Exclusive interview: Mick & Noelle Foley look back on their Holy Foley experience
Holy Foley is here! With WWE fans everywhere binge watching the new family reality show on WWE Network, Mick and Noelle Foley sat down with WWE.com to discuss the behind-the-scenes ups and downs, the hilarity that ensued, and what's next for the show and their family.
WWE.COM: Were there any big adjustments either of you had to make while shooting Holy Foley?
NOELLE FOLEY: Waking up early. I’m used to waking up at 11 a.m. or noon, but sometimes [for Holy Foley] we have to be up really early and I need to get my makeup done … and then, 20 people in our house at all times.
WWE.COM: Does that get cramped?
NOELLE: Very cramped.
MICK FOLEY: I thought it was very smooth [Noelle laughs]. I missed it when it was gone – like, “What are we gonna do when all these people aren’t here?” We enjoyed the crew so much that it felt like a big family.
NOELLE: Everyone was so sweet. We were kind of scared in the beginning, like, “What if we don’t like them, because we are going to be stuck with them for three months?” But everyone was super-cool; we all got along and we were all friends.
WWE.COM: Mick, you’ve had experiences similar to this in the past, whether it be in film or on television. Would you say those experiences helped prepare you for Holy Foley?
MICK: Yeah, I’m thinking specifically of “Celebrity Wife Swap,” which was a really fun experience. I think we were the only family that wished the experiment could have gone on longer.
NOELLE: Yeah, that was a lot of fun. But filming Holy Foley was very different for me. During “Celebrity Wife Swap,” it was like the kids were in the background. And now, it’s kind of like I’m almost the star of Holy Foley which is kind of amazing that they would want a show based around me and my dad.
MICK: It was definitely Mr. McMahon who loved the chemistry between the two of us. He saw me and Noelle in some footage together, and he thought it would make for a great entry into a family reality show for WWE. Some fans are aware that I kind of go in and out of favor, but deep down, Mr. McMahon has always liked me, always respected me, and he wanted to know if I would like to work with the company again.
WWE.COM: How did you respond to that?
MICK: I said, “Sure, I would love it.” That has really created a nice period where now I’ve become the General Manager of Raw and look forward to many happy years with WWE, and it all started because [Mr. McMahon] saw the footage and believed he had something there.
WWE.COM: The whole family is involved in Holy Foley, though. How did the rest of the clan take to the filming of the show?
MICK: We were really comfortable with the idea that it was going to mostly feature me and Noelle, and that the younger kids would have kind of a background role.
NOELLE: Mickey and Huey, they were tough – “We don’t wanna do this!” “You can’t force us to!” But if you bribe them with food, it becomes, “We’ll do anything!”
MICK: They got really comfortable, especially during the interview segments. And the cast [and crew] was saying, “We should just have an episode of their conversations.”
NOELLE: They would bury us! They buried everyone in our family! “Noelle and Dad, they don’t do anything with us!” “Noelle hasn’t taken us to the movies in years!” After they were finished I was like, “Guys, I took you to the movies last weekend!” And they were all, “Oh yeah, we forgot.”
MICK: And then I have to produce these volumes of photo albums showing all the places we’ve gone. Yearly trips to Santa’s Village, no family has more roller coaster photos that the Foleys do, and they would tag along on my WWE trips sometimes.
NOELLE: Those were the best trips.
MICK: I remember the first time they were doing a scene where my son Huey, who is a well-fed child [laughs], was claiming that he was wasting away. He’s going, “Mom, there is nothing left of me! I look like a stick!” I can see that people are looking into the monitors suppressing a laugh, and I said, “You had no idea he was funny?” They said, “No, this is a bonus!”
WWE.COM: It’s great that they can bring such an interesting dynamic to the show.
MICK: Oh yeah, the two of them together. Huey’s a wise guy, and Mickey’s so earnest that they kind of play off each other like they’re a comedy team. So, although they’re not featured, I do look forward to them stealing some scenes.
WWE.COM: You both have very vibrant and popular characters as partners, but who would you say the better tag team partner is: Mr. Socko or Noelle’s boyfriend, Frank the Clown?
NOELLE: Well, I’ve only been dating Frank for a little over two years. How long has Mr. Socko been with you, Dad?
MICK: He has been with me since 1998.
WWE.COM: We’re rounding on 20 years …
MICK: Yeah, and the difference is thousands of people cheer when Mr. Socko arrives.
NOELLE: Okay, Dad … can you find love from Mr. Socko? Can Mr. Socko cuddle you and tell you “I love you?"
MICK: Eww … Frank does that?
NOELLE: Uhhh, yeah.
NOELLE: What kind of relationship would it be if he didn’t? Cuddling is my favorite thing in the world, Dad.
MICK: Yeah, well … smiling is my favorite.
NOELLE: I like to smile a lot, too. That’s probably second on my list.
MICK: I have a list of things I’d like to do today that includes ice skating, eating a roll of …
MICK & NOELLE: [together] … cookie-dough …
MICK: … making snow angels …
WWE.COM: Mick, Noelle has gained a lot of popularity through social media over the past several years that will obviously only increase now. How do you take to that as a father, especially when it’s from the male portion of the WWE Universe?
MICK: Yeah, it’s already been happening for the past few years, and you learn to live with statements like, “How did she come from that?”
NOELLE: Yeah, I see that comment at least five times a day, every day.
MICK: Like I’m the most hideous creature who has ever lived. I’ll see some things like, “Mick Foley, you know your daughter is hot?” And I’m like, “Why not use a different word to a father?”
NOELLE: It’s so weird when people tag my dad in comments.
MICK: Especially if they’re saying something negative about her.
NOELLE: Or sexual.
MICK: All of this is from people not knowing her, though. If you did know her, it would be very hard to say something negative.
NOELLE: Thanks, Dad.
MICK: You’re welcome.
WWE.COM: One of the central themes of Holy Foley is Noelle’s pursuit of WWE Superstardom. Mick, what was your initial response upon hearing that this is something your daughter was interested in?
MICK: It was shock and dismay, because I thought just the way I walked was a real advertisement for finding a different line of work. [Turns to Noelle.] But you can explain what you love about WWE. Go ahead.
NOELLE: I watched [my dad] when I was younger, but then I stopped [watching] for a long time. I started watching again around 2010 or 2011, and like, really watching it every single week. So just watching it all, being backstage and meeting everyone … I have just always loved it. Like I said earlier, so many people look up to him, and I would love for people to look up to me.
WWE.COM: Would you say you have ambitions to be a role model?
NOELLE: It’s crazy because people already do look up to me. If somebody is having a bad day, they’ll, like, direct-message me.
MICK: “Noelle, can you help?”
MICK: Because they sense a kindness there.
NOELLE: It’s mostly girls, and they’ll say, “Noelle, I’m crying, thank you so much. You’re the sweetest; you’re an inspiration to me.” I’m like, “Oh my God, I can do this just from answering someone?” That’s amazing.
MICK: But if she doesn’t answer, there was a woman who said, “@NoelleFoley, Can you do something for me?” Then, “@NoelleFoley, You’re so beautiful.” And then, by the fourth message, it was like, “@NoelleFoley, you hideous gigantic woman.”
NOELLE: Because I didn’t answer them.
MICK: And it just kept getting progressively worse.
NOELLE: I think she did 20 aggressive tweets at me. And she would [post] pictures of me and be like, “You fat cow.”
WWE.COM: It’s a good skill to be able to block that stuff out, especially if you want to be a WWE Superstar. Obviously, though, a lot of becoming a WWE Superstar is physical too. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of it on the show, but how did you take to training?
NOELLE: I wasn’t a quick learner.
MICK: Neither was I.
NOELLE: I think I got that from you. It took time to get everything correct, and it was very painful. I deal with some injuries that you’ll find out about. It was hard to overcome them, but I sucked it up and got through it.
MICK: Yeah, one of the issues we had is Noelle would not stop smiling.
NOELLE: Oh, yeah. That was probably my biggest issue. I love to smile.
MICK: And, I hate to say it, but when she was injured, she did stop smiling.
NOELLE: Yeah, because I was crying [laughs].
MICK: That was hard to see. It was really heartbreaking. There are some moments of great sadness in the show. Few and far between, but I think viewers will take a vested interest in the characters of the show and therefore feel for them – be happy for them when they’re doing well, and feel for them when they go through tough times. There are a few tough times in there, even a couple rocky father/daughter moments. And when I say ”rocky,” I don’t mean “Balboa.”
WWE.COM: Would you say the experience made you closer?
NOELLE: Yeah! I think it made us closer.
MICK: I think so, too.
NOELLE: I think our downs made our ups higher.
MICK: Yeah, because we never really had downs before. We really didn’t. We always got along so well. I think going through some tough times together made us appreciate those good times even more.
WWE.COM: Would you want a second season of “Holy Foley”?
MICK: We would love to do another season. It’s all dependent on people watching …
NOELLE: … and how they like it. So, hopefully everybody likes it!