Parkville mother-daughter duo star in new VH1 reality show 'Mama Drama'
Gina Obrien, daughter Marcella Peters are two of a kind
Marcella Peters, 26, (left) and her mother, Gina Obrien, 49, are featured in the new VH1 reality show, "Mama Drama." (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun / July 13, 2012)
Unless you consider the clothes. You're pretty much forced to consider the clothes, which cry out for attention. The two wear matching outfits. All the time. Head to toe. From the artificial hibiscus flowers in their hair to their orange sandals (they have 225 matching pairs of shoes).
And their matching mani-pedis.
Pajamas? "Matchy-matchy," Obrien says Thursday afternoon in their Parkville home.
"Mom, we have the same bras," Peters says, laughing.
"If [stores] don't have two, we don't buy it," Obrien says.
These two are made for "Mama Drama," which is perhaps why, a year ago, they responded to a casting call for "mothers and daughters who do everything together." They were called by casting directors 15 minutes after they sent pictures of themselves. It helps that they're gorgeous — tall, slender, tan.
They eventually went to live in Las Vegas with four other mother-daughter pairs for about six weeks, filmed 24-7, doing what you do in Las Vegas (the trailer for the series, which premieres this Wednesday, is heavy on bar-hopping; it's from the same production company behind MTV's "Jersey Shore").
Peters and Obrien, originally from Towson, would not go into specifics about what took place during the show, but the trailer is guilty-pleasure-engrossing — and not entirely safe for work. One mom sucks down shots with a her daughter at a bar, and the same mom reveals she wears diapers while going out so she doesn't have to take a bathroom break while partying. Peters and Obrien are shown entering the Vegas house in matching outfits. A quick cut shows the other mother-daughter pairs speechless about their look.
The two called filming the 10-episode show the experience of a lifetime. On the show's website, VH1 promotes it by saying the "over-the-top mother/daughter pairs will leave you wondering, who is the 'grown-up' and who is the child?"
"We're best friends, and we always have been," says Peters, 26, an aspiring singer. "She's like a sister to me, but ..."
"... but there are boundaries," adds Obrien, a substitute school bus driver who is 49 but looks at least 10 years younger. (Yes, they complete each others' sentences, too.) "Everything we do, there's no regrets. I've raised her so that I would send her off and she'll always do the right thing."
"You did good, Mom," Peters says, and the two high-five.
Obrien has always dressed her daughter in outfits that match hers, and her daughter has never complained. In fact, she loves it. If Peters has a daughter, they say, they'd all three dress alike.
Peters describes it as their hobby. They go out to eat together, go out to bars together, shop together. Wherever they go, they say, they always garner a lot of attention (especially from men). And they always dress alike. Always. They're never apart, minus "the shower and sleeping," they say. (For the record, Obrien is married; she is divorced from Peters' father, but Peters says she remains close to her dad.)
And sure, they call themselves over-the-top. They call their dresses over-the-top. They call the bedazzled cups they made for a private premiere party they're throwing this week over-the-top.
But these are the other words they use to describe themselves: "down-to-earth," "fun," "easygoing," "humble," "classy."
They're also kind and welcoming. "Want a plate of spaghetti and meatballs?" Obrien offers with a look of concern, as though you haven't eaten for days.
Peters says most people initially see her and her mom as stuck up, but after getting to know them discover the pair are the opposite of what they expected.
"We're always positive people. We just love being with each other," Peters says.
"We're like bookends," Obrien says.
"Sidekicks," Peters says.
In the days leading up to the "Mama Drama" premiere, the two say they've had constant butterflies in their stomachs. They're also excited about "poppin' champagne" at the premiere party. "The best part is what's to come ... a bright future," says Peters.
"I couldn't agree more," Obrien says, looking at her daughter lovingly.
Before the future comes, there's more "matchy-matchy." They both want Range Rovers. Both white. With license plates reading "Mama" for Obrien and "Drama" for Peters.
"We're ready for the mama drama," Obrien says.
Premiere airs at 11 p.m. Wednesday on VH1.