the Drink Hanky. I was working in the fashion industry and I realized there was definitely a need for accessories. So I started that business and I was really busy doing my day-to-day stuff when someone from Bravo’s team reached out to me on Facebook. That’s how it started. They just said, “Hey, I think you’d be really great for this show , Princesses of Long Island” and I had no clue if I was just doing an appearance in one episode or more. I had no idea. They sent us a form that we had to fill out and we had to say a few things about ourselves. Then yeah, one thing led to another and six months later, we were literally filming, we didn’t even have a pilot. We were just greenlit right into it.
Do you keep in touch with anybody that was on Princesses of Long Island with you?
I still talk to Joey Lauren, she’s someone that I’ll always stay in touch with. I really love her. She’s so real and just so authentically herself and a real go-getter. We always motivate each other, so I’ve stuck with her. She truly is happy for you when good things are going on and that’s really important in a friendship.
Do you keep in touch with anybody else from Bravo, maybe Andy Cohen?
So Andy, I haven’t heard from him, but I’ve met a lot of people just from being at similar events or through mutual friends. Margaret Josephs, The Real Housewives of New Jersey is a big one that I love. She’s super cool, and there’s Julius Michael, who is my best friend and he actually does all the celebrities and Bravolebrities hair for Bravo, so I’ve met a lot of people through him, like I danced my ass off at his wedding with Tamra Judge and Melissa Gorga. It was crazy, it was all the housewives in one room. That night was so much fun.
If you could be on one of the Housewives franchises, which one would you choose?
Oh, New York, of course!
Would you be girls with Sonja Morgan, then?
First of all, I love Sonja, I have her in my phone. I’ve interviewed her for a magazine before and I think she’s just so wonderful. She’s always herself, but if I were to find a wing woman, I don’t know if it would be Sonja because I’m not like that crazy, not that she’s crazy, but she’s just a really fun drinker and I don’t know if I could keep up with her. Hmm, I wonder who I’d be friends with?
I could see you and Leah Mc Sweeney hitting it off!
I really want to do a TikTok music video with her, that’s my goal. When she danced with Tinsley and I was like oh my god, Leah you are so my kind of chick. Secretly I think I loved seeing Tinsley do it. You would never expect her to break out of her shell like that, I think Leah really takes her out of it.
If you had to be quarantined with three housewives from any franchise, who would you choose?
Tamra because she’s really fun and she would have really good CBD. Let’s see, who else? Definitely Margaret Josephs and Porsha Williams. I’m loving Porsha more than ever lately. I became really obsessed with her after a few seasons. I think it was after the whole Kenya thing happened at the reunion, I feel like she really came into her own and didn’t take crap from anyone. Everything Porsha says is hilarious, she has the best one-liners, and she’s also out there making a difference. She made me cry watching back what was going on and what she was doing for Black Lives Matter. I was very emotional watching. She’s my number one right now.
The message that she’s getting out there is so important with everything going on in America, so it’s just like Praise God, because people are watching her. Atlanta is the top watched Housewives show, so she’s getting the message out there and it’s amazing. I’m right there with you on your love for Porsha!
Can you tell me about your run-ins with some of The Sopranos?
Joe Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore, and I ended up cooking together. I was working for CBS Radio at the time and I had a segment that I still have now, It’s called The Tea with Amanda B, and before Covid we went to Matteos, which is a Big Restaurant here on Long Island. Joe was cooking at all of these different restaurants and making appearances, so I did a commercial for it for CBS Radio and I ended up hosting the event with him. I didn’t cook like he was cooking, but it looked like I was cooking.
I also interviewed Vincent Pastore, Big Pussy, from The Sopranos and he is the coolest guy. He’s the best. I interviewed him at Resorts World Casino for the Cigars Under the Stars event. It’s was all these Italian guys and they were all smoking their cigars, and here I am interviewing him and he really appreciated how I could pronounce his name because I’m Italian. He gave me some props for that.
I saw that you interviewed Paris Hilton pretty recently, what was that like?
I interviewed her once before on the red carpet and she was so lovely, and then I got an opportunity to interview her again for her single “I Blame You”. It was funny, and I didn’t tell her this because I didn’t want her to get weirded out, but I was staying at The Hilton at that time I interviewed her, so I wasn’t in my studio or anything because I was moving myself from Florida to New York. She was wonderful. She was the realest she’s ever been. Have you seen the documentary? It’s something that when I first started watching it, I knew she was going to reveal something, but I didn’t know it was going to be what she experienced at those private schools and the abuse that she experienced. It’s something that I would have never imagined because she’s kind of like this perfect image, right? It’s like, nothing goes bad in her life, it’s all rainbows and unicorns, but in reality, she was as an adolescent being abused. She never spoke about it or anything and that’s also probably why she rebelled during that period of time, when she was younger. Her mom didn’t even know what she went through. She was very open about that when I spoke to her. You can tell in the interview that she’s never been more herself and that she’s happily in love.
It’s so great when you get to see everybody succeed, right? Everybody has a story. That’s the thing with this whole magazine, I really want people to see that there is a bigger story than just the face you’re seeing on the TV. There’s a person behind the reality star, there’s a story behind the actor, there’s a reason why Paris was acting out when she was.
That’s interesting that you say that because that’s also why I wanted to do journalism and be a correspondent and be a host. Because of my experience on TV with Bravo, and being a radio host, I interview in a way where I can understand what you went through, because I’ve been through some stuff myself. I want to hear what other people might not know. There is always another side to the story, you’re right.
What are your current projects?
Before quarantine, I was actually going to restaurants and different places and showing you what’s trending in New York City. Obviously now, it’s a lot different because we’re going through a pandemic. So now I’m going to be in the studio, and I’m going to have different segments and have people come in or interview virtually. It’s going to be a new show, “What’s Happening, New York”.
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