Maria Menounos and her husband, Kevin Undergaro, have been married since 2017, so their five-year anniversary is coming up in 2022. She admits they’ll do something special to celebrate, but right now, her focus is on the holidays. She actually recently partnered with Marshalls and T.J. Maxx to share some of her gifting and fashion must-haves this season, and we love the advice she gave HollywoodLife in this EXCLUSIVE new interview. Plus, she shares her thoughts on Kim Kardashian‘s new romance with Pete Davidson and what it was like recently working with Kevin on a new movie.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: You recently partnered with Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, so what are some must-have gifts for the holiday season this year?
MARIA MENOUNOS: Partnering with T.J. Maxx and Marshalls is perfect for me because I have been a lifelong fan and shopper there and they really do have everything for everybody on your list. So, I have been showing everybody all that I got for people because I am so excited, but I started and did a lot of online shopping on T.J. Maxx and Marshalls’ websites this year. Because I haven’t really had the chance to go in stores as much as I would like, but normally I like going into the store. But some must-have gifts, I got my dad a massager and I know he will use it on his recliner, he will be so happy. I think guys are usually the hardest to buy for and then you guys think it is hard to buy for us, but I think we are easy. But for the lady in your life, we have had a very stressful year or so, so I think the gift of cozy or a throw or some fresh towels since no one buys towels, so I think some really nice towels would be nice. Put a nice Christmas bow on them or a cozy robe, some slippers or candles. And then for entertaining, you can get a cheese board and some cool mugs. So those are some of them. You can get a fun doggy tent for the animal in your life, it is just fun. Dog sweaters, lots of great wrapping paper and bows, as I am always running out of gift bags and stuff like that.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: If you could be materialistic this year, what would you want from Santa Claus?
MARIA MENOUNOS: I think I already got it all, but I have been shopping online at T.J. Maxx Runway and then I don’t know if you know about T.J. Maxx Runway, but that is where you can get the real lux stuff, so I got some cool boots. [They] might be my favorite boots. But I would love a sweater dress and earrings. I got a lot of little, tiny earrings, I love tiny earrings. They are really fashionable and cool. I bought myself a bunch of wardrobes. Because I am from Massachusetts and T.J. Maxx and Marshalls has been a part of my life forever. So, all their new lines and cool stuff, I love seeing it all. But I think boots and jewelry would be my favorites this year.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Are there any fun or new holiday traditions that you are looking forward to this year?
MARIA MENOUNOS: You know, the holidays have been challenging the last few years with my mom being sick and so, there have been a lot of ups and downs and twists. I mean, last Thanksgiving and Christmas — well, not Christmas, but Thanksgiving, both my parents were in the hospital with Covid. And then Christmas was just me taking care of them while they were healing, and it was really a rough, rough time. So, I feel like we are starting new traditions now and so we are in the transition where we don’t know what to do because it is the first year without my mom and without my uncle and all this stuff, so I think this is the year we are getting through and then next year we will have a brand new slate to start from.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: On your podcast, ‘Better Together’, it is very health focused. You have had health issues with a brain tumor — how are you feeling now in your health journey?
MARIA MENOUNOS: Good! I think I am more focused on it than ever and the show really keeps me on track. I have the best experts coming in every day — every day I am learning something new and applying it. There is an accumulation effect that keeps happening, so I am trying to get healthier and healthier and even when you are trying like I am, things happen. So, my A1C levels were climbing, so I had to cut sugar and do all these adjustments so that’s how precious your health is, even when you are trying how hard I am, it is still something that could go wrong. So, you have to guard your health and wellness. Your health is attached to all the stresses, so my A1C levels were in part because taking care of my mom and the stress of losing her. So, I had to along with eliminating sugar, I had to cut back on my stress level. So, it is a huge focus for me, and it is my mission and passion to help anyone I can to prevent, recover or heal whatever the case is because it is the most important thing in the world for us.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: You have a wedding anniversary coming up — how can you top your Times Square wedding on National TV on NYE?
MARIA MENOUNOS: Thanks for the reminder! (LAUGHTER) Keven is so crazy, so I just did a holiday movie called The Holiday Fix Up, and he had a small role in it and he threw some Howard Stern lines in there. I was like, ‘Honey you can’t do that…’ It got cut, but how do we top that? It is really hard. Honestly, our weddings for people who put it off for so long and it was never really going to happen. We were going to Goldie and Kurt it forever. We really had two special weddings for New Year’s Eve and our wedding in Greece. I think about our wedding in Greece maybe every other day. It was one of the most unbelievable days. So much pure love. I wish every bride could have that kind of wedding.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: What can you tease about your new film, ‘The Holiday Fix Up’?
MARIA MENOUNOS: Well my husband plays Nick the Snowman — he is the man who makes the snow. And then of course it is really cute and fun and we got to shoot it in Connecticut in July and I had the chance to be back home and be with my dad and it was hard with my mom passing in May and I was home in June and that whole time in between I was really sad, and I wanted to be here. So, the movie was God’s little way of getting me back here and to do something on my bucket list and something I wanted to do which was a holiday movie and to be able to work with really lovely people. Everyone was incredible and it was very healing, and it gave me something to look forward to this holiday and to know that I have this fun holiday movie that’s coming out. So, it has been great, and I am going to throw myself a big premiere party at my house. Ad will gave a holiday party and it will be fun.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: You are one of the few celebs that have been pretty amazing in the wrestling ring, what are the chances for that to happen again?
MARIA MENOUNOS: Well, you never know but I think they are pretty slim now because I think I am in that phase where I will do my hosting and stuff like that. I think they are a little nervous about the whole tumor thing. I was going to make a run for the title, and they were like, ‘Yeah that isn’t going to happen’. I mean Bad Bunny did great, so I am glad that I got that opportunity. It was really the highlight of my life to be on the top rope at WrestleMania. It was insane. I am just really glad to be a part of that family. I love them so much.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: As we get closer to 2022, what has been your pop culture moment of this year. Is it Kim and Pete, Kourtney and Travis or something else? What are your thoughts of them as a couple?
MARIA MENOUNOS: You know I am up on it, but I don’t jones for it. I am jonesing for the Patriots. They are doing great. Seeing Mac Jones, every game he is coming harder and harder, and it is so exciting as a fan, To see us do so well and him being so crisp, so quickly. It is incredible to watch. They are going to the Super Bowl, I really believe it. Look I am happy for Kourtney, being engaged and actually happy. Just seeing her in so much mad love. It gives me so much joy, so I think I am really happy for her, and I am really happy for Kim. I want her to have happiness as well, but Kourtney I think this is really cool for her.