MTV hit a gold mine when they first began their reality series, The Real World in 1992. The series threw seven strangers into a house in a popular state to see how they would interact with one another and the rest of the world. The series changed their location each season going from various states across the United States including New York, Boston, New Orleans, California, Texas, Florida, Chicago, Nevada among others and even a few international locations such as London, Paris, Sydney and St. Thomas.
Each season drama ensued as did romance and jealousy however, jealousy was never more prevalent than in the latest season of this ever-popular series. In an attempt to gain viewers MTV put a spin on their reality series that brought about a new form of drama when they invited the exes of the original cast mates to move into the “Real world house.” The cast mate’s past literally came back to haunt them and it seemed only the strong would survive, like Thomas Buell who was kind enough to give this writer a few minutes of his time.
BECCA ROSE: What made you want to audition for the Real World?
THOMAS BUELL: I thought it was just going to be a good experience all together. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and not a lot of people get to do it. I was thinking if this happens it would be awesome, especially after I got called back several times. I thought it would be really cool if it happened.
BR: What was the most difficult part about being on the show?
TB: It was extremely stressful and I would probably say even without the exes there, just the stress the show puts on you because it’s not normally walking around with cameras following you everywhere 24/7. The first couple of weeks you’re very careful with what you’re saying. You don’t want to come across as a bad person because you’re going to be on national TV and that puts a lot of stress on you, then alcohol is involved and that puts even more stress on your body and the exes and that’s even more stress. It was an amazing time for me but it was extremely, extremely stressful.
BR: Did you learn anything new about yourself from being a member of The Real World?
TB: I learned a lot, it would take me forever to tell you everything I learned about myself but, going into the show I was very blunt and I was very cocky and I think throughout the show I was humbled a little bit and I learned that I could come across a lot more aggressive or rude to people when I’m not trying to be so I learned that I need to soften my tone and think about the words that I use when speaking to people, if I disagree with them not to come across as rude but tell them I disagree with them in a polite way. I learned that I am immature and I need to mature and it’s happening and I’ve matured a lot in the past eight months but I have a long way to go but at least I learned that about myself.
BR: What went through your mind when the exes first came into the house?
TB: The second I walked in an saw Hailey I thought they were there to visit for maybe a weekend or a week. When she said she moved in I got really mad. It took me a while to realize this but if that’s what they wanted that’s what they were going to get. It brought more viewers in than it had for the last few seasons I believe but that was their plan, they wanted more people to watch the show and that’s okay with me now. When I was on the show it wasn’t okay with me. It put a lot of stress on us but in the end it was worth it because it got more people talking about The Real World than they have in the last couple of years.
BR: What have you been up to since the show ended?
TB: I went back to normal life right off the bat, I am in school, I go to college and I jumped back into the college semester. I’ve made a few appearances but I am trying to graduate from undergraduate school for Dentistry and see where life takes me from there. Obviously I would love to be in entertainment I’d love for that to be my career but that’s not the safest choice and it’s not 100% guaranteed you’ll have a good career so why not have a backup plan?
BR: If you could clear up any misconceptions people might have about you or the show what would it be?
TB: People think the show is scripted…it’s not scripted. They don’t hand you a script. They brought in our exes and obviously they knew drama was going to happen but we don’t have a script to read off of a lot of people believe it is scripted when it’s not. When it comes to judging al of the cast members what they saw was 13 or 14 hours of footage of our lives, they are picking and choosing what they are going to cut into the episodes and that’s an hour of a week or two weeks and that can make us look bad or good. MTV made most of us look a lot better than they could have, but nobody knows the real story and how we acted the whole time but us; people have the right to their own opinion. I would tell them to try to get on the show before they judge us.