MONDO EXTRAS

Master of Reality

by Daniel Manu April 29, 2008
The Jonathan Murray Interview

JM: There are some people who did The Real World, had a great time doing it, but then went on with their lives in whatever direction they had already planned. I respect that decision. I'm happy with cast members, however they choose to lead their lives.

TWoP: In addition to working on shows like The Real World, you've done series involving celebrities or known personalities like Paris Hilton (The Simple Life) and Kim Kardashian (Keeping Up With the Kardashians). What are the biggest differences between doing an unscripted show with someone who's just a young unknown and with somebody who's already in the business?

JM: Well, they're not going to want you follow them into the bathroom, or into the shower. [Laughs] I think there are certain areas of privacy that they expect -- that's primarily it. They just have certain areas that they really don't want to be part of the show. So I think you have to have a clear understanding going into it of what you are able to shoot and what you're not able to shoot.

TWoP: Are celebrities in a way more open on camera because they're so used to being on camera, or are they more guarded because they have more to protect?

JM: It's hard to generalize. I find the Kardashians very open to the camera, and I've found other celebrities to be more cautious.

TWoP: Moving on to The Bad Girls Club on Oxygen, it's amazing how addictive the show has been this year thanks to the new cast, particularly Tanisha. When you were watching the dailies and there was that moment when Tanisha said "Pop off!" maybe 20 times in a row, was that when you realized this season was going to so much bigger than before?

JM: Yeah, it was pretty clear that Tanisha in particular was a real breakout star and it was pretty clear early on that there was just more conflict this season. I think the challenge and the question we had was: Would these characters be affected by their time together? Would there be growth? And I think as viewers watch the last few episodes play out, they'll see that there was.

TWoP: On that serious note, some of these women do have major issues in their lives that they're dealing with. Is there any sort of counseling support that your company provides off-camera either during the shoot or after the shoot, or do you just let it play out the way it plays out?

JM: If they're interested in help, we tend to offer it to them. Sometimes that help can take place on camera, sometimes it can't, depending on the wishes of the therapist or the counselor. I know Darlen went through some counseling. I think Andrea went through some counseling for the eating disorder. So it just depends on each situation.

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