In the opening scenes of the new MTV reality show “Made in Staten Island,” Karina Seabrook is shown chatting with her grandfather about her college plans, the weather and everyday life in her home borough.
It’s a normal family interaction — except that her grandfather is Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, the recently-paroled underboss of the Gambino crime family who spent more than 17 years in prison on drug charges.
Modal TriggerSalvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano in 2005.
Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano in 2005.AP
“We talk weekly,” Seabrook, 19, told The Post. “It’s nice to be able to call him since I had so much time away from him.”
“Made in Staten Island,” which premieres Monday, follows Seabrook and a dozen other local teenagers and early-20-somethings grappling with whether they can fully escape their families’ criminal backgrounds as they enter adulthood. Seabrook, for her part, is faced with the prospect of going away to college and leaving tight-knit Staten Island, which she finds steeped in mob culture — people constantly ask about her grandfather and his connections.
“But to me, he’s just my grandfather,” she said. “Nothing else matters.”
The brunette knows what a difference a change in scenery can make. She was actually born and raised in Arizona, where her father is from, and moved to Staten Island in 2014 to be closer to her mother’s family. Seabrook met many of her now-fellow cast members, such as the outspoken Kayla and fun-loving Dennie, at Tottenville HS.
She got to know some of the others through their families, which she said shows the difference between a place like Arizona — “where everyone’s just kind of doing their own thing” — and Staten Island, “where everyone knows each other’s business.
Jacket, $1,625, and swimsuit worn as top, $360, both at MISBHV, Jeans, similar styles $395 at Opening Ceremony, Sandals, $995 at Giuseppe Zanotti, Necklace $275, and choker, $295 at Mounser.Tamara Beckwith/NY Post
“There’s a family feel here,” added Seabrook, who lives at home with her mother in the Old Town neighborhood. “Like one big Sunday dinner.”
While drama promises to flow freely through the series, Seabrook has the restrained wisdom of a second-generation reality star. Her mother, Karen Gravano, appeared on the VH1 show “Mob Wives,” which was about the spouses and daughters of mob-affiliated men. The ladies were often seen turning against one another in heated shouting matches. But while Karen, who split up with Karina’s father when their only daughter was 10 years old, is known as a table-flipping hothead, Karina is more prone to icy glances than getting physical.