"Made in Chelsea," the Brits' answer to "The Hills," has been on the air in the U.K. since May of 2011. Now in its fourth season overseas, it has arrived in the U.S. via Style Network. The series follows eight London socialites as they lunch at the polo fields, dance at the London hot spots, and backstab each other on a daily basis. One of the main characters is Spencer Matthews, who is in love with his childhood sweetheart, Caggie, but is currently living with his girlfriend, Funda. The will-they or won't-they drama plays out during the first season of "Made in Chelsea." In a recent exclusive interview, Matthews talked about how he got involved with the show and the pitfalls of being a reality TV star.
Matthews made a name for himself in the London nightclub scene
Matthews was born in Grafton but spent a lot of time on the island of St. Barts, where his parents own the exclusive Eden Rock Hotel. He spent so much time there, in fact, that French is his first language. But after studying in both London and the States (he went to USC for a year to study film), he found himself acting as a PR manager for several hot London clubs including Movida, Amika, and Boujis.
He recalled talking to his best mate: "We ended up basically deciding that we were a bit too young, well, I was a bit too young to buckle down. I was only 19, and there was plenty more fun to be had. I was going out clubbing quite a lot of the time anyway and then decided to make some money out of doing what I enjoyed."
He began to get noticed on the club scene and was approached about doing a show. It was originally called "Chelsea Girls," to which he quipped, "Thank God it was not called that."
Matthews admits 'I'm not a private person'
He was immediately drawn to the idea of being on a reality show: "I'm not a particularly private person by nature, so I knew that it would play on my mind." He continued, "I've always been fascinated by cameras, film, theater, anything to do with production. And I thought it would be a nice opportunity to experiment with some of the elements of media that I studied at USC. It's also a nice opportunity to work with some of your best friends, which we get the opportunity to do and just have a good time."
Matthews struggles with handling his public persona
Matthews, who comes across on the show as a bit of a ladies' man, talked about the pitfalls of being on a reality show: "The biggest challenge of being on a reality show is to handle people's views of you. Because obviously these people think they know you. They watch you for an hour a week and they think they know what you're all about."
He also added, "The editing room, it can work in your favor and it can also work against you. That's what's great about television. So it's just important to keep a cool head and understand that at the end of the day, it's business. And what it comes down to is you're still just an everyday guy. And to get on with your work and your job and your family and your friends. It can be difficult to manage your own public perception, persona."
Watch Matthews on "Made in Chelsea" every Monday night at 11 PM on Style Network.
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