In April MTV premiered FAKING IT, a controversial new teen drama about two friends pretending to be lesbians in front of their whole school. No one really knew how the show would be received. Whether it would attract teen viewers of different genders and sexual orientations or if the show would come off as offensive and inappropriate. Turns out millions love the show, are fully supporting it, and are exceedingly protective over it. Due to the large fan base MTV announced yesterday that they would air a second season of the teen dramedy. I spoke with Rita Volk, one of the stars of the show about her character Amy, her characters feelings for Karma, (Katie Stevens) and the awesome dance number in the finale.
From the beginning we saw that this show wasn’t just another teen drama. Its very deep and the relationship between these two friends is something very different than what we’ve seen on TV in the past. What drew you to this show and the script?
Rita Volk: For exactly that reason actually, when I heard about it I thought it was a very fresh concept. I couldn’t really think of anything else out there for that demographic specifically. I mean there have obviously been numerous gay and lesbian characters on shows before but it was never a central part of the story. I felt those characters were always guest stars, co-stars, they were kind of always the second rate characters. So to have this story revolve around a lesbian character and for teens, I couldn’t really think of anything like that. That was a big thing; I thought it was a really great concept that had never been done before.
Did you Approach the role differently because it is a touchy subject with some people?
Yes, I think we all did. I think at the end of the day if it’s heartfelt and it’s genuine and coming from a good place people are going to see that. Obviously we got some slack in the begging when people heard about the concept they thought it was insensitive or taking advantage of this touchy, vulnerable, and very personal issue and using it for a TV show. I think once people saw the Pilot and obviously up to this point now see it’s something totally different. We acknowledge that we have a lot of fans out there that are, we’ve gotten fan letters and a lot of really positive feedback from people saying “I’m so glad this show is out there because I found out that I was a lesbian or that I was gay because I had a crush on my best friend.” Others have said that this show has helped them get through it or that this show is a happy place for them. Hearing stuff like that you realize that you’re catering to a very specific group of people and you don’t want to come off as offensive or not genuine in any way. It was difficult in the beginning; you realize you have a fan base and that people are actually watching the show and you forget that when you’re confined to a set. Now it’s a little bit easier, I feel like people know now that it’s not offensive, I think it’s a very relatable story. Its not as scary anymore in terms of that responsibility but yeah we were all a little bit nervous at first because we wanted to make sure that people saw it was coming from a good place.
What are some of your favorite TV friendships?
FRIENDS I think is the biggest and greatest show ever. Currently I love Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) from THE BIG BANG THEORY, I love that show and I think that’s a cute friendship which started off as not a friendship at all, they hated each other and now they are the best of friends. I’m kind of old school; I’m a big BUFFY fan so I of course loved the Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) friendship. We kind of cross over with some of those fans too which is really neat!
Your fans are very vocal on twitter and social media. Do you think that plays a big role in the success of the show?
Oh Absolutely! I didn’t have social media before; I got a twitter account for the show. I wanted to be a part of it I knew that it was important and a way to reach out to people and get that feedback. It’s a big part of it now because you get to see that instant feedback of how the show is being taken in and it’s been crazy. We’ve gotten fan art, blogs, apparently fan fiction that I have yet to read. But absolutely I think it’s a huge, huge factor in how the show’s been doing. I don’t think we would have known how big it’s gotten if it weren’t for social media and that online presence.
We saw a couple weeks ago that Amy tried dating and wasn’t really feeling it. Then we saw her with Oliver and it really wasn’t for her. It seems like the only person she is attracted to is Karma. Do you think that will change?
I think so. I think we can all relate to having unreciprocated feelings for somebody else. I think that it’s definitely going to be a journey for her and just like in real life, you fall in love with someone or you develop really strong feelings for someone and it takes you a really, really long time to get over them. I want to say I hope she does, I know the fans are going to hate me but if Karmy god forbid doesn’t work out, I would want that for Amy. But I don’t know, if it does happen it’s going to take a really long time for her to get their because these feelings are so intense and they are so new. They really are like you said only oriented towards Karma so I really think it is going to be a journey for her.
We saw a dance number in the promos. How was shooting that?
It was so much fun! It was one of my favorite scenes to shoot because it really sets up this tone of this amazing friendship these two girls have. How many people have a coordinated dance number together? These two girls have been practicing it since they were little and they’ve been dying to use it so it was a really cute scene. It was a lot of fun because it was very genuine, we had everybody around us and everyone was watching. All of the extras and the guest stars they hadn’t seen it before so it really was like we were performing it for the first time in front of everyone.
The finale leaked recently. For those who haven’t seen it or read the spoilers what’s in store for Karma and Amy’s relationship?
Things are going to get tested. Without saying too much, unfortunately there is stuff that is already out there. Every characters journey up to that point starts to unravel, everyone winds up realizing the repercussions of their actions. Especially for Karma, and for Amy that’s when she gets really fed up with everything. The eighth episode is really the last straw for her and everything kind of hits the fan for everybody.
If the show gets renewed what would you like to see happen next season? What would you like to see happen to Amy? (It was announced yesterday morning there will be a second season!)
I would like her to be happier because she’s gotten such a short end of the stick throughout the first season. I want her to have a better sense of who she is and to discover that these feelings are okay. If she happens to meet somebody else than so be it, but the one thing I do want to say is Amy is not straight and that’s something Carter (Covington) talked about because a lot of fans were like “Is this going to be like other shows where this character teases us and she finds out she’s not gay is like just kidding I was just experimenting.” It’s not going to be like that, and that was very important for me because I know that Amy is really a vessel for a lot of these fans because of the fact that she is a lesbian character that’s why we have this amazing fandom around her. So I will say that if she does meet someone I want it to be a girl and I want her to not be tortured by secrets like she was in the first season.
You can watch the season finale of FAKING IT tonight on MTV at 10:30 and you can follow Rita on twitter at @therealritavolk
Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli