Interview with ‘True Life: I’m a Staten Island Girl’ Danielle DiPietro

by Maryann Pisano on June 15, 2011

The MTV series ‘True Life’ has documented the struggle young people have with alcoholism, relationship troubles and even Tourette’s.  In 2006, MTV ran ‘True Life: I’m a Staten Island Girl’ which documented three young women and their life on the island.  Danielle DiPietro was one of the women documented who had big aspirations to become an actress.

Danielle DiPietro

emme:  What was the process for being picked to go on ‘True Life’?

Danielle DiPietro:   [MTV] held an open casting call on Staten Island and auditioned a bunch of girls. However, I found out about it through a friend who suggested I audition. At first I was apprehensive so I just wrote in to explain to them what type of girls they’re actually going to find on this island!  The casting director liked me and asked me to audition. I got on the show based on my e-mails and phone calls.

emme:  What was your main purpose for going on the show?

DD:  [I went on the show] for two reasons. One, I am an actress and thought it would be good publicity. That can never hurt!  And two, I was hoping to take the spot away from some airhead who would make [Staten Island girls] look bad.  If you watched the show, one of the girls seemed to do a pretty good job at doing that all by herself! Well, actually both of them!

emme:  Were people portrayed differently on the show than how they act in real life?

DD:  Absolutely not! Majority of girls on Staten Island act EXACTLY like that. Not saying all, but, those girls are few and far between.

Danielle at MTV studios

emme:  Do you like the way you were portrayed?

DD:  I was very pleased with how I came across.  How I acted on the show is exactly how I am.  It was definitely a true portrayal of my life.  No pun intended!  I want to cringe at the hair choices I made, but that’s about it!

emme:  What was a typical day like filming?

DD:  The [MTV] producers would call me at the beginning of the week to see if I had anything cool going on.  They would then come to my house or wherever I was going, mic me up, and film me!  They documented everything I did.  There was no stopping unless there was an audio or tape problem.  It could be for an hour or twelve hours.

emme:  Has the show opened any doors for you for acting/ modeling projects?

DD:  The show did great things for me!  I was able to go to California and pursue an acting career. I shot multiple independent and feature films.  I modeled a lot for different companies.  I actually shot 4 more follow-up shows for MTV along with hosting 2 countdowns. I was able to walk several red carpets which were freakin’ awesome!  I mean who doesn’t love getting dressed up and posing for flashing lights, right?

emme:  What advice would you give other women who desire to go on a reality show?

DD:  I’d like to say I was on a “documentary” series.  Advice I would give is to try to be very present in the moment while shooting.  If you want to act a certain way and be portrayed in that light, that’s fine.  BUT remember, you are going to be on television for millions of people to pass judgement on you.  Once it’s recorded, it’s set in stone FOREVER!  You can never go back and change it!  What you say and how you act defines the person people view you as.  Unfortunately, now-a-days showing no level of class, idiocracy and immaturity can actually make you a millionaire!  Or in my case a guilty pleasure fan!

True Life:  I'm a Staten Island Girl

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