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  • Beth Delany

Q&A with: Cristina Bertolli

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Photo: Cristina Bertolli, TLC

You might not think your life is reality television material until a casting call comes along that nearly perfectly personified your life (and your mom's). You could say that's what happened to Chicago's mother-daughter duo Cristina Bertolli and Kathy Crispino.

Cristina and her mom Kathy, who live just five houses down from each other and are mulling over matching breast augmentations, took a leap of faith to feature their relationship on TLC's new family-oriented show, sMothered. The series follows four mother-daughter duos as their sometimes too-close-for-comfort relationship is examine under the microscope.

But when audiences witness Cristina and Kathy's relationship (and their whole family) under the microscope, it all comes back to love for this Italian American household. And for Cristina, who is busy being a wife and mother to her own three children, there's no other way she'd have it.

Here, Cristina looks back on her small screen experience alongside mom Kathy.

Why were you and your mom a good fit for "sMothered"? My mom and I have this over-the-top relationship. She is my best friend and is my first phone call for everything. I thought that made us unique in the sense [that] other moms and daughters are close, but they don't have the strong bond we have. I see my mom every day, seven days a week and I think that made us unique.

What did you learn about the relationship with your mom from watching it back on television? Great question -- no one's ever asked me that. I was happy to see that our relationship is as real as I feel it is. Seeing the way we interact on camera... that's really us. We laugh all the time, we make a lot of jokes that people don't understand. We have so much fun and it was so great to actually see it on camera, because you go day-to-day [not] knowing what it looks like. This is really us.

What's been the best part of this experience with your family? Having the memories is the best experience so far. Knowing that we did this together... who gets to film together on TV? For our family to be together doing this and making memories together is the best experience out of [filming the show]. It's just fun and life-changing.

What values from your family can viewers adopt and apply to their own? Everyone thinks we're crazy, over-the-top Italians but the truth is, coming from an Italian American family, we [know] how important family is and how important it is to make the time to be with your children, to be with your mother and to spend time with them. It's hard to believe when you're a teenager -- and I say this to young girls -- but your mother wants the best for you. Maybe [you] should listen to [your] mom and [you] can have a better relationship. There's always going to be rough patches, but we really show how important family is. We all stay together and stick together.

"sMothered" airs Sundays on TLC at 9:00 p.m.


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