Caroline Manzo is the ultimate matriarch.
Despite being absent from The Real Housewives of New Jersey since her Season 5 departure in 2013, the reality star remains one of the most beloved personalities in the Bravo franchise thanks to her family loyalty and commitment to telling it exactly how it is.
Manzo spoke exclusively with OK! during the first day of BravoCon 2022 to dish on a potential return to the series, her decades-long friendship with Dolores Catania and her new phase of life as a grandmother.
"It would have to be the right scenario," the Manzo'd with Children alum notes of coming back to RHONJ. "I did get asked back this past season but I declined. I'm at a point in my life where I do things that make me happy. If I'm not happy, I'm not gonna do it. I'm not going to put myself in that position."
However, it does seem like there's a glimmer of hope for her to be a full-time cast member at some point down the road. "Never say never — but it's not on my radar," Manzo explained.
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Despite the Brooklyn native not being on screen at the moment, she is more than happy her longtime bestie is. "I wanted Dolores from Season 1," she spills about Catania joining the cast. "She was offered Season 1 but she turned it down. I was a big soldier for her to try and get on [the show]."
"When she got back on, she knew exactly what the equation was," Manzo says of the philanthropist who joined the franchise in Season 7. "She was in a couple of episodes in the past. She understood the job and she understood the journey."
These days, Manzo is focused solely on her favorite job of all time: being a grandma to Lauren Manzo's 5-year-old daughter, Marchesa Anna Scalia.
"She's the love of my life!" Manzo exclaims of her first grandbaby. "I would jump in front of a train for that child. She is the brightest light in our world and just so special in so many ways. We really hit the jackpot."