Make Me Famous

Reggie Yates's new drama explores the consequences of fast fame on reality TV contestants

Interview with Nina Sosanya

On social media, people are trying to be relevant and special and wanted, which is the human condition, it’s a validation thing. Everybody suffers from it. Some people thrive on it.Nina Sosanya
Date: 09.06.2020     Last updated: 09.06.2020 at 18.38
Category: BBC Three; Drama
Nina Sosanya plays Stephanie in Make Me Famous.

What made you want to take part?
Reggie Yates’s name was something that got my ears pricked up. I think he’s interesting - he’s got stuff to say. The story is important, but doesn’t particularly say what’s right and what’s wrong. There’s a lot of food for thought.

Where do the audience meet Stephanie?
The audience only meet Stephanie in the same way that Billy would have first met her - in the interview room. As a casting producer, Stephanie only shows the bit of herself that she wants a potential contestant to see, which is not much at all.

It’s ironic because throughout all the interview scenes with Billy, both the producers tell Billy to just be himself. That’s what people want to see - honesty. But at no time do the producers reveal their true selves. They never say what they really feel. You realise by the end that this guy is putting his life in the hands of people he doesn’t really know at all.

Is Stephanie to blame for Billy’s deterioration?
The film isn’t saying that the producers are at fault. If anything it lays the blame at many different people’s feet. It blames people who write about other people without any thought for their humanity, particularly online. It blames newspapers. It blames people who might go into it slightly blinkered, without thinking too hard about the consequences.

On social media people are trying to be relevant and special and wanted, which is the human condition, it’s a validation thing. But it can be destructive. People want acknowledgement for their existence. Everybody suffers from this, some people thrive on it.

The experience of such heightened attention can be amazing for some reality contestants, it can be a huge confidence boost and change their lives in ways that might never have happened before. But I think the film does warn that they should proceed with caution. I’m hoping this will strike a chord with the audience.

What are Stephanie and her colleague Kelly looking for in their casting process?
Stephanie and Kelly are looking for vulnerability in a new contestant - this is what may make them likeable to audiences. But they are also looking for drama and conflict, because without that there is no show. Without drama there would be no stories at all. So at the heart of it, there is a real tension.