(CBS) - Twenty-nine years ago, seven individuals met in a Manhattan loft and let the world see what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. The Real World was born in 1992 and would go on to become a cultural phenomenon with 33 season under its belt to date. For the first time since the early 90s all seven original castmates will be together again when The Real World Homecoming: New York premieres on March 4th as part of the launch of Paramount+.
CBS' Matt Weiss caught up with Julie Gentry and Andre Comeau ahead of Thursday's premiere to discuss what it's like 29 year later when things stop polite and start getting real.
MW: Welcome to the both of you!. This is a long time coming almost 30 years since you went from strangers to roommates along with the rest of the cast, what was your reaction when you were approached about doing this reunion?
JG: Well, we were really surprised I will say. We got the text or phone call in early December. With everything going on with COVID and the pandemic, I don't think any of us really thought that we could pull it off and really film this. It was a challenge. Once we knew the seven of us were all on board and it would be an opportunity for the seven of us to be together again, we really warmed to the idea.
AC: I was a little apprehensive. We weren't exactly sure what the format was going to be at first. To find out that it was going to be the original cast, all seven of us, in times of COVID, we weren't really even sure that it was going to happen. It was the right concept, when we found out it was going to be the original cast, there were no second thoughts.
MW: You all in that first season were really the pioneers of reality television. What was that like when there was no precedent for what you were doing?
JG: I mean stepping back exactly when we did it, we really did not know what we were doing. Thinking about it out loud, that's probably why our cast is still friends. We really did have to trust each other a lot and put a lot of faith in each other to get through that first original season.
From having that friendship over all these years it did give us, I think, a little more comfort than some people might have imagined coming back in. In some ways because we do know how to do this with each other.
MW: You've all had kept in touch over the years then it sounds like?
JG: We have all kept in touch. Usually, we can pull it off or there's a few of us together here or a few of us together there. Whenever we're traveling we try to catch up and see each other. But this really is the first time since the early 90s since all seven of us could really get together and be in the same space.
MW: Wow, that's really nice. Andre, what was it like when you saw everyone together for the first time? It must have been like a family reunion.
AC: It was exactly like a family reunion, it was great. We have kept in touch with each other. I'm in Los Angeles and I travel to New York frequently. I try to catch up with Kevin and Heather who live in New York. Often people visit Los Angeles, so I see people when they're in town.
We haven't all been together in the same room since the early 90s though. It was definitely a special moment. Of course, being in the original loft also added to that nostalgia and that specialness of it all.
MW: You had New York as the backdrop for that very first season. What does the city mean to each of you and what was that experience like, being in New York?
JG: I'm so sentimental about New York and the time moving there right when I turned 19. All of that was so great for me in so many ways. When I came back into New York and getting to have this experience again, it's kind of like winning the lottery twice.
AC: I moved to New York a year to the day before we moved into the loft in 1992. I moved to New York with my band in 1991 well, New Jersey, the Metro New York area. I've just loved that city so much my whole life.
I've been in Los Angeles now for 25 years. New York will always have a special place in my heart. It was really wonderful to go back there and to go back to the original loft that we shot our show in and to spend time with these seven people that we have such a bond, such a connection. We are a family.
MW: To all the fans who have been waiting decades to see you all together again, any message for those folks who are excited to see you on March 4th?
JG: Hope we don't disappoint you. [laughs] I hope that we're well-received again. I never imagined that people would be as interested in the show as they were. That was a real surprise to me. I'm really interested and excited to see what people think about it this time.
AC: Well, I think if they liked the first season of our show, they're going to like this one. It's very much more of that cut from the same cloth. We handle tough conversations. We connect on that same level, it's a ride.
MW: Great to know you've all kept in touch an remained friends. Excited to see how it looks when you all get together in person again. Thank you so much for the time and all the best to you both!
AC: Thank you!
JG: Thanks, Matt!
Check out The Real World Homecoming: New York streaming on Paramount+, available today!
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