Make Me Famous

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

Interview with Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge

Reality TV can be unbelievably entertaining, but you have to remember these shows are based on gossip and they thrive on drama. In my opinion we should be more wary of the information that we receive, and decide to pass on.Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge
Date: 09.06.2020     Last updated: 09.06.2020 at 18.38
Category: BBC Three; Drama
Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge plays Gary in Make Me Famous.

Tell us about your character.
I play Gary, Billy’s agent. Gary joins Billy’s journey later on, once Billy leaves the reality show. Gary is keen to strike the iron while it’s hot. Billy has been extremely successful on the show, and its Gary’s job to promote him and to get him out there in the public eye as much as possible. It’s difficult because Gary and Billy have a good relationship, however it’s founded in business. Once things stop working out for Billy, Gary will happily move on to someone else, that’s the nature of the game.

Unfortunately for Billy, he really only has a window of about a year to maximise on his newfound fame, until the new cast come out. Before he knows it, the brands/partnerships will have moved on to the newbies, as they will now be the ones in the public eye.

What part does Gary play in Billy’s journey?
When Billy is driven right to the edge, there is a level of guilt that Gary carries. He knows he had a part to play. Gary represents the industry side of things and the reality of what that brings. It’s just business. I imagine it can be incredibly difficult if you don’t fully understand the world of fame and are just thrown into it. All of a sudden you have all these people watching every part of your life unfold. Everyone has their own opinions of you. It’s very dangerous. People have no problem saying what they want on Twitter - you’ll be scrolling and reading things about yourself that you might be insecure about. It’s incredibly exposing. If you haven’t had the correct guidance or support, I believe it can be detrimental to your health.

What role does social media play in Billy’s journey?
You see it all time - especially with the number of these shows that are on at the moment, everyone has an opinion... but you don’t really realise the power of what you say. It could be a jokey conversation with your friends over Twitter, and you don’t realise the impact of what you are saying. It can be taken personally. I have a mild understanding of it through acting. The first couple of jobs I did, I hadn’t considered what the pressure would be like. When the shows came out, I was left wondering whether people would enjoy it and whether they’d like my work. When all of that plays out on social media, as an actor, it feels very exposing.

What do you think about reality TV?
I think reality TV can be great. It can be unbelievably entertaining. But you have to remember these shows are based on gossip, and they thrive on drama. The producers of these shows want people talking about it. In my opinion, we should be more wary of the information we receive, and decide to pass on. What is the long-term effect?

I know someone who had a family member apply for a reality show; he wasn’t in it for the fame at all, he just wanted a summer of fun. A lot of people sign up for this reason. You get free clothes and what seems like no problems for a few months. Who wouldn’t want a free holiday in the sun? But as soon as you leave, it can all change. The duty of care for contestants afterwards is so important. It sounds like reality TV shows are trying to include more therapy sessions with the help of psychologists. That’s a good thing. But even before the show, during the casting process, I think the contestants should be made fully aware about what they are signing up to.