To commemorate the finale of MTV
's The Real World
, season 27, I caught up with cast member Robb Schreiber to discuss how the season unfolded, life before reality television and the chemistry he developed with fellow cast member Marie. Here is what he had to say.
Interviewer: We grow up being told not to believe everything that we see. Despite being called "reality television", many viewers still doubt the validity of what is displayed on shows such as The Real World. What would you say to someone who is sceptical about the reality in The Real World?
RS: I actually hate when someone asks me, "How much is scripted?" Nothing about my experience was scripted. All of the conversations, arguments, relationships, and experiences were 100% real.
BF: The opening credits for The Real World say "see what happens when people stop being polite and start being real." How long after meeting do you think it took before peoples true personalities started to outshine the first impression that they were trying to portray? What happened when they stopped being polite and started to be real?
RS: It was really interesting living with five other people from the east coast. A lot of us had strong personalities that just pretty much put their cards on the table from jump street. It was kind of like, what you see is what you get with most of us.
BF: Every controversial topic, such as reality television, will have supporters and opposition. What has it been like to go from an everyday person to a reality TV personality since the airing of The Real World: St. Thomas? What was it like to acquire a fan base in such a short period of time?
RS: My life is primarily the same. Granted, being so tall and being a ginger, I stand out a lot, so I get noticed relatively frequently. But more than anything it's just been really amazing seeing all the love and support from people. Other than that, I'm just living my life, partying and bullshitting.
BF: If there was one message you would like to relay to your fans, what would it be?
RS: Well first, I don't like the term "fans." I try to converse and chat with anyone that ever gets in contact with me, so I prefer to look at them as friends. Anyway, if I could drop any type of message, it would just be to relax, don't worry about the small stuff, and love the life you live. I try to live by the saying "hakuna matata," but during my time in Saint Thomas I found myself stressing and acting out, and that's not me.
BF: Did you ever expect to learn so much about and become so close to six strangers?
RS: I feel like stuff like that is almost inevitable; even if I didn't want to get on a close level with my roommates, I had to, we were stuck on an island for sh** sake.
BF: How has your perception of the cast members changed from being initially introduced to now?
RS: There are only a couple hundred people to go through the experience we went through... but my roommates and I are the only seven people that can say we went through this experience on our island. Because of that, no matter what perception I had of everyone, good or bad, we had to leave like a family because we all lived this together.
BF: What was it like adjusting to having cameras follow you around constantly?
RS: The cameras were like the imaginary friend that was actually there, only you still didn't want to talk to them in public.
BF: What kind of lessons or morals do you think that viewers can take away from the legitimate reality that exists in The Real World?
RS: There's a lot to take away from each episode really, so long as viewers can take a positive lesson away from it instead of doing nothing but scrutinize.
BF: Having only been 21 years old at the time of airing, you would have been in your first year of legal alcohol consumption. Did being the youngest cast member have any effects on your experience in St. Thomas?
RS: Not at all! Even though I was the youngest I could out-drink anyone on that island, and I'm damn proud of it. Actually, given the fact that island drinks were stronger and cheaper than the ones in the states, I'd say it made my experience better!
BF: I live by the motto "no regrets, just lessons learned." If you could go back and change anything, would you? If so, what would it be and why?
RS: Truthfully speaking, did I act out and do things I probably shouldn't at some points? Yes. But that's the beautiful thing about making mistakes: so long as you take a lesson away from it, and fix it, then it's a learning experience. I regret nothing. In fact, I really dig your motto, garden style.
BF: What was life like pre-Real World? Discuss whether you were in school and/or working and what a day in the life of Robb Schreiber was like. Do you still live in "Benslammin'", PA?
Robb Schreiber and Marie Roda
Robb Schreiber and Marie Roda from Real World: St. Thomas on MTV. The success of Reality TV shows like Real World still boggle the mind of AND Magazine editors, but nevertheless, here ya go. | Robb Schreiber, Marie Roda, Real World, Mtv, Redhead, Reality,
RS: My life before Real World was dismal. I had stopped going to school and started working. Both jobs were brutal, and every day, although fun because I made them fun, but every day had a weird feeling of monotony. Like, same sh** different day. And yes, I do currently live in "Benslammin'", PA, and I love every second of it!
BF: How long has it been since you have been reunited with the cast members? Do you often spend time together since moving out of the St. Thomas house?
RS: It's obviously a little hard to see my roommates just because of distance, but keeping in cahoots is still pretty easy given the fact that social networking is so huge nowadays.
BF: Marie is a genuine sweetheart with a great sense of humour and class. By episode 3, it is obvious to viewers that chemistry exists between the two of you. At this point in the season, it is not evident whether or not the chemistry progresses or digresses. Describe your friendship with Marie in St. Thomas and your friendship now. Are you still in contact today?
RS: Marie is an absolutely amazing person. She's truly one of a kind. Her and I became very close very fast because she was the only girl that would actually drink and smoke with me day-in and day-out. If Marie wasn't there, I wouldn't have had the same experience, probably for the worse; that's for sure.
I had a great time speaking with Robb and shared many laughs.