Lifetime's soapy drama UnREAL is as crazy as ever before. With a dreamy suitor and plenty of shade being thrown around by the female contestants to satisfy any Real Housewives fan, the series (from Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce creator Marti Noxon), is amped up for Season 2. To add to the insanity of the plot (which shines a light on the behind-the-scenes madness that goes into creating a reality dating program a la The Bachelor), is the fact that unlike its IRL counterpart, this series has just cast its first-ever African-American suitor. Le scandal! The bachelor in question is Darius Hill, a football player looking to redeem himself after a PR snafu. And, having an African-American bachelor means that many issues being addressed, including racial politics in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Deep stuff, indeed.
The Daily Dish recently caught up with the small-screen stud, B.J. Britt, who dished all about being brought into UnREAL's high-stakes drama ... oh, and what it's like to woo all those ladies.
"Actually I had never seen the show before so when my team brought this role to me. I, of course, wanted to see what it was about. Just what they did with the first season, ripping the covers off reality TV, and just talking about current issues that are going on right now, I honestly wanted to be a part of it," he explained. "I didn't even know what role I was gonna play whenever my team brought it to me. 'Cause I was like, 'What role would I play?' because I didn't know they never had a black bachelor before, a black suitor. And that alone just — boom, just did it for me. Not only just that, but just being a part of something that's groundbreaking and kicking the doors down, that other shows are afraid to do."
As Darius, B.J. gets the chance to court 26 women — which is something he says he isn't normally very good at in in real life. "I'm learning from this character. This guy's very charming," he said, adding that he listens to Drake to get into character. "He's a ladies man. I'm completely opposite of that, so it's just interesting to see him work. I'm def taking lessons from this character, but it's fun to play him. It's fun to play a character that you have to invest so much homework or so much time and prep into. It's funny because, me, I'm a homebody. I watch cartoons and sports — that's all I do. This character, he's a ladies' man, He's very cocky, confident. He's an athlete, so he's not used to the word 'no.' No probably does not exist in his vocab. It's so much fun to watch this character come to life."
We'll have to wait and see which lucky lady he ends up with by season's end, but there is one woman his small-screen persona is getting closer and closer to: the show-within-a-show Everlasting's feisty and embattled producer Rachel (Shiri Appleby). "I will be able to tell you this: their relationship will definitely evolve into something unique because she's the one that's going to be producing Darius. It was her idea to get the first black suitor, so I feel like the audience will enjoy watching the relationship play out between the two, whether it be romantic or platonic," he said, noting the season is still filming. "And, actually, Shiri and I got a chance to talk about it while in Vancouver, about Rachel's and Darius' relationship and how we feel like it should play out over each episode. So we kind of touched base on that before we started filming, so that we kind of knew where we wanted to steer that relationship towards."
And, prior to filming, there was someone else he got some advice from: Season 1's suitor, Freddie Stroma. "[Co-star] Josh Kelly reached out to me over social media and welcomed me to the show," he said. "And it's so funny cause Josh Kelly and I live a block away from each other and didn't even know it and so he's really good friends with Freddie," he said, adding that he got some wisdom from Freddie while out with the guys hitting golf balls. "So we all got a chance to hang out before traveling down to Vancouver. I asked Fred, I said, 'Any advice?' He said, 'Just go in it with an open mind and look for love, my friend.' I was like 'Oh my gosh! You're the worst.'"
Well, Freddie did fall in love during Season 1, so he might know what he's talking about. He's currently engaged to fellow UnREAL alum Johanna Braddy. "I was excited about that when I met him and his now fiancee. It was awesome," B.J. said. "I was so happy for them. I was so happy for the two. He told me it might happen for me too. Like I said, once again, I'm not a ladies man, so I didn't expect that to happen and I'm not sure it's going to happen [fake cries]."
And, for the record, like Darius, B.J. still hasn't found the one. "I am single, looking to mingle, that is me. I am currently single by myself. Alone. Just me and my doggy. That's it," he said, before defending his pet pooch. "It's a man-sized poodle. I travel a lot, so I couldn't get a really big dog, but he's big at heart. He has muscles."