Original Real World Cast Reunite 22 Years Later, Reminisce About Fights and Fame—Watch Now!

Three cast members look back on a show that changed reality TV forever

By Mike Vulpo Dec 17, 2014 11:36 PMTags

It was the show that changed reality TV forever!

Seven complete strangers were picked to live in a house and have their lives filmed for all to see. And did we mention the rules? They were told to "stop being polite and start getting real."

Yes, we're talking about MTV's The Real World series.

More than two decades after the first season aired, original members Norman Korpi, Julie Gentry and Heather B. Gardner are sitting down in the very same New York City building they filmed in for more than three months. As it turns out, everything is still so real.

"We shot this show for 13 weeks," Gardner shared on Sunday's new episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? "We lived here, we hung out, we talked, we cried, we partied, we fought."

Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

And while the entire concept was a gamble to begin with, one castmember knew it was going to be something special.

"Eric [Nies] told us even before MTV agreed to do this show, 'We're going to be huge. People are going to be talking about us ten years from now.' He knew," Gardner added. "He absolutely knew."

Thirty seasons later, we'd say he was right on the money.

"I'd go through a grocery store and I would be stopped every 10 feet," Korpi shared. "We were more recognizable than any musician on MTV because we were in high rotation." 

It was obvious when the entire cast was invited to the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. The group realized they had "made it" when an A-list star immediately recognized them..

"Magic Johnson comes walking up and he's waving," Gardner recalled. "We were like holy cow!"

While MTV has introduced spinoffs and plenty of new twists over the years, one thing has remained the same. The filming process is way more different than the viewing experience.

"I always say there were two different experiences," Gentry said. "Filming the show was one experience and then airing it was a whole other ball game."

Now that's keeping it real! 

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