On Monday night (August 3), America will be forced to say goodbye to the summer's best not-so-guilty pleasure, "UnREAL." Which is a hard pill to swallow of course, but even harder is the fact that the show's dreamy leading man, Adam (Freddie Stroma), might not come back for season two if the show sticks with the "Bachelor"-esque format that made it famous. (I know, I know. Let that one sink in for a sec.)
Nothing is set in stone, however, and the show has even hinted at Adam's return via his own spin-off-within-a-show, "Royal Renovations," which would focus on the
Bachelor Suitor fixing up a winery with the woman he chooses at the end of the current show-within-a-show, "Everlasting."
To find out what's next -- and to find out whether Stroma is "Team Anna" or "Team Grace" -- MTV News hopped on the phone with Stroma, who also graciously answered our questions about his stint as Cormac McLaggen in the "Harry Potter" movies. Find out what he had to say below!
MTV: I'm curious what this summer has been like for you -- you've had bit roles in huge projects like "Harry Potter" and "Pitch Perfect" throughout the past decade, and now you've finally broken out as a leading man on a small-screen hit. Is it a different type of feeling?
Freddie Stroma: I mean, it’s a different thing. Having a smaller role in one of the bigger budget movies is... it’s fun to be part of something that’s that size, and has that much love around the world, but it is very enjoyable to have a much bigger role. You can kind of have more influence on the piece.
MTV: I'm sure it's different in terms of fan attention, too.
Stroma: I’m not a huge social media kind of guy, so I don’t really know, I don’t really ever get... at least in real life, I really don’t get recognized. I think people seem to find it very difficult to connect me to characters I’ve played.
MTV: That'll change soon. So, do you have a strong opinion on who ends up with who in the finale, or are you one of those "whatever is best for the script" kind of guys?
Stroma: I’m a 100% "for the script"... I mean, someone asked me "in real life, who do you think should win, Anna or Grace?" And just from watching it, you’d say Anna hopefully, because Grace has been in his pants since the very first episode and it’s a much better message to convey. Anna, who’s a smart lawyer who’s had to work for it, rather than getting off with him straight away -- so I guess you kind of look at it as how you hope it will be.
MTV: Does that mean you're pulling for Adam over Jeremy then, because you, you know, ARE Adam?
Stroma: You know what? It’s funny, what the show does so well is it shows that everyone can be good and everyone can be bad. It’s not just "here’s the good guy, here’s the bad guy... Oh, Jeremy, he’s the good guy, he doesn’t get involved, and he keeps commenting on how, every time Rachel's done something bad, he’s always there telling her how wrong it is."
But at the same time, for no reason, he’s cheating on his girlfriend. He’s got a dark side to him... it’s one thing to say [to Rachel] "you’re manipulating these girls"... but, well, you’re involved in it, you’re pointing the camera, you’re part of that team. He’s just as involved as really anybody else. He’s letting it happen.
MTV: Adam has a dark side too, though. I feel like he's only into Rachel because of the sexually charged, forbidden-fruit situation. I thought the love confession was a load of crap. Do you agree with me, or do you want to defend your guy?
Stroma: I agree with you. I think it’s a little bit of both. I think he’s the kind of guy who’s had his wealth and fame and... he has a lot of power, and as he said in episode one. He’s kind of shocked that [Rachel] talked to him, he’s like, "girls don’t usually talk to me like that." I think he’s very entertained by Rachel. She’s not easy to get to, there’s a hunt for sure. I think he likes that chase. At the same time, there are these similarities where he knows that he’s a very good manipulator and so is she, and they are similar in that aspect. They almost could be female/male versions of each other.
MTV: I also think it's hilarious, by the way, how much you guys are playing with the stereotype of Americans falling all over British accents. Because Adam's spin-off is "Royal Renovations," but like... is he even a royal? No, right?
Stroma: Well, that's very astute of you, there’s actually a line -- I guess I can’t say exactly, but there’s a line [in the finale] that addresses exactly what you’re saying; he makes a joke about it. People have said, "oh, well Americans love the British accent," but I haven’t really experienced it myself. I’ve always said I think the Australians and the Irish sound way cooler. I think they’ve just come out of a bar fight, and they’re just these awesome manly men, and I always find I sound more like a math teacher.
MTV: I know you've said you aren't sure if you're returning for season two, but they definitely have set the stage for it with "Royal Renovations." Do you like the idea of focusing on a spin-off, or do you want them to stick with the "Everlasting" format?
Stroma: I don’t really know. At the moment, they still don’t really know what they’re doing yet. They’re juggling a bunch of ideas in the air, [but] I think it will be good to try different shows. I don’t know if I’d like it going outside of the romance reality shows, because I think the romance is so cheesy, and there’s so much material there... It’s very difficult to know where they’d want to go; whether it's having a whole other season with everyone back again, or whether you think changing it up again is better -- I’m not really sure. I’d have to see. Or they could to do a "Big Brother," or they could do like a "Survivor," or one of those.
MTV: So after ten episodes, what have you learned about being the Bachelor -- err, sorry, the "Suitor."
Stroma: From the show we’ve done, the lessons that I've learned is there’s a lot of manipulation involved. I personally would be very pessimistic going into it, not really thinking you’re going to find love.
But then I’m also realizing with the numbers... meeting at least twenty eligible people, you know there is a chance you can find someone to fall in love with. I think that the way in which it’s surrounded isn’t the best really... all the people have different motivations for being on the show. It’s really ghastly, but also there is a possibility of finding love... as long as people don’t take advantage of you, you can be optimistic. And I think they probably will.
MTV: Do you watch reality TV differently now? I'm a huge "Big Brother" fan, and I can't stop thinking about what the producers are telling them in that Diary Room.
Stroma: You know what’s funny, I don’t really watch reality TV shows -- [but] the one that I did watch was "Big Brother" in England, years back now, five or ten years ago. I think at the time it all looked pretty real to me, but... not only doing "UnREAL," but also acting in general, you start to realize that certain cuts between certain takes... they don’t add up. And then you start to realize, certain reactions look pretty fake.
I think it’s harder in "Big Brother" to do that, because you can’t ask certain questions to get a rise out of someone and cut that reaction and put it somewhere else, because they’re on their own in there. But you can definitely have someone say something and then cut to a reaction from someone else earlier in the day, and then put it in and try to convey that they’re upset, or whatever. I think "Big Brother" is harder to fake, but you can still do it.
MTV: I have to ask... Chris Harrison made some not-so-nice comments about the show earlier this week. Were you surprised at the vitriol?
Stroma: He’s completely entitled to his opinion about it... we’re lifting the veil on reality dating shows and his is the big one, and I guess our host is maybe not portrayed in the best light. So maybe he’s not happy with that; I’m not really sure.
MTV: I also have to ask about "Harry Potter," of course. It must be incredible to be part of something that will be watched for generations and generations... but that means you'll always be known as the guy who tried to mack on Hermione. Do you think there's more to Cormac than that?
Stroma: [Laughs] I don’t think he was misunderstood at all. It’s funny, because there are different houses and at the end of the day he’s a Gryffindor, but he’s probably the worst side of Gryffindor that you can have... he’s a bit arrogant about the talent he has. I don’t think he’s really midunderstood, I think he’s very confident and really egoistical.
... Although, to be fair, Hermione did cheat when he was going for goalkeeper for Gryffindor, so. He did get his comeuppance.