The 21-year-old American Idol alum stars alongside Rita Volk, Michael Willett, Gregg Sulkin, and Bailey Buntain in the MTV comedy about two best friends who love each other – in slightly different ways.
After numerous failed attempts to become popular, the girls are mistakenly outed as lesbians, which launches them to instant celebrity status. Seduced by their newfound fame, Karma (Stevens) and Amy (Volk) decide to keep up their romantic ruse.
Faking It premieres on TONIGHT, April 22 @ 10:30PM ET/PT on MTV!
JustJaredJr: Hi Katie! We loved you on American Idol. You’re an amazing singer. Have you always been interested in acting too?
Katie Stevens: Growing up, I did theater and all that fun stuff. Acting was always something I was interested in. I just so happened to do Idol first to get me out here. And then once I was out here, I was like, “I never tried to television and film side of things.” And being in L.A., what better place to do that. So I met with my agency and their acting department, and basically said, “I want to do this and I want to put the work in.” I started taking classes and auditioning, and here we are.
JJJ: Did you originally audition for Karma or another part?
KS: It was funny and I didn’t find this out until afterward, but they had already seen everybody for Karma and had already chosen people to go in for a test. And the casting director just felt like she hadn’t seen everybody. So she went back through her emails that she missed, and she skipped over one email with three girls faces in it, and one of them was mine. She just happened to point to me and say, “Oh, I haven’t seen her yet.” I was the last girl they saw for Karma. And then I went into the test, and Rita, who plays my best friend, she was going out for Karma at the time. She and I basically said, “Let’s not do this whole bitchy audition room thing. If you get it, you are completely different from me. It’s not going to be a reflection on my acting talent.” And so in the test they asked her to read for Amy and we did a chemistry test. It worked out perfectly.
Click inside to read the rest of our interview with Katie Stevens…
JustJaredJr.com Interview – Katie Stevens
JJJ: We love Karma’s upbeat, fun personality. Would you say you’re a lot like her?
KS: I would say out of the two of them, I’m definitely more like Karma. But I like Karma just because I think it’s amazing that she always has an extravagant plan for everything. And she doesn’t think any of it through (laughs). Not that I’m like that. I like to think when I was 15 years old, I tried to have plans for everything and it didn’t work out that well (laughs). I just love her. She has this romantic vision about the way she thinks the world should be. She just goes after what she wants, and I think I’m like her in that [sense]. When there’s something that I want, I’m going to work toward it and figure out a way to have it.
JJJ: What is it about Liam that attracts Karma? And does that infatuation with him drive a wedge between Karma and Amy?
KS: There’s definitely love triangles that are going to happen between Liam, Amy, and Karma. But for me it was important in acting this character, to not judge her. Because a lot of people – the pilot came out early and people watched it – are all for the Karma and Amy relationship. What they’ll come to find is that Karma has zero idea that Amy is interested in her. That’s why she goes after the boy and tells Amy all about Liam. I think it drives an invisible wedge that Karma doesn’t see because she doesn’t know how Amy feels. So that’s what I have to constantly remind myself. She’s a 15-year-old girl who wants the cute boy at school like every 15-year-old girl. She wants her best friend too, but she doesn’t realize that her best friend is actually in love with her.
JJJ: Speaking of that, they were sneaky in the promos. That was a nice little surprise at the end. How did you react to Amy’s feelings when you first read the script?
KS: I was just like, “This is amazing.” It was just one of those things, when I read it, I was like, “This is so smart. I have to be a part of this.” It was a part that I really, really wanted. I feel like this is going to do a lot for kids. It’s going to help in schools with tolerance and acceptance, and people being able to be unique. Or what we hope, at least. We realize our show isn’t the norm. Every kid doesn’t have this high school experience where they’re accepted for who they are, but that’s why we want to showcase that – in hopes that it will catch on and people will want to change their schools to be more like that.
JJJ: Tell me about mean girl Lauren and her effect on Karma and Amy. It’s a role reversal where the pretty, popular girl isn’t popular. I love that.
KS: And her minions are my favorite. I think you can see in the pilot that she just says things, and she says things that are true. But because this lie is so fabricated and Karma and Amy have everyone believing it, I think that everyone is more for Karma and Amy. No one is going to listen to Lauren. What I like about the Lauren character is that she has a lot of heart. There’s a reason behind why she is the villain and you’ll learn more. That’s what I like about all our characters, because it could have come across as our characters being the extreme versions. You can have the extreme version of the bitch character and a showy version of the fabulous, gay guy character. But what I like about it is that they’re all super normal and relatable, so it works all together.
JJJ: Speaking of that, Liam comes across kind of shallow. He goes after Karma even though he thinks she likes girls. What are his intentions, and do we start to see a different side to him?
KS: Yeah, you’ll definitely see another side to him. I think you’ll see Karma and Liam’s relationship grow in that they start to understand each other. Even though Karma has all these secrets and she’s kind of hiding things, she gets to know Liam and a side of him that no one else has seen because he can come across just as the hot guy who gets all the girls at school. But it’s one of those things – once he meets Karma, something changes in him. There are so many couples to root for because there are so many different dynamics. There’s the Karma and Amy…there’s the Liam and Karma…there’s hopefully more coupling happening between Amy and some other characters you haven’t seen yet. It’s a roller coaster ride, I will say that (laughs).
JJJ: The cast is great. Is it a fun set to work on?
KS: Honestly – and I’m not just saying this – we are all really close. And since this is my first acting experience, I feel so spoiled. Our showrunner Carter [Covington] is amazing. He’s always there making sure everything is OK and making sure everyone is comfortable, and making sure we have everything we need. He’s always there on set when we need him. The cast, I was so excited to go to work everyday and go through this experience with Rita. This is also her first thing. It’s just super exciting for both of us. Every day we’re texting each other, “Hey, what are you wearing to the event today, or “Oh my God, did you see everybody is freaking out about our show on Twitter?” And then a billboard of us just went up in Times Square and we Face-Timed each other, and we were both like crying (laughs). “I was in the middle of the mall and I can’t stop crying!” That’s one of the things, in working and this being my job, which I’m super grateful for, I’ve also made one of the best friends I could ever ask for in Rita, and amazing friends Gregg, Bailey, and Michael as well.
JJJ: What scene was the most nerve-racking in the pilot?
KS: I was super nervous for the kiss because that was going to be the tell-all for everything, because that’s what the show is about. I needed to make sure that it was right. And it was really funny because every day it was like, “Well, you know, we’re going to have to kiss each other in five days. We’re going to have to kiss each other in two days. We’re going to have to kiss each other TODAY” (laughs). It came down to it and the director was like, “OK, do you guys want to practice this before we film anything?” So we went in to kiss and we just had a giggling attack. We got all our laughs out and we finally did it. And what’s funny is, they were like, “Just kiss someone like you’d kiss someone.” So we kissed each other like we’d kiss someone and they we’re like, ” There’s too much bobbing and moving of the head” (laughs.) So it needed to be stiller and simpler, and it looked great, but in the moment felt really stiff. You find out the different between an actual kiss and an on-screen kiss (laughs).