What happens when you take a group of reality TV pros, mix them with “civilians” in a grand castle in Scotland and put them through the “ultimate game of deceit and treachery?” We’re all about to find out.
Based on the popular Dutch game show of the same name, ‘The Traitors’ takes some familiar faces from the world of sports, Bravo, ‘Survivor’, ‘Big Brother’ and more and throws in a group of personalities from around the country to compete in a game filled with challenges, lies and alliances.
Hosted by Alan Cumming, the first season of the US version of ‘The Traitors’ has packed a punch with characters from all over, including ‘Below Deck’s’ Kate Chastain and ‘Shahs of Sunset’s’ Reza Farahan. In the show, you see contestants working together to find out who the traitors might be among them while also completing physical and mental conundrums.
To chat about their experience and why they were chosen for the show, both Chastain and Farahan sat down to dish on ‘The Traitors.’
When you first heard about this show, what were your initial thoughts? Why did you want to sign on?
Chastain: I was hesitant. Competition shows are not something I’ve done before and I don’t like losing publicly, so that really gave me a very slim margin of success. So it was a risk, but I’m happy that I did it.
Farahan: I’ve always been a huge ‘Big Brother’, ‘Amazing Race’, and ‘Survivor’ fan and have always wanted to do those shows. So, when this opportunity came up on the heels of ‘Shahs’ getting canceled, it was a mental reprieve from what I was dealing with. It was just what the doctor ordered and the thought of staying in a castle—which is where I should have been living my whole life— I was like, hello. Yeah. Bring it on.
Speaking of the castle, what a wild setting for a competition show. It’s not your normal location for a competition like this. Did you know all of the details at first?
Chastain: You know, the producer that called me said: Kate, I think you’re going to be perfect for this show, you’re the first person I thought of. And I was like, oh, thank you—then I googled it and it was the ultimate game of deceit manipulation. [Laughs] I was a little offended. Then I saw that it was a big Dutch show and I tried to find out as much information as I could, but there wasn’t a lot to find.
Farahan: [Yes,] and they were stroking my ego. They were saying can you imagine your wardrobe against the backdrop of the castle? And I was like, you’re right, I do have a wardrobe that leans castle-y. They were appealing to me coming from a country that used to have a monarchy and castles were a thing, it just played into my vanity.
What was it about your personalities that you think made you right for this show?
Chastain: I would say for the most part, from our respective shows, the Bravo personalities are kind of thought of as the villains and strong personalities, not afraid of confrontation.
Farahan: [Who] can carry a show on their back by themselves.
Chastain: And have proven it.
Farahan: You put a few of them in there, the show is gonna be lead.
Chastain: Yeah, no wallflowers here.
Do you think that was a hindrance… being on a reality show before and people knowing that? Or do you think the opposite since you are used to being in front of cameras?
Chastain: I think a little bit of both. I mean, we had experience, we weren’t nervous. But, also I feel that most people’s best season on reality TV is always their first because it’s the most raw and before they get in their head about it. So I feel like it is both a blessing and a curse.
Farahan: I think it was a curse because I was in there like hey, I’m Reza from ‘Shahs’ nine seasons, bling bling. I’m wearing a Dolce and Gabbana pony hair trench coat—don’t call me, I would never buy it now. I bought it in the 90s and this thing was very expensive and just leaned castle heavy. So I brought it… but it was not smart. My dad was very rich and he used to tell me when we were little when we would go by a car, he would dress like he was homeless.
And I’m like, why would you do that? Your kid is dressed to the nines and you look homeless and we’re going to a Mercedes dealership. None of it makes sense. He said, you’ve got to make them think that they’re working for you and you’re barely going to make it happen, but you can make it happen with their help.
And what about the competition aspect of ‘The Traitors’? What was that like for you?
Chastain: Well, I was under the impression this is mostly a mental game, and I don’t really love raising my heart rate. It’s not a thing I enjoy. I like horizontal life, you know? That’s my vibe. So, I was surprised by the amount of physicality that was being required.
Farahan: I was like, bring it. I was here for physicality, I wanted to do ‘Survivor’ and ‘Naked and Afraid.’ Like where’s my toga and my granola. I was here for it.
Was there anyone in the show, whether they were someone you watched on TV or met for the first time that you connected with? Or maybe the opposite that surprised you?
Chastain: I think all of the Bravo personalities. We had an instant clique if we hadn’t already met and that has continued. I don’t know if that was true for other people.
Farahan: I met someone who was living as their authentic self. They were a civilian and they were for the first time living their life in the way that they felt authentic, and it was beautiful. To talk to them about that part of their life, that was very special to me. I had not known them, and I met them for the first time as a result of being on ‘The Traitors’ and that was very special for me.
Chastain: That’s a good point. And also, yes, the reality portion of the contestants were lovely and great for the most part, but also civilians. We have some really interesting, unique, strong, great personalities.
Catch ‘The Traitors’ on Peacock when it drops on Jan. 12.