Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of shows like The Bachelor? Well Lifetime is giving us a fictional look at just that in their new scripted series UnREAL premiers June 1 10/9C. UnREAL follows the antics of the producers and contestants of a dating show called "Everlasting." I had the chance to sit down with one of UnREAL's stars, Breeda Wool to get the behind the scenes low down on the must see sure to be hit of the summer.
"UnREAL is a behind the scenes look at a reality dating show and it follows the producer, Rachel, played by Shiri Appleby, and it examines how she can really pull out good TV from these contestants. And the contestants or comprised of women of all walks of life. There are 26 of us and some of us were recruited, some of us were submitted. Every woman is there for her own motives. Some of them really believe in the dream of Everlasting, where they will marry this beautiful young prince played by Freddy Sttoma. And the other people are there for notoriety, for the fame, for the attention, and some people don't really know why they're there."
Breeda also gave me the inside scoop on her character on the show.
"My name is Faith in the story and I'm one of the ones that's been recruited. I was not seeking this out full blast like some of the other girls. I'm from a little town in Mississippi and I'm a barrel racer in the Mississippi rodeo. And my church, with some convincing from the Everlasting producers, raised money for me to get more womanly boobs. Boobs as God intended. I'm very inexperienced as dater. Nothing happens in my town, nothing happens to me anyway. And I'm very isolated, where I'm from. So I buy into this idea of competing with a bunch of other women for the love of this one man. But I realize, once I get there, the other women have basically worn a dress before and I'm basically a dude in a jumpsuit."
So does this barrel-racing, church-going, tomboy, Faith, have a chance at winning the show?
"There isn't another Faith walking around out there. In my mind I am a barrel racer. I might seem meek and vulnerable in my youth, but I have the base qualities to win this show. I have the base qualities to rise to the challenge. There's a lot of things that make it seem like I would back down, but I don't feel like would back down. There are a lot of contestants that crumble, and I think that on Everlasting, their put into a pressure cooker and everyone's true character comes out as a result. In my story, as Faith, I think my true character is something that is worthwhile and could help me"
Breeda had an interesting take on whether she would ever venture onto a real dating show similar to "Everlasting" in real life.
"When I used to do theater in New York I used to do a lot of antagonistic work - where we would go out into the audience or into the street and a lot of the theater was to play with the performance and people's expectations of the performance and when people are performing. I considered way back applying for a reality show and then coming up with a wild performance piece. I think people come up with this fully intact performance piece and no one knows what's real or not. I think I would want to experiment with developing a character, which no one knows whether they're real or not. I think that's what happens on UnREAL as well. People set out too manipulate and by the end no one knows what's real anymore. You get caught up in the competition. We're completely isolated from our family. They take away our phone. And we have no idea what's going to in the real world. And out whole reality become this unreality. We can't help but get wrapped up in it. There's no option to be genuine. And even in your efforts to be genuine, you're still playing the game. When we were in Vancouver, we were in that isolation [for real], We were working night and at some point I, Breeda, was trying to win Everlasting. You just get confused. I was like 'I'm going to win this show. I'm going win 'Everlasting.' As Faith or as Breeda you just want to win. As the contestants are voted off, on 'Everlasting', the producers are off, as well. So, the actors playing the producers have incentive for their girl to stay in the script... It gets very Meta.
On every project I've ever worked on there's a point where you've spent so much time in this imagined reality that you start to realize that your own reality is imagined as well. There's definitely a bleed between in every project where your art starts to effect you life or your life reflecting your art. Any story I've ever done, you go out into the world when your not on set and you start to start to see your story emerging from your real life. In acting you switch your lens - so all of sudden I'm spending four months as a Mississippi barrel racer believing and I believe in God and I become empathetic and I open myself up to perspectives that I wouldn't have personally. Its' like when you're a kid and you're playing make believe in your basement, there is no other reality, when you're playing Barbie's' in the basement. For that time there is no other reality."
How did the time Breeda spent playing Barbies and make-believe as a kid help her prepare for a career in acting?
"I think when you're a kid, you have your favorite game. My dad built a chemistry lab in his parent's attic when he was a kid in Ireland. And he became a chemical engineer. I think if you play with model airplanes - you should build model airplanes. If you love to draw, if you love to build, whatever your favorite childhood game is what you should do. My friend, Jeremy Hobson, he would always play Diane Sawyer. And now he has his own show on NPR.
If you can foster your play spirit, your childhood game, you have better opportunities to be more creative and more successful in your vocation. It's a privilege to be in the arts. I try to implement that whatever job you're doing that you can make whatever it is that you want out of it. Because unless you're writing or directing yourself, you're always in service to another person's story. And no matter what that story you can bring a certain level of imagination and understanding to that story that and be outside of that story. A lot of great experience has a lot to do with whom you're working with. So something like UnREAL, the cast and the crew, it was an absolute joy to go to work everyday. It as an incredibly supportive team from the creators to the producers to the actors, everyone's got each other back. Which is hilarious since we're making believing we're all taking each other down. But that as fun too!"
UnREAL isn't the only thing Breeda has in the works.
"I have a movie in post production called AWOL . And it's this beautiful indie film that I have been working on for seven years. This is the director's first feature film, Deb Shoval. We did a short together that went to Sundance. It stars Lola Kirke and it's a love story between her and I. She's a high school graduate who joins the military. I have these two little girls and am married to a trucker played by Bill Sage. And we have this love affair and she tries to get me to go AWOL with her. We're hoping to premier at the beginning of next year."
Be sure and catch Breeda and the rest of the UnREAL cast on Lifetime June 1 10/9C!
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