TV Van

The Reluctant Subject

It doesn’t matter why cast members may be reluctant to talk; your job is to deliver interview content. Let’s look at how to navigate some difficult subjects. Even though they signed on to have their life broadcast on television, many cast members will be worried about how they’re coming off on camera. They may believe they’re being manipulated to appear a certain way because of the production crew telling them what to do, and this will often cause them to become disenchanted with their role in the show. It is your job to re-excite them to the opportunity.


Many cast members have the tendency to ramble or stammer when they’re uncomfortable or nervous. The easiest way to deal with these individuals is to take pressure off of them.

Tell them that the best way to make sure their response comes out clear is to wait five seconds between the end of the question and the start of the answer. That way, they’ll have a few seconds to think about their response, and they will be more likely to deliver it without stammering.

On the other hand, ramblers tend to talk too much. They wander away from the question and end up finishing off on a completely different note. To contain their responses, ask questions that will have straight to-the-point answers.

It is also easier to join together several short answers than to try to piece together an answer from incoherent rambling.

The Victim/Self-Producer

This type of subject feels that you’re out to get him and that your job is to make them look bad. They’ll refuse to answer questions or follow cues because they think you’re trying to humiliate them.

Victim cast members can be one of the most difficult types of subjects to work with, so instead of hammering at them, interview them separately. Let them vent and say whatever they want to say, and while it won’t be the same as answering your questions you’ll still probably get some great material out of it.


Remember not to tell to one cast member what another cast member has said.. Reality actors finding out onscreen that cast mates are bad mouthing each other makes for great television; having the same outcome happen off screen does not.