Twinning is a new reality show premiering tonight, July 22 on VH1. Talk Nerdy With Us chatted with contestants GinaMarie and AnnaMarie Russo about the show as well as their feelings on being twins. Here’s what they had to say.
Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
GinaMarie: “Sure. We obviously do everything together. Outside of Twinning. we have a strong interest in philanthropy. We love event coordinating, event planning and we do a lot of acting.”
AnnaMarie: “All of our acting roles have been together. Not one of us has done a role separate from each other. Sometimes we’ve auditioned for one role and the director loved us so much that they split the character in half, maybe it will have an alter-ego. Or maybe they say ‘You’re the ditzy version of this character or you’re the more assertive version of this character.
I am a junior board member of the Colition for Healthy School Foods in New York. I grew up a vegetarian and now I’m vegan. We’ve introduced plant-based nutrition into New York schools. There has been amazing outcome with the health of these students.
I believe starting healthy eating lifestyles when the children are younger helps them to have that strength when they grow into adulthood. It’s something I’m very passionate about. I want to spread compassion and that’s one of the ways I’m fortunate enough to do that.”
That’s very important, it’s very important that our young people eat healthy. Very commendable for you to get involved with something of that nature.
I’m sure everybody would like to know, can you tell us what the audition process was like for Twinning?
GM: “The audition process was so fun for Twinning. I remember when they were first interested in us. We had to send a home video. We were in New York City and we were showing how we grocery shop together.
Here’s a very funny story for you! While we were taping AnnaMarie was supposed to meet me on the Upper East side from downtown. I told her not to get on the bus or a taxi. I was getting a bad feeling. Sure enough, it had to pull over because the thing broke and we recorded it happening [laughs].”
AM: “I remember running to GinaMarie at the apartment and saying ‘Oh My God, we have to get our video in! I’m so sorry I’m late. Let’s just do literally, no acting, no nothing- A day in the life of twins.
We submitted it and got a call. They flew us out to Los Angeles. That was so much fun, we were on lockdown because we couldn’t see the other twin.”
GM: “We got to learn about ourselves, with each other. Like during the interview process they asked us so many questions, together and separately. We started talking at the same time and it was like ‘Oh cool, me and my twin think exactly alike on this’.
It’s like learning about someone you think you already know everything about. The producers would pick up little attributes about AnnaMarie that I didn’t realize.
They would say ‘Oh, AnnaMarie you’re a little more vocal worrying about GinaMarie. And GinaMarie you keep that to yourself more’. “
Which one of you is older?
GM:”I am one minute older and nonetheless act older.”
What can you guys tell us about any hidden talents that you have that you could share with our readers?
GM:”Well besides reading each other really well , we can just look at each other and tell what the other is thinking. We also have writing skills. We interned together! I used to write about sports and AnnaMarie used to write about art and design.”
AM: “I also play guitar.”
Can you talk about the Twinning experience, how it’s felt for you and what you took away from it?
GM: “Going into Twinning, I had no idea we were going to be separated. It was a very intense experience. The most positive thing, which is number one for me, I know my twin can handle herself being separated from me.
We are ridiculously close. AnnaMarie’s strengths are that she’s more assertive than me, I’m a little more easy-going, a little more laid back and I had a chance to -without giving anything away-I had a chance to switch roles with AnnaMarie.
I learned to do things I never knew I was capable of”.”
Sounds very interesting. I’m sure everyone is going to look forward to seeing how that plays out. Has the Twinning experience brought you two any closer than you already were?
GM: “Totally. I just made me appreciate her more than I could ever imagine. Going into the show we were beyond close. We love each other immensely. We would say any little petty fights we ever had in the past meant nothing compared to not being able to have any type of communication with AnnaMarie. That was devastating enough. Her and her feelings are my priority. I couldn’t get to her when we were living in the other house and I would get ‘twinistics’, they’re called twinistics.”
AM:”Wait till you see! The show’s gonna be awesome. It shows the twinistics between twins living in separate houses.
It did bring GinaMarie and I closer than I could ever of imagined. It reinforced the idea that we are more in sync than I thought we were. I believe Twinning actually brought it to our attention.
We’re not regular people, we’re not singletons. We learned about compromising, like ‘Light on’ because I’m reading or ‘Light off’ because I’m going to bed. We still share a room [laughs]. Just little things like that.”
Who’s more competitive?
AM: “GinaMarie’s more the mastermind, I’m a little more physically competitive.
Twinning brought out our competitive side which is one of the reasons we call ourselves leopardy. Leopards are very fierce. Once that competition got turned on, it was like GinaMarie and I, ‘Go leopardy or go home’.”
How would you describe each other in three words?
GM:”Intelligent, funny and overprotective.”
AM:”Sweet, funny and intelligent.”
Why do you think viewers should watch Twinning? If you weren’t on a contestant on Twinning and you came across this show and you had to encourage someone to tune in, how would you tell them that they should be watching the show?
GM: “Twinning really shows the bond between twins. It’s nothing nothing else. Twinning is the ultimate expression to prove that twinuition does exist. There’s nothing like this show already on TV. I am beyond excited to be part of this experience. I am beyond grateful.”
AM: “I agree with GinaMarie on this, the bond is crazy.”
Can you share any plans you have after Twinning ends?
AM: “GinaMarie and I did feature roles on two movies that are really hilarious. We played twins in each of them. One I believe is coming out at Sundance Film Festival. The other one I’m not sure of the release date.”
GM:”I was asked to be an honoree at The Signature Arthritis Foundation Dinner! I’m really excited about that. I’m working on fundraising and getting together my speech for it. I’m a huge advocate and supporter of Arthritis because I have it. I do everything I can to help progress the research, because sadly there’s no cure for it, only a treatment.”
What is the best thing about being a twin?
GM: “Having a built-in best friend . It was the most critical, essential thing I had growing up! When we went through, you know those awkward teenage phases, we were always motivated to overcome it. We always had each other so we never felt alone.
Our version of alone is ‘I just want to be alone in my room with my twin’. The best thing about being a twin is we motivate each other to do our best. We’re never jealous of each other. We love each other.
We believe in God and I believe we were blessed. Being a twin also helps me be empathetic with people.”