Q+A with Maria Menounos

The Dancing with the Stars celeb talks broken ribs, WrestleMania, and Bill Belichick.

Maria Menounos of Dancing with the Stars

Maria Menounos of Dancing with the Stars.

MEDFORD’S OWN Maria Menounos has been everywhere lately: cohosting Extra with Mario Lopez, competing on Dancing with the Stars against the likes of Jaleel White (Urkel, as you know him), dropping elbows on the WWE, and launching AfterBuzzTV, a website specializing in video recaps of TV shows. For all we know, she may also be angling for a spot on the Patriots coaching staff.

I was just watching your WrestleMania clip from the other night. How are you feeling?
Um, like I normally do on a Tuesday morning: like a bus hit me and someone beat me up with a bat.

That might have actually happened.
I know, it’s crazy. Within 24 hours I was wrestling in front of 80,000 people, and then I was on Dancing with the Stars in front of 20 million or so people.

See, you’re confusing my inner 12-year-old. On the one hand, I’m like, “WrestleMania, awesome!” But then it’s like, “Oh, Dancing with the Stars?” You’re just all over the place with the 12-year-old- boy demographic right now.
Hilarious. I’m actually more comfortable wrestling than I am dancing. That comes from having so many male cousins.

As we’re talking, it’s early April. Everybody around the office is insisting that you’re a lock to still be on Dancing with the Stars when this interview runs in May.
Thanks! I hope so. Honestly, I have the greatest partner, Derek Hough. I just have to hang in, and my body has to hang in.

You broke a few ribs in dancing rehearsal. How are they feeling?
I try not to think about it. It’s what I learned from my dad. He is a type 1 diabetic and would fall into low-blood-sugar comas—he would literally die, be revived, rip off the IV, and then go back to work cleaning nightclubs. And that was just to feed us, not to go have fun.

Do you have any other problems besides the ribs?
Nothing I want to talk about. You start to feel like you’re made of papier-mâché, and it’s so embarrassing. I’m definitely dealing with some other stuff, but powering through.

Not disclosing the injury! That’s Belichickian.
Yeah, I follow Bill Belichick very closely. You have to keep your mouth shut. No one wants to hear someone whining. Stay home.

Is it harder to wrestle or dance with broken ribs?
Actually, I hurt myself more dancing. Last night there was this crazy-fast dip, and it hurt every time Derek did it. With wrestling, I was worried about my finishing move, but adrenaline helped and I actually felt safer doing that than dancing. You can’t explain it without giving up trade secrets.

Do you mix well with the other contestants on Dancing?
Oh my God, yes! Every Monday night we do our after-parties at this place called Mixology 101 at the Grove, and AfterBuzzTV, my online platform, recaps live from there. Last Monday night we all went out and celebrated, danced on a few tables in a lot of pain.

Please tell me that Urkel was dancing on a table, because that would make me so happy.
He was out [with us] last week, but I didn’t see him dancing on a table.

Has it occurred to you that you’re on one show with Urkel and on another with A. C. Slater?
No, actually, it hasn’t. That’s funny. I can’t say that I thought about it before, but now I’ll be thinking about it.

So how long do they think it’ll be before your ribs fully heal?
They said it’ll take a few months. I’m taking enormous amounts of calcium and all that stuff, and I’m wearing my brace all the time. Some days I feel like everything’s starting to get better, and then someone will bear hug me and I regress. Like right now, it hurts to breathe. You know, it is what it is.

It is what it is. Belichickian. That’s pretty good.
Thank you.