Bunim-Murray casting process finds candidates who’re “just ‘crazy’ enough.”

Bunim-Murray casting process finds candidates who’re “just ‘crazy’ enough.”
What does it take to be cast on a reality TV show? Salon’s Benjamin Wallace sits in on the casting for The Rebel Billionairer, and finds that “Many of the questions in this vetting process, therefore, are aimed at determining not whether a candidate is too crazy, but whether he’s just ‘crazy’ enough.” Produced by Bunim-Murray, that show was cast by Sasha Alpert, the woman who “pioneered the casting methods now standard to the industry.” She says her “model is World War II movies–you know, the hayseed, the urban kid from Brooklyn. This is the opposite of everyone from the same family. It’s everyone from a very different family.” Salon also gets Mike Darnell to admit that when he casts, “I want the crazy bitch, the nice guy, and as much conflict as is humanly possible.” For those wanting to fake their way on to a reality show, Survivor casting director Lynn Spillman says that it’s all about “consistency: ‘They need to be a bitch on tape, a bitch on their application, a bitch on their answering machine.'”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.