Jill Zarin Is ‘the Jewish Momma Version’ of Atticus Finch, Says Daughter Ally

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

We're not going to lie: We're kind of excited about tonight's Real Housewives of New York reunion. The promo indicated that there will be tears and tension (Kelly has already offered Bethenny a backhanded compliment to People: “To be her age in New York [and] single is not easy. But she’s doing a great job enjoying her life”), and naturally, we'll do our part to commemorate this event tomorrow by providing a transcript of whatever shenanigans occur. In the meantime, we exchanged e-mails with one of our favorite ancillary characters, Jill's daughter Ally Shapiro, to find out a little bit about what being on the show felt like for her. Here's what she said.

Okay, so what are the best and worst aspects of being on the show?
There are many pros and cons. While filming the show you never think, "Wait, all of my friends are going to see this ... oh, and my teachers, enemies, BOYS, family, etc.," until it airs on TV. So, on the finale there was a "sex" scene. That part was hard to watch, especially while those thoughts were in the back of my head. Besides that, the show has opened so many seemingly locked doors; I went to Albany last week and met with seven senators and met Governor Paterson to lobby for the Styrofoam Bill. Without the show I probably would have never done that.

Was Kelly really as rude as she seemed in the charity meeting?
Initially, it did seem rude when she called arthritis "cute," but I think she meant that I was cute .... She felt uncomfortable at that meeting, and I guess reacts differently when she is in those situations. Of course, if we didn't have a reality show and didn't see it five months later, I'm sure no one would have second-guessed it.

Are you friends with the other kids on the show? Like Ramona's daughter Avery?
All of the other girls are really sweet and we only have each other to relate to, like our mothers have each other. I see Noel a lot (LuAnn's son) and always ask him if he needs anything or wants to hang out.

Do you have a lot of fans, other than us? And if so, are they crazy?
I do have lots of fans. I am on Twitter — twitter.com/AllyZarin — and i get a lot of feedback there. I have had one "crazy" fan on Facebook, but besides that all the feedback and the fans have been supportive. I have a blog, ItsAllyZarinS.wordpress.com, so they comment there. I have a lot of support from the arthritis community and young girls and their parents. I am starting to sell my photography, so they go there to purchase it. One of my dreams is to own a gallery with my photographs in it!

Who is your favorite Housewife, other than your mom?
The housewives are all amazing. But I have spent the most time with Bethenny, and we bond all the time. My mom and her are best friends and we have been on a few vacations together. She is so unique, fun, has a huge heart, and is definitely an overachiever.

Is your mom different offscreen?
My mom is "exactly the same in her house as outside of it." Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Atticus Finch, anyone? Well, this is the Jewish-momma version. She is loud, truthful, and loving, exactly as you would expect her. And even if I don't agree with her or find her annoying, she is definitely NOT a hypocrite, something she should be proud of. So basically, take it or leave it, she is someone that if you love her, you LOVE HER, and if you don't ... well, you don't.