Would you do anything to be popular in high school—even if it means pretending that you and your best friend are a lesbian couple? That’s the main question in MTV’s new hit romantic comedy series Faking It. And even better, Her Campus had the opportunity to sit down with the hilarious and excited leading ladies, Rita Volk and Katie Stevens, to chat about the show, the funny story of how they met and the super delicious food table (cookies, anyone?).
Her Campus: What’s the premise behind Faking It?
Rita Volk: Faking It is about two girls, Amy and Karma. Karma really wants to fit in at school and be popular and noticed, and Amy is more reserved and wants to just hang out with her best friend Karma. All she wants to do is go home and watch Netflix, and [she] doesn’t have to be popular. What ends up happening is their friend Shane outs them to the school as a lesbian couple and it catapults them to popularity, which Karma enjoys, and she convinces Amy to go along with this lie because it gives them celebrity status at school.
One thing leads to another and they kiss in front of the school, and in that moment, Amy realizes she might have some more feelings for Karma. It’s about Amy dealing with those feelings and figuring out what they are, and Karma trying to deal with this new popularity that she has, which is a little bit more than both of them can handle.
HC: How did you hear about Faking It, and what attracted you to working on this particular show?
Katie Stevens: I actually got the call from my agent three hours before I had to go to the audition. I tried to be as prepared as I possibly could, and I actually had friends in town, so I was making them read lines with me when we went out to breakfast just trying to get this role. [laughs] I read the script, and it was just a premise that I could tell was going to be something special. So I knew that I wanted to be a part of it from the start. I eventually booked the role, and it was just a dream come true. To be able to play opposite someone like Rita who is just super talented is awesome.
Rita and I actually met in the audition room when we both auditioned for Karma. During the last round when we were auditioning for the MTV executives, we both went in to audition for Karma. The head of MTV programming, Susanne Daniels, was talking to Carter Covington, the producer, about whom he liked for Karma, and he couldn’t decide because he liked us both. And then Susanne said, “Well, Rita is obviously Amy,” so they had Rita read the role right on the spot, she killed it, and her and I did a little chemistry read. And luckily, her and I had already talked in the audition room beforehand, so chemistry-wise, we were already there a little bit. It was just perfect, and we get to work on this amazing show together.
RV: I didn’t know much about it before, but when I read the script, I thought the concept was really original, and it was a project where you know it was going to make a lot of noise because of the concept. We got really lucky in that regard, that it’s very progressive and in and that people are going to react to it, whether they love it or hate it or are inspired by it. I knew it was going to be something special, especially for the teen demographic.
Like Katie said, I went in for Karma, and then during the screen test I read for Amy. It was fate; it was just completely the way it should’ve been. I’m so much like Amy in so many ways, and I’m so protective of her and I love this character, so there’s a reason those people in the MTV room are as successful as they are, and they saw me and Katie and saw who we both were and who we were best suited for. Everything turned out perfectly.
HC: What’s a typical day like on set?
KS:[laughs] Is there a typical day? I don’t think so. We were fortunate enough so that we filmed in Burbank and I live in the Valley, which is amazing. So when we had 5:45 a.m. call times, I could just get to set in a couple of minutes. But getting up early was not too bad, because as cheesy as it sounds, when you love what you do, it’s like going to Disneyland everyday. But when we’d show up, we’d go to get our hair and makeup done, which as a girl is really fun, because you wake up and go, “Wow, I look disgusting,” and then you’re pretty in an hour.
We do different scenes every day, so once hair and makeup is done, we get scripts for the scenes we’re doing on that particular day and we make sure we’re ready and prepared. It’s fun, because you get to do these amazing scenes for this incredible show, and the writing is so great. Oh, I also had a great time at the craft service table eating, and we have great catering. [laughs]
RV: I agree with the catering part, and if you ask anyone, I’m going to be the one at craft service eating. [laughs] But yeah, I don’t really know if there’s a typical day; you wake up, you get your hair and makeup done, you work with people on lines in your trailer, but after that, everything’s different. The energy on any given day is different, and that’s what makes it exciting. There are days when Amy and Karma’s relationship is lighthearted, and there are days like the season finale—which I can’t talk about at all!—where there’s a very special set of scenes and it was a totally different feel.
KS: And what’s really funny is that Rita and I, in the food aspect of things, would be stuffing our faces with chocolate chip cookies and were always at the dessert table. And everyone would always say, “Wow, it’s amazing seeing these actresses actually eating!”
RV: They’ll have to write in some weight change by season three at the rate we’re going. I’ve already warned the writers about that. We’ll need to write in a pregnancy or something. [laughs]
HC: What’s one thing about the acting industry that you wish you knew when you started out?
RV: It’s not just coming to set and doing the work. There’s a lot that you have to deal with, from auditioning to dealing with people to being on set. You’re not always working on a scene, as there are a lot of interruptions and stops. It’s very technical. There’s a lot more to juggle than people realize. It’s not that you just show up and act.
KS: I think it’s all stuff that I kind of knew going in that was later confirmed. It takes a lot of work, and you can’t give yourself another option. It’s a really difficult industry and you’ll get discouraged; you’ll face a lot of rejection. But I had to train myself to think that there’s a role for anybody. This role was meant for me, and Amy was meant for Rita. Now, when I go into audition rooms, what I say to myself is, “If this role is meant for me, it’ll be mine. And if I don’t get it, it wasn’t meant for me.” And that’s now how I face rejection. It’s not you or a reflection of your talent; you just weren’t the perfect fit for a role, and that’s okay.
And I also want to be a real person. In the industry, I feel like people put impossible standards on others, especially young girls, and it’s hard feeling insecure. That’s what I love about our show: it sets the standard for how it’s okay to be unique and genuine, and you’re beautiful the way you are. And I think that was the hardest thing for me to realize, that I shouldn’t be focusing on appearance or those little things all the time. That’s one of the things I don’t like about the industry, that it focuses on that. But I think the most relatable thing you can be is yourself.
HC: What can viewers of the show look forward to for the rest of the season?
KS: People need to be prepared to go through an emotional rollercoaster, because they’re really going to feel every emotion. They’re going to be angry with characters, they’re going to feel bad [for the] characters, they’re going to be crying and laughing and everything else. We watched the show as a cast together with our show runner Carter, and even though I already knew what happened, I felt myself really feeling for these characters all over again. If I feel that way and I’m in it, I can’t imagine how viewers are going to feel.
RV: Every character is going to grow, and every character has his and her own story lines. What’s really cool about the show is that it really, really tries to be an ensemble. I don’t think there’s any one character who’s just kind of there and you don’t see that much. Everyone has a storyline, and all the storylines eventually become intertwined in those eight episodes. So there’s a lot happening from episode one to that eighth episode when those characters have all really grown. We’re very, very proud of it, and I can’t wait for the rest of the season to come. And I think viewers are really going to like it!
Tune into MTV’s Faking It on Tuesday nights at 10:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. CT!