Master of Reality

by Daniel Manu April 29, 2008
The Jonathan Murray Interview

TWoP: Over the years, have there been any cast members that you've personally identified with more than others, or rooted for more than others?

JM: I think that whenever you choose a cast member you choose them because you like them and because you do care about them.

TWoP: So there wasn't anyone that you disliked but thought made great television, even though you were personally repelled by them as a human being?

JM: I've never been repelled by any of our cast members. In the scripted world, a villain is someone you love to hate and I think that's partially true in the reality world. Whether it's the Omarosa or the Puck, there has to be something likable about them. They have to be more than just a black and white villain. There were people who absolutely loved Puck, whereas there were other people who couldn't stand him. The best characters are all complex and have a combination of things that make you like them one moment and dislike them the next moment.

TWoP: Is it becoming more and more difficult with each passing season to find a location for The Real World? You've done so many already that you're starting to repeat yourself. You've done New York twice; you're now in L.A. for the second time. Is it tough to find new, interesting places that work for the show?

JM: We've realized that we are going to go back to quite a few places that we've been to before because those tend to be the cities that young people want to migrate to, and I think there has to be a certain fantasy to the city that our viewers are interested in seeing. It's more important that the city be that fantasy destination than be a city that we haven't been to.

TWoP: How did you think the recent special The Real World Awards Bash turned out?

JM: I was really happy with it. I thought the show was fresh and fun. It would've been boring to see all of these cast members seated in an auditorium, like it was the Oscars or something. It was great to see cast members meet cast members they'd never met before; it was great to see them catch up with old friends.

TWoP: Was there anyone there that you hadn't seen in awhile that surprised you in terms of how they turned out?

JM: Well, it's funny, I didn't recognize Eric Nies at first. He has a beard and long hair. I was just like, "Who is that?"

TWoP: Are there certain folks that have just completely fallen out of touch with you and the production company? I'm thinking of people like Andre from Season 1 or Aaron from Season 2, whom fans are still curious about but that we didn't see on the Awards Bash or any previous reunions or RW/RR Challenges.

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